Looking in the mirror – my road to facial feminization surgery

Facial Feminization Surgery - The Woman in the Mirror

I had equivocated for months now. I knew how harsh a trial it would be, but still. I knew that my reflection was passably beautiful, but still. I heard others express shock at my decision, lending support to what I saw, but still.

When I looked in the mirror I saw every line that was out of place. The hints of my past tugged at my mind, reminding me that no matter how far I walked I would always look back and see where I started.

During yoga class my imperfections screamed loudest. As I stretched into half moon the moving meditation became a pitched battle to silence my demons.

En Femme Style

I guess I should’ve known. My inner self-critic is well practiced. In a world where a woman’s body is expected to look like an airbrushed cover of a magazine, my faults were glaring beacons.

As days piled onto weeks my resolve became firm, “I would get facial feminization surgery“. I knew from the little research I had done so far that FFS generally required a bevy of procedures to achieve the desired look. It wasn’t sufficient to change a nose or a forehead – because a single change could leave one off balance and out of kilter.

I knew the next step would be to find a surgeon and start saving. Facial feminization surgery is not cheap, but paying top dollar for the best surgeon was a must for me. More than anything else, your face is the world’s window into your soul. It’s what people see every day. Without really thinking about it, it is you – what you taste, and see, and smell and hear. The very life giving breathe all depends on those tiny apparatus on your face. No, skimping on facial surgery was not in the cards for me.

And with that, my story begins. Over the next few weeks and months I will continue to share my journey through transgender surgery after transgender surgery.

I look forward to sharing this part of my transgender walk with you.

Love and blessings,
Vanessa

En Femme Style

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43 Comments
  1. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Linda Brennan 2 years ago

    I have yet to get anything…. from my research
    ” the pass clinic” in I think Belgium ( not sure) looks to me to have the best results.. especial chin and jaw work.

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    Sara Rodgers 3 years ago

    I am doing facial surgery in Bangkok in the fall. I will live there for possibly 4 months. I am having my eyebrows raised, nose and cheek thinned, trachea surgery….I cannot wait. The cost is reasonable and the hospitals there have complete departments for transgender surgeries.

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
      Vanessa Law 3 years ago

      Best of luck dear!
      One of my friends did her SRS back in Bangkok many years back, and loved the experience of Thailand

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
        Sara Rodgers 3 years ago

        Thank you. I am going to stay for a few months. I really like the hospitals. I have consulted via zoom.

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
        Sara Rodgers 3 years ago

        How did her surgery go? Is she happy with it?

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Aria Prior 2 years ago

      Hi Sara, I never thought about Thailand, I’m definitely going to research this avenue. OMG how exciting. Thank you Sara.
      Aria ❤️❤️

  3. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Jessica Ray 3 years ago

    Yes! I would consider it but until I’m on the hormones for a year or more my GP has told me to wait. If this is you in the picture your looking good.

    Have you had surgery in the USA or another country I’m in the U.K. We have facial experts in Spain which I have already contacted initially.

    Lots of Love! Jessica Scarlett.

  4. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Luna Grayson 3 years ago

    Thank you for this story it real helped me decide that facial feminization surgery is something I definitely want to do. But it also leaves questions as well for what I have not even started HRT yet so I don’t know where to start as far as surgery Etc but your story has helped me and I appreciate it much love. Lenny Grayson

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Anne Preuss 3 years ago

      Luna, I’ve never been to the annual Keystone Conference in Harrisburg Pennsylvania but I’ve heard and read that it is filled with much information about transitioning, surgeries and so forth. It’s one of the bigger CD/TG conferences. Here is a link to the webpage. If clicking on it doesn’t work then just copy/paste to the url window.
      https://www.keystone-conference.org/index.cfm
      I looked at the schedule and it looks like so much great info is available. The website also has links to other conferences. Good Luck.

  5. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Stephanie Horne 3 years ago

    Hi,
    I am having my procedures done at NYU Langone and they are amazing. What is so great is that they take my insurance for almost everything. It is such a dream in comparison to worrying how I am going to pay for it all. Plus my surgeons are three of the best in the world based on all of the referrals I have gotten and I have seen a lot of people including in Asia and Europe. I would love to discuss outcomes and recovery times with people who have gone through both top, middle and bottom surgeries. Thanks,
    Steph

  6. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Dasia Anderl 4 years ago

    By any chance did you find a facial modeling program that could give you the ability to create your new face? I’d like something I could show FFS surgeons in consultations so that I don’t go into FFS without a clear goal of the end result.

  7. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Amelia 4 years ago

    I want to go all the way on this journey. I just wish I had begun 30 or more years ago.

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Dasia Anderl 4 years ago

      I feel the same way, Amelia! Hugs…

      The world was quieter back then(without internet). Its transition secrets were hard to crack.

  8. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Martina Mooney 4 years ago

    Thank you for this post, on 2/8 I go in for eyelid and eyebrow surgery, lip lift and fat grafts, cheek fat grafts and bbl.
    It’s such a scary time but I am determined to move forward in my journey

  9. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Michille Lynn 4 years ago

    I’ve just starting .y journey, I’ve read many of the stories you all have written,And I find them helpful.
    I look forward to being able to tell all of you about my journey. When my wife and daughter found out I’m transgender they did not take it well. It’s ended up with us getting divorced and my daughter hating me that part hurt. My son has special needs and doesn’t understand,I’ve not been aloud to see him since September when I was forced to leave my famliy

  10. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Jackie Smith 4 years ago

    Hi Vanessa,

    I just left this on Tessa’s wall, but I thought I would ask you as well. I am 61, and am in the throws of all of it; name change and pierced ears were the first two things that I did. For medical reasons I had to wait to begin HRT, but have just celebrated my 6 month anniversary. Today, things got a little more real for me, as I scheduled my FFS consultation. Personally, my dysforia is with my face and of course my beard is the main culprit. My gender therapist asked me an interesting question,…”if I get FFS, would that make my dysforia even worse, if I didn’t get laser or electrolysis prior to the FFS?” I had to answer that, “yes, it probably would.” I would be interested in your thoughts, and if you experienced anything similar. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Love, Jackie

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Dasia Anderl 4 years ago

      These decisions have infinite perspectives. If your goal is to feminize your face then I would agree with you that you need to clear your facial hair before FFS. The process could take 2-3 years with laser, a little to a lot less with electrolysis. I’ve had electrolysis experts explain to me that laser isn’t permanent and hairs could regrow within 5 years. Laser is what I could afford so my choice was made. Did you choose your best path forward yet?

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Stephanie Horne 3 years ago

      Hi Jackie,
      I am new here. I saw your note. I have been through over 80 hours of high volume electrolysis. This was under twilight anesthesia and lots of lidocaine. Up to two technicians for 15 hours at a shot. It wasn’t easy but the effects are amazing. I am still going for bi weekly touch ups which are almost done. I have seen my surgeons for both my top and bottom surgeries. And have gone through a full round of pre sessions. I am still in the process of transitioning to full time because of work and that I have a Global Executive position that I may have to retire from and I would need some more funding to be able to support my spouse and my alimony which kills me. But if you want more information on high volume electrolysis please let me know.
      Higgs,
      Steph

      • Frankie Murtap 3 years ago

        Hey Stephanie,
        I’ve had laser treatments, but as you more than likely know laser doesn’t get rid of the light hair.Sooo, tell me about electrolysis please. Frankie

  11. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    EJ Fador 4 years ago

    Thank you so much Vanessa for getting back to me.
    Sorry to ask more questions but that was one places I was looking at.
    If I am getting to personal, just say so and I’ll understand.
    What procedures did you have done and approximate cost if possible.
    I am in the process of seeking FFS in the near future.
    If you wish to email me you can do so at
    [email protected]
    Thank you.
    Elaine

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
      Vanessa Law 4 years ago

      To be honest dear I can’t remember the cost it’s been so long.
      I went with what the doctor recommended for FFS (there were a few different things there, but he recommends different for everyone).
      I also did the torso sculping (highly recommend, but probably not at the same time as FFS because it’s hard to do both from a recovery perspective).

      I’d recommend sharing questions on the forums too, so more ladies can see them. I know many are considering FFS as well.

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      EJ Fador 4 years ago

      Thank you again Vanessa:
      I appreciate the advise very much.
      sincerely
      EJ (Elaine)

  12. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    EJ Fador 4 years ago

    Is it possible to give the name and location of the surgeon that did you FFS
    Thank you.
    Elaine.

  13. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Terri Anne 4 years ago

    A brave jourmey for you Vanessa. So glad you can share with us.
    Looking forward to your sucesses.
    – Terri Anne

  14. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Danica Blackstone 4 years ago

    I hope to be able to do that someday… even tho the thought of surgery terrifies me… not to mention the cost… I fear I’ll never be able to afford to transition and always be stuck the way I am… honestly I would be content with just hormones… I admit that may change… for now I’m happy with being my true self on Facebook and the surprising amount of acceptance I’ve gotten from friends who knew me before I came out 🙂

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
      Vanessa Law 4 years ago

      <3 so glad you've found acceptance among your friends dear. That truly is the most precious part of the journey!

      • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
        Danica Blackstone 4 years ago

        I was actually surprised by some of my friends who I thought would unfriend me over coming out… most just accept it… which is better than what my dad’s family did

        • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
          Vanessa Law 4 years ago

          Yes, each acceptance was a pleasant surprise, and a true blessing!

  15. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    david waterland 4 years ago

    hi all im new here started my journey 6 months ago its a lonely path but i carry on hrt beginning to work thank god

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
      Miss Cloé 4 years ago

      David (Daphne), that’s about the point where I really started noticing significant change too; just last month actually. Looks like we’re at about the same stage in our physical journeys. Hope we can compare notes as we progress.

  16. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Scarlett Slater 4 years ago

    I have my first consultation with Dr Raul Jimenez Bellinger of Facial Team in November so I’m also following this thread with great interest.

    Hugs
    Scarlett xx

  17. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />

    Thank you for your story Vanessa. I too look for a plastic surgeon to adjust some of my features. I wish to remove the bags under my eyes, repair my oft broken nose and try to remove some of lifes battle scars…but not all: they are hard earned and are a part of who I am and where I have been. A part of my soul and bodies struggle and search for enlightenment. I wish you all the best with your changes and hope all goes well. I look forward to meeting the new you.
    Love…….

    Dame Veronica

  18. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Tara 4 years ago

    Thank you for being so open and sharing this, Vanessa! I’m definitely looking at having to have FFS but I’m a long way from it. Unfortunately, my profession and fear of losing my career is making this entire process a lot longer than I want it to be. But I’m definitely looking forward to hearing and learning more. <3

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
      Vanessa Law 4 years ago

      You’re welcome dear, happy to share everything I can if it’s helpful. I hope you find a place where you can live an authentic life and still enjoy a prosperous career!

  19. ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' />
    Erica Cartman 4 years ago

    I too am considering the same procedure, along with others, so of course I want to hear every detail you can offer. Thanks for sharing this intimate, personal part of your life, in order to help others such as myself…Good luck and may everything go smooth and successful to your expectations….Erica

    • ' class='avatar avatar-100 photo' height='100' width='100' /> Author
      Vanessa Law 4 years ago

      It’s a pleasure dear, good luck in your investigation! Talk to many folks and make as considered a decision as you can!

  20. Anonymous 11 years ago

    i look forward to hear about your trials and tribulations and wish you the best success

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