Reader Ramblings: There’s No T in Top Surgery

Well, I’m a 33 year old female bodied but trans identifying person. I am seriously considering top surgery, but have no desire to ever go on T.

My question: If you don’t mind me asking, and please forgive me if I am being rude, what were your chest measurements, cup size, I suppose it is called, before the surgery? I can find so many post-op pictures online, but none that reveal the previous measurements for comparison. I know we all have different body types, but I suppose I’m just looking for a baseline outcome.

I’m not planning on ever taking T, so I’m just hoping to find some images and experiences of people that aren’t trying to transition fully. I was so happy to find you! Do you know of any other blogs from people who have had top surgery, but are not taking T?

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and stories–you have been a real encouragement to me and a true support without knowing it. I deeply appreciate your attention to your blog and the time and effort you put into it.

It’s a big step to consider top surgery, I’m glad I can be of some help. First I’d point you to a few posts on top surgery that contain useful information, though I’m sure you’ve read them since you seem quite informed already.

You are certainly not rude in asking these things, and I’m glad you did. My “before” chest measurements and such is something I deliberately haven’t posted on my blog, but I’ll gladly share in private. So ask me! A lot of people do post their “before” pictures. I’d suggest looking into Transbucket and the FTM Surgery Info Group on Yahoo (both listed in the Resources page).

Your outcome depends on a number of factors. Age, and whether you’re on T or not, are some of them, as is whether you smoke and are overall healthy. I’d say that general body shape and muscle and fat distribution can also have some effect on the end result, though of course you probably know that you will not come out of this with perfectly chiseled pecs. There are other non-controllables, such as genetic pre-disposition to healing, blod clots, and scarring, etc. In my case, I ended up with hypertrophic scars, which was unexpected and unpreventable.

Another big one is the surgeon. Although on the surface they are all doing a similar procedure, every surgeon is different in how they approach it. Keep in mind that this is plastic surgery – that is, it is a very aesthetic procedure, so how it looks will depend on how the surgeon thinks it looks. This is the main reason I chose the surgeon I did.

I’d even venture to say that the surgeon has a lot more to do with it than anything else. (Especially when you don’t take T later on, since I have a theory that T helps reshape the muscles and makes up for poor contouring.) I carefully analyzed pictures of pre-op and post-op people for a long long time, and I have strong opinions on particular surgeons, both the good ones and the bad ones. If you want more specifics on that I can elaborate.

Like you, I was looking specifically at people who were not on hormones and had a similar body type to mine. Furthermore, it is much harder to find post-op pictures of people not on hormones after say, 1 year, which is when the real results starts to show.

I am planning posting the 1 year post-op pictures in a few weeks. To be honest, I think my chest didn’t really “settle down” entirely until about 8-10 months in, so take all the pictures you see (of me and others) with that in mind.

As for other people who are either non-male or female-identified, and had top surgery without hormones, and continue to not take hormones or be male-identified… that’s a tricky one. There is little documentation about this out there. For the most part I read other transguy’s blogs, since their experiences tend to be similar, to a degree – check out my Blogroll on the bottom as a starter list. Also, I just discovered this blog last week called Queer Rock Love, and I’m loving it. The author’s wife identifies as genderqueer, and also had top surgery. They have a kid too! The blog has a lot of stories around trying to navigate… well… the world, as a “gay, transgender, rock-n-roll family.” Hopefully that’s a good start. If I think of anyone else, I will send them your way.

As always, please feel free to ask me any other questions. Thank you for letting me post this; it is definitely critical to give visibility to non-binary trans people. And I can’t thank you enough for reaching out and letting me know that somebody out there is reading this and finding it useful!

7 thoughts on “Reader Ramblings: There’s No T in Top Surgery

  1. Hi!

    I just found this article today… I wish I had been able to find it about a year ago, but life goes on.

    I’m pre-T and not planning to go on it for a few years because I had agreed to attempt to have a child. However, I needed to get on with my transition so I could be at peace with myself– Not to mention I desire to be perceived outwardly as male. Surgery has helped me immensely!

    I like the results, and it’s been only 4 months. I want to do some writing of my own on my experiences and hopefully provide some information that others can find about going through the process pre-T. Things look different, but not bad–DEFINITELY not bad! I go shirtless when I swim, and use a men’s locker room at the gym and have had no problems; no questions.

    I will read some more of your blog and hope you’re doing well. I’m glad to hear others who’ve done something similar to myself in terms of being unafraid to go through the process before hormones. I’ve had trouble with different documentational changes because of that, and it shouldn’t be this hard! I keep getting “we’ve never dealt with this before!” and I can’e be the first…

    Anyways… I can ramble forever. Great post and thanks for sharing!

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