Top/Chest Contouring Surgery

Cooper University Health Care offers top/chest contouring surgery as one of the gender-affirming procedures for transgender men. The procedure allows transgender men to better align their physical bodies with their gender identity.

Top surgery involves removing the majority of breast tissue but leaving enough to contour the chest so it resembles that of someone who was born anatomically male. Cooper’s top surgery procedures differ from similar surgical options at other hospitals by including both breast surgeons and plastic surgeons working together to ensure optimal results.

Top surgery is one of the comprehensive services provided by Cooper’s Center for LGBTQ+ Health. Other gender-affirming surgeries at Cooper include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix), bilateral salpingectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes), and bilateral oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

About the Surgery and Recovery

Although it involves the removal of breast tissue, top surgery differs from a mastectomy because it requires that some of your residual tissue remain for contouring.

During the surgery, a breast surgeon will remove the necessary amount of tissue from your breasts and a plastic surgeon will contour your chest and ensure your nipples are placed appropriately. Those electing the procedure typically stay in the hospital overnight after top surgery and do not tend to experience as much pain as patients having surgery to remove greater amounts of or all of their breast tissue.

Special Considerations Before Choosing Top Surgery

Because top/chest contouring surgery is lifelong commitment, you will likely need to have a psychological evaluation to confirm you are ready for this step in confirming your gender identity.

You may wish to postpone your surgery if you have been on or have started testosterone management to allow time to see whether and how the testosterone changes the muscle mass in your chest. You may also wish to postpone your surgery if you are considering weight loss, as significant weight loss would affect the look and shape of your breasts.

Before your surgery it is important to prepare your family, friends, and support system about your decision so you receive the support you need. The Center for LGBTQ+ Health has an array of resources available to help you navigate any issues or problems related to your decision to have top/chest contouring surgery.

Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover gender-affirming procedures like top/chest contouring surgery and what is required before the surgery is covered. Many insurers who cover the procedure require well-documented, persistent gender dysphoria and a referral from a mental health specialist, as well as other requirements to cover the procedure.

Support After Your Surgery

Cooper’s Center for LGBTQ+ Health will continue to provide a supportive environment to meet your health care needs after your gender-affirming surgery.

Our social workers can help you if you need any home care visits after your surgery.

Make an Appointment With an Expert

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.632.2667) or use our online appointment request form.