Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

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The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Top surgery is often an important step for transgender men. This surgery will alter your chest shape, size, and overall appearance, transforming your body into what you believe it should be. Though this surgery is particularly common, no two patients experience the same results. Read on for four tips to help you prepare for a successful top surgery.

Choose a Qualified Surgeon

The first step in preparing for top surgery is to find a qualified surgeon. As you research the best surgeon for transgender surgery, make sure to find someone that is highly qualified. It’s best to find a surgeon that specializes in top surgery for transgender men. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in the operating room and will be able to trust in their bedside manner.

Get Healthy

Before top surgery, it’s important to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Focusing on eating better and exercising more will help to prepare your body for the healing process that follows top surgery. Doctors recommend sticking to a low sodium diet as this will reduce swelling during recovery, Likewise, it’s important to avoid medications like anti-inflammatory pills, certain herbal supplements, and blood thinners that can increase one’s risk of bruising and bleeding.

Set Up a Recovery Area

Prior to surgery, it’s important to prep the area in your home where you plan to recover. This includes areas around the couch and the bed. Focus on preparing your bed to make sure you can get in and out of it without having to use your arms after top surgery. Installing a bed rail prior to surgery can help you get out of bed as you heal. Other items to include in your recovery area are back scratchers, drinking straws, cleansing wipes, and a cushioned lap desk.

Learn How to Reduce Scarring

Scarring affects everybody differently. Though scarring is unavoidable after surgery, you can work with your surgeon to reduce the extent of scarring. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about their specific recommendations about scarring.
Many surgeons tell their patients to perform scar massages and use silicone sheeting to help reduce scarring. If you experience red or raised scars, steroid injections or laser treatment may be recommended.
Top surgery is an extensive and complex process. Preparing ahead of time will help to make the healing process as smooth as possible.

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