Bruce Jenner and Facial Feminization Surgery for Transgender Individuals

About Dr. Hootan Zandifar

Dr. Hootan Zandifar is board-certified in Otolaryngology and fellowship-trained in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Zandifar is the director of the Skin Center at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute based at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers.

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Recent news of Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation has brought to light some of the struggles of the transgender population. Generally speaking, transgender individuals live in a body that feels foreign to them. Plastic surgery can assist with the physical transformation from male to female. These surgeries include sexual reassignment as well as facial transformation procedures.

When gender transformation is from male to female the series of facial surgeries performed are called facial feminization surgeries. These include procedures to address the following areas:

  • Prominent forehead and heavy brow/eyes
  • Male nose and flat cheek bones
  • Wide jawline and prominent chin
  • Bulging Adam’s apple

When addressing the forehead it is important to note that the male forehead has a prominent eyebrow ridge. This can be sculpted to become less apparent. Eyebrows can be raised and the eyelids can be reshaped to appear more feminine. The female nose is generally smaller with no noticeable hump. In some individuals there is a slight slope to the tip of the nose. The cheeks are more prominent towards the front of the face and less so towards the sides. The chin is not as protruded in females and the jaw line is less noticeable. Finally, the Adam’s apple is not visible in most females.

All of the changes above can be accomplished through reconstructive surgery. This is a long process with multiple procedures to address different sites and any decision to have these types of procedures should be done in consultation with a qualified facial feminization specialists.