Mastectomy is the medical term for removal of the breast. Besides medical indications for the procedure, some people elect to have their breasts removed for other reasons. For trans men, for example, a mastectomy in Zurich can represent a major step on their transition journey—one that requires precise, professional planning with the help of an expert. That’s why, at my clinic, I will take plenty of time going over your surgical options with you in a confidential setting, and working with you to achieve healthy, harmonious results. As a reconstructive and plastic surgeon, I have been helping my patients feel good about their bodies for many years. My previous patients also include a large number of trans men seeking consultation on mastectomy in Zurich.
A mastectomy is the removal of one or both mammary glands. The procedure can be performed on either male or female breasts. There are several different methods / types of breast removal, including simple mastectomies, radical mastectomies, modified radical mastectomies, and subcutaneous mastectomies. The latter involves preserving the nipple and the areola, and is the most common procedure used with trans men.
Breasts are a major factor in a person’s appearance on their journey from female to male (FTM). Binders can help conceal them under clothing to a certain extent, but many people obviously feel they aren’t enough to solve the real problem of feeling uncomfortable in one’s own body. Larger breasts can also be difficult or impossible to hide using binders alone, plus they keep a person from going shirtless. Surgical removal of the breasts, often referred to as „top surgery“, can give the chest a more masculine contour. The procedure also involves shifting and possibly reducing the nipples to create a natural, aesthetic result.
Besides gender confirmation surgery, mastectomies are also performed due to:
Having female breasts is often a source of great distress for those who identify as male. I would be glad to sit down with you for a confidential discussion of what mastectomy surgery can offer. Many of my patients are trans men, so you have nothing to fear in discussing your situation openly with me—it’s very important to me that we find a treatment plan that’s right for you, that will help give you a chest you’ll feel great about. Of course, I’ll also give you a detailed explanation of what your mastectomy in Zurich will involve, including any potential surgery-related risks.
Certain circumstances will need to be in place before we can proceed with your mastectomy. Prior hormone therapy isn’t a prerequisite. The most important thing is to make sure no health issues or other contraindications would make the procedure too risky—I will check for those as part of your personal consultation session. I’ll also need a letter of referral from your psychiatrist or psychologist.
We’ll perform your mastectomy in Zurich either at the Limmatklinik or the Zuger Kantonsspital. The day before your operation, you’ll be admitted to the hospital and examined, and we’ll also discuss the surgery and your anesthesia.
You’ll fast for a period of time before the procedure, so that you’ll have an empty stomach when you’re brought into the operating room. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your mammary glands will be completely removed. There’s no single standard mastectomy method—any of several incision techniques may be right for you, depending on the size of your breasts. We’ll tailor the procedure to your individual anatomy, and explain the exact process to you in detail beforehand. Our surgery guide, „All about your operation,“ has more information on the different incision techniques.
For ideal results, it’s usually necessary to do liposuction in addition to breast removal in order to smooth out the fat deposits near the edges of the breasts. We also pull the skin taut around the chest to give it a more natural, masculine shape. If necessary, we will also adjust the position and size of your nipples as part of your mastectomy in Zurich.
A mastectomy in Zurich generally takes around two and a half to three hours, though that can vary somewhat from patient to patient. The procedure is done under general anesthesia, and usually requires a short stay at the hospital—most patients are able to go home about two days after their mastectomies, though this can also vary depending on the surgical technique and the patient’s physical condition.
Rest and relaxation are very important after mastectomy surgery so that the body can regenerate from the stress of the operation. Over-the-counter medication is usually enough to treat post-surgical pain; the pain therapist at the hospital will give you some recommendations.
Immediately after the procedure, the treated area will be covered by a soft protective bandage. After two to three days, we swap this out for special compression clothing in the form of a bolero or a vest. Compression clothing helps shape the torso and also minimizes post-operative pain and risks; you will need to wear it for four to six weeks following your mastectomy in Zurich.
Avoid heavy lifting or sports for the first few weeks after your mastectomy, and do not lift your arms above shoulder height. The easiest solution is to prepare for surgery by making sure that items you use day-to-day are down within reach.
Bring a letter of referral from your psychiatrist or psychologist with you to our personal consultation session. We’ll send it to your insurance provider as a claim, along with photos we take at our clinic. Swiss health insurance generally covers the cost of the procedure. If liposuction is necessary, you may have to cover that part of the mastectomy yourself—the insurance companies classify liposuction as an aesthetic procedure, so they do not provide coverage. Liposuction costs generally come to around 2,800 CHF.
If you are coming to us from outside Switzerland, whether your mastectomy is covered depends on your individual insurance provider. In most cases, however, you will need to cover the cost of the procedure yourself. I will give you a detailed breakdown of the costs to expect before the operation.
As with other operations, potential risks and complications can never be ruled out entirely with mastectomy procedures. Patients may experience swelling, redness, or bruising in the treated area after surgery, and post-operative pain is common as well. The area may feel numb for a while, or may be more sensitive than usual. These issues are generally temporary, and will subside within a few weeks. Rarely, patients experience impaired wound healing, infections, significant post-surgical bleeding, or circulatory issuess.
If you’re looking for surgical options to give you a natural-looking flat, masculine chest, I would be glad to advise you on your options for mastectomy in Zurich. Over the many years I’ve spent in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery, I have helped many trans men feel more comfortable in and about their bodies, often after suffering for far too long. Please contact me to schedule your discreet, personal consultation at my clinic in Zurich. I look forward to meeting and assisting you!