Plastic surgery is a big decision that causes permanent changes to the body. While some surgical results will change with age and many can be revised if the original results were unsatisfactory, your body will never fully return to the way it was before. Some patients experience regret after plastic surgery – especially if they rushed into the decision or didn’t choose the right surgeon. While there haven’t been any major studies into cosmetic surgery regret, a 2017 review found that about 14% of patients regretted undergoing (non-cosmetic) surgery.
As post-surgical regret is commonly used as an argument against granting trans and nonbinary patients gender-affirming care, I was very pleased to see a new study on top surgery (mastectomy) and its impact on mental health.
As a Los Angeles plastic surgeon who has had the honor of working with many transgender and nonbinary patients, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of gender-affirming care. That’s why I’m sharing this exciting news with you.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, top surgery refers to surgical procedures that align an individual’s chest with their gender identity. It can be a deeply personal and transformative experience, leading to increased self-esteem, self-acceptance, and overall mental well-being.
Depending on the patient’s goal, top surgery can involve breast implants and feminizing chest contouring or a total mastectomy to create a flatter, more masculine chest. This latest study specifically focused on this second type of top surgery.
The astounding news from this latest study is the self-reported regret rate. Participants in the survey were at least two years post-operation (at least one was 23 years post-operation) and none reported undergoing reversal procedures.
In fact, on a five-point satisfaction scale, the average response was 4.8 with a median score of 5! On the 1-100 regret scale, the median response was 0 – no regret.
A previous study looking at results from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found a connection between gender-affirming surgery and mental health. For trans and nonbinary patients, undergoing at least one type of gender-affirming surgery was associated with a 42% reduction in psychological distress, a 44% reduction in suicidal ideation, and a 35% reduction in smoking.
As a surgeon who specializes in gender-affirming care, I find the study both reassuring and affirming. It underscores what many of us in the medical community have known anecdotally but now have empirical data to support: gender-affirming surgeries can be lifesaving.
In my practice, I’ve seen the joy and relief that plastic surgery can bring to patients. The decision to undergo top surgery is highly personal and can be life-altering. It’s not merely cosmetic; it’s a critical step in aligning one’s physical appearance with their identity.
While not every trans, nonbinary, or gender-diverse patient will want surgery, those who do should have safe access to plastic and reconstructive surgery – just as cis patients do.
If you or someone you know is considering top surgery or any form of gender-affirming surgery, seek consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate medical professional. Your health and happiness are paramount, and the right medical team can make all the difference in your journey.
Access to gender-affirming plastic surgery improves mental health, quality of life, self-image, and overall well-being. That’s why Dr. Sepideh Saber, M.D., is proud to provide a variety of cosmetic surgeries and procedures for trans and nonbinary patients. S
Dr. Speideh Saber is a renowned plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles, specializing in gender-affirming surgeries and cosmetic procedures. She believes in empowering her patients through knowledge, empathy, and expert care.
If you’re ready to pursue this step in your gender journey, schedule your free consultation today.
Call (877) 205-4100 or schedule a consultation online.
The practice of Dr. Saber is located in Encino, CA for patients throughout the Los Angeles area. We are also convenient to Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Malibu, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Silverlake, and Echo Park.