Masculinizing Top Surgery: A Systematic Review of Techniques and Outcomes

Ann Plast Surg. 2018 Jun;80(6):679-683. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001354.


Background: Chest wall masculinization by means of mastectomy is an important gender affirming surgery for transmasculine and non-binary patients. Limited data exist comparing commonly used techniques in masculinizing top surgery, and most are single institution studies.

Methods: A systematic review was performed on primary literature dedicated specifically to the technical aspects and outcomes of mastectomy for masculinizing top surgery. For each study, patient demographics and surgical outcomes were compared.

Results: Eight studies met inclusion criteria. There were 2138 breasts with an average patient age of 28.6 years and the average breast weight was 353 g. The most commonly reported techniques are those without skin resection (8.0%), those with periareolar skin resection (34.1%), inferior pedicle mammoplasty (15.7%), and inframammary fold skin excision with free nipple grafting (FNG, 42.2%). In total, 6.0% of all breasts required acute reoperation for hematoma and 26.5% required secondary operations. Acute reoperation occurred significantly less often in the FNG cohort (4.8%) compared with both the inferior pedicle mammaplasty cohort (8.9%, P < 0.05) and techniques without skin resection cohort (10.3%, P < 0.05). Secondary operations occurred significantly more often in the periareolar skin resection cohort (37.5%) than techniques without skin resection cohort (19.0%, P < 0.01), inferior pedicle mammaplasty cohort (27.9%, P < 0.01), and FNG cohort (20.3%, P < 0.05). In addition, secondary operations occurred significantly more often in inferior pedicle mammaplasty cohort (27.9%) compared with FNG cohort (20.3%, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: This analysis notes several significant differences with regard to percentage requiring acute reoperation and percentage requiring secondary revision based on technique. Candidates for masculinizing top surgery should be educated on these differences.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Mastectomy / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Reoperation
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery / methods*
  • Thoracic Wall / surgery*