HF 8152

Top Surgery (Gender Mastectomy)

Top surgery, or gender mastectomy, is the removal of breast tissue. It will create a masculine-looking chest. There are many types of incisions that may be used. The type depends on a patient’s scar choice, chest size and frame. This procedure is done under general anesthesia. Most patients will go home the same day.

Who is a good candidate?

The UW Health team follows the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care.

  • Patients are 18 years of age and have one letter of readiness by a mental health expert.

  • Patients under 18 may be candidates if the patient, legal guardians and mental health expert agree that delaying surgery would cause patient harm.

Before Surgery

Your doctor will give you instructions. They will include guidelines on eating, drinking, medicines and vitamins to take.

  • Do not use aspirin 14 days before and after surgery.

  • No smoking or tobacco use 4-6 weeks before surgery.

  • You may need a mammogram.

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery. Have them stay with you for a day or two. Some activities may be difficult for you.

After Surgery

Right after, you may have bruising, swelling, temporary soreness and changes in nipple sensation.

You may need to wear a surgical chest binder for several weeks after. This will help with swelling.

If you have free nipple grafting done, you will have special bolster dressings for 5 days. They will be removed in clinic.

You may go home with drains in your chest to remove fluid. They will be removed when drainage decreases in a week or two.

You can resume light activities 1-2 days after surgery. Most patients return to work within 3-4 weeks.


  • Hematoma (bleeding under the skin)

  • Seroma (fluid collection)

  • Scarring

  • Chest unevenness

Who to Call

UW Health Transformations Clinic
2349 Deming Way
Middleton, Wisconsin

(608) 836-9990 or l (866) 447-9990 (toll-free)