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Charles A. Messa, III, MD, FACS

The Difference Between MTF Breast Augmentation and Traditional Breast Surgery

Posted July 19, 2016 in MTF Breast Augmentation, Sexual Reassignment, Transgender Surgery

Transitioning women often feel that their external appearance doesn’t match or highlight how they feel on the inside. On their journey to discovering their true selves, many transitioning women choose to undergo plastic surgery to feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies. For most of these women, breasts play a large role in how they view their bodies. Undergoing breast augmentation surgery is the safest, most precise way transitioning women can achieve the breasts they desire. However, a male-to-female (MTF) breast augmentation differs from a traditional breast augmentation. Here is what you can expect from your MTF breast augmentation procedure.

Preparing for Your Breast Augmentation

The preparation process for your MTF breast augmentation may be more arduous than a traditional breast augmentation. Candidates for a transitional breast augmentation are required to complete at least three months of counseling and receive a letter of recommendation from a mental health professional before they can begin the transitioning process.

Many transitioning women choose to take female hormones to help feminize their appearance. For some, these hormones will result in the development of some minor breast tissue that is beneficial to the breast augmentation process. However, if you do not have enough tissue before your surgery, then a tissue expander will be placed. A tissue expander is an empty implant-like object that is inserted where your implants will eventually go. Over a period of weeks, the expander is filled, slowly stretching the chest tissue to provide enough excess skin to hold an implant.

Choosing the Right Implant for You  

There is a wide variety of implant options available for your breast augmentation. Picking the right combination will help you achieve the breast look and feel you desire.


  • Saline implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution. These implants tend to be rounder in shape, are more fluid, but have a higher risk for visible rippling.
  • Silicone implants are composed of a highly cohesive silicone gel encased in a shell. These implants are more form-stable, have a smooth outer surface, and tend to provide a more natural breast appearance.


Size will play an important role in developing the overall look of your breasts. It is important to choose a breast size that is balanced to your physique and provides you with your desired size. Choosing an implant that is too large can affect the balance of your appearance, but choosing too small implants may not provide you with the physique you desire. Your surgeon will help you decide on the proper size for your needs.  


  • Over the Muscle – This implant placement location positions the implants over the pectoralis muscle. The chest tissue will help support the implants.
  • Under the Muscle – This implant placement location positions the implants partially or completely under the pectoralis muscle, which creates a more subtle slope of the upper breast pole. This location provides more support for the implants.

Choosing Your Surgeon

Like any plastic surgery procedure, it is important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel confident and comfortable. This is especially true for MTF breast augmentation. The transitioning journey can be emotional, and having a supportive, knowledgeable surgeon can help ease your fears during the process. Dr. Messa is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing MTF breast augmentation, and he is dedicated to providing all of his patients with the care, respect, and dignity they deserve.

If you are in the process of transitioning and are looking to gain a full, defined breast appearance, schedule your consultation with Dr. Charles Messa, III today. Contact our office at 954.659.7760 or 877.250.8117, or fill out our online contact form for additional information.

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2823 Executive Park Dr, Weston, FL 33331