Author Topic: AvaNovum's FFS Experience  (Read 793 times)

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Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« on: February 01, 2019, 08:10:11 pm »
This is my story of Facial Feminisation Therapy from beginning through recovery.



First consult with the FFS surgeon was on July 25, 2018. I had heard that my Health Plan was offering to cover FFS just a month before. Previously, it was something I dreamed of having "Someday" and seeing the doctor was very surreal.
After months of waiting and two false starts (Surgery dates set and then canceled) on December 21, 2018 I was provided with January 25, 2019 as the date for surgery.
There was a ton of preparation and other things that needed to be done beforehand that will be covered in a different thread but Everything got done.
I received an unexpected call from the Hospital Surgery Department the afternoon of January 24, 2019.  I missed the call and my heart sank, I had had other surgeries canceled last minute and I feared the worst. Fortunately it was just a minor change to my requested arrival time from 5:45 AM to 6:30 AM  :icon_joy:   

Day of Surgery

My Dear Friend Donica took me to the hospital and I just watched the cars go by on the freeway. All the folks on the their way to important days, doing what they do as I was on my way to the biggest life changing event in all my years.  The Me that the public sees would finally match the inside after all these decades of struggle.  I was checked-in, labeled, relieved of  my civilian garments, provided with the finest in Fashionable Backless Hospital wear, and escorted to my pre op suite.



Doctor came by after I had my IV inserted and other monitors connected (It's harder to get away with that tiny plastic tube plugged into your arm and all that equipment following you :icon_yes:). Doctor marked me up for for the fine incisions on my eyelids.  Always fun to have sharp objects poked at your eye and have your eyelids pulled up, down, and every which way until they twitch and wiggle so the doctor knows how much to cut.  This is actual science BTW, the details of which he explained while holding my eyelid with pointy suturing forceps and so I withheld shaking my head or expressing my acknowledgement in any way until he was done.
Assisting surgeon also came by, along with Anesthesiology (your best friend today :icon_yes:), along with a host of other folks who were going to help in this marathon physical transformation.



Not Long now! A few minutes after this picture was taken I was provided with a pre op cocktail of happy meds so I would not remember the next eight hours of surgery as my face was reconstructed.

What I Had Done

I want to emphasise offering FFS to MTF Transgender Members is reasonably new for Kaiser So Cal so the guidelines are still evolving.  Each case is considered on merits and all covered services are approved by a committee of Healthcare Professionals.  All of the items followed by (Covered) were covered under my Health Plan.  The item followed by (Not Covered) was 100% paid for out-of-pocket with a small discount for "bundling with other services".

Procedures Done
  • frontal setback with browlift (Covered)
  • hairline advancement (Covered)
  • mandible shave - min to mod aggressive (Covered)
  • trachea shave (Covered)
  • chin reduction - prominent, so aggressive (Covered)
  • upper blepharoplasty (Covered)
  • lower blepharoplasty (Not Covered)
  • rhinoplasty: dorsal hump reduction, tip rotation, cephalic trim, caudal septal trim (Covered)

That's all for now. More on recovery later.  Thank you for reading
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 12:24:51 am by AvaNovum »
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 09:24:42 pm »
@AvaNovum
Thank you so very much for sharing your nicely detailed account of your your FFS...
...and your pictures tell your story better than words.

Since you are a new member here and have just 3 postings so far I will be eagerly looking forward to seeing more of your postings around the various threads on the Forums.
Please continue to post as you feel comfortable doing.

Thank you again for sharing and posting.
Hugs and well wishes,
Danielle

Offline Donica

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 07:14:41 am »
And she cooks too! Just look at this yummie banana bread.

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Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2017, Full time July 9, 2018.
Started FHR August 9, 2018, Started VFT September 19, 2018, Name and Gender change October 19. 2018.

Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Recovery Day One to Five
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 01:03:16 pm »
First few days post-op were tough.

Right out of Surgery.



Friends who have had similar procedures had said the first three days were the toughest and I have to agree. 
Right out of surgery was not bad. I was offered morphine but stuck with a less potent medication for pain management.  I have had morphine before and doesn't work very well on me anyway. 
On my first evening it was very difficult to find a comfortable position and sleep was restless.

Day Two.

Pain had settled to a tolerable level at this point.  In retrospect being more aggressive in managing pain would have made this day much better.
I was able to eat, Yay! On the menu Clear Broth, Jello, Italian Ice, Juice, and Tea.

Day Three.

Finally starting to feel "Normal".  This was the first day I spend more time awake then asleep.  Also felt good enough to finally put earrings back in! Just another sign of feeling better.

Day Five.

Off pain medication and out in the living room on a regular basis. 



Regretting not fully vetting the sleeping arrangement at home.  Three restless nights in a row because I could not get comfortable sleeping with my head elevated :icon_blah:.  Had My Friend Donica purchase some different pillows but no improvement, so very discouraging.
Next installment will be posted soon.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 04:36:47 pm by AvaNovum »
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Recovery Day Six to Ten
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 09:59:38 am »
Day Six and seven were uneventful with stamina slowly improving each day. Donica and I just chilled watching movies and swapping stories :icon_cool:.

Day Eight.

Big Day! First time out of the house since surgery to get bandages and most of the sutures removed :icon_dance:



Image above is right after bandages and dressings were cut off. Felt so much better after that compression bandage was removed :eusa_dance:.
The little squares of white tape on my forehead and next to my eyes are each holding one end of a suture for my eyelids.



Right after sutures were removed. Surgeon used a Running Baseball pattern on the upper and lower eyelids which felt interesting :icon_weee: as each was pulled out.
I still have a row of surgical staples in my scalp running from just above each ear to about 4cm of the scalp centerline.  Those will come out next Friday.  Still have sutures in my mouth and nose that will dissolve over time.  Tape on my neck is where the Trachea Shave incision was made.



Saturday Evening.....At Home :icon_wink:.  I get to keep the very fashionable nose armor until my next follow-up.
Feeling so much better after being able to wash my hair. Took forever but felt so good!
Helpful Tip: Get a Good Detangler Comb, use a ton of leave in detangler/conditioner, go real slow, and stop when you feel any resistance in the comb. 
Most annoying thing now are the sutures in my mouth, can't wait until they dissolve fully.
More later :icon_wave:
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Offline Donica

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 11:40:51 am »
Day Six and seven were uneventful with stamina slowly improving each day. Donica and I just chilled watching movies and swapping stories :icon_cool:.

Day Eight.

Big Day! First time out of the house since surgery to get bandages and most of the sutures removed :icon_dance:



Image above is right after bandages and dressings were cut off. Felt so much better after that compression bandage was removed :eusa_dance:.
The little squares of white tape on my forehead and next to my eyes are each holding one end of a suture for my eyelids.



Right after sutures were removed. Surgeon used a Running Baseball pattern on the upper and lower eyelids which felt interesting :icon_weee: as each was pulled out.
I still have a row of surgical staples in my scalp running from just above each ear to about 4cm of the scalp centerline.  Those will come out next Friday.  Still have sutures in my mouth and nose that will dissolve over time.  Tape on my neck is where the Trachea Shave incision was made.



Saturday Evening.....At Home :icon_wink:.  I get to keep the very fashionable nose armor until my next follow-up.
Feeling so much better after being able to wash my hair. Took forever but felt so good!
Helpful Tip: Get a Good Detangler Comb, use a ton of leave in detangler/conditioner, go real slow, and stop when you feel any resistance in the comb. 
Most annoying thing now are the sutures in my mouth, can't wait until they dissolve fully.
More later :icon_wave:
I think the fashionable nose armor is going to be the next fashion statement

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2017, Full time July 9, 2018.
Started FHR August 9, 2018, Started VFT September 19, 2018, Name and Gender change October 19. 2018.

Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Before and After
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2019, 10:09:01 pm »
Now that I am just over two weeks post-op I want to give folks some idea of what FFS can accomplish. 

Before Frontal View.After Frontal View.
Before Side View.After Side View.


Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Online Jessica

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2019, 10:13:47 pm »
Wow Ava, that’s a pretty striking change!
Congratulations!

Hugs and smiles, Jessica
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Offline reborn

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 01:39:38 pm »
Amazing results. Congratulations

Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Week 3 Recovery Update
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 01:52:36 pm »
Hard to believe it's been three weeks (23 days) since FFS. 
Doing amazingly better and actually went into work on Friday. 

Today one of the dissolving sutures in my mouth came out.



These have been the most intrusive closures for all the incisions made.  Smiling, laughing, and eating all caused them to pull if I was not very careful :icon_blah:.
Hopefully the remaining sutures follow close behind this one :icon_biggrin:.
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Offline Nina_NYC

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Before and After
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 03:00:25 pm »
Now that I am just over two weeks post-op I want to give folks some idea of what FFS can accomplish. 

Before Frontal View.After Frontal View.
Before Side View.After Side View.

You look great!

Your bruising and swelling are mostly gone. Amazing recovery after such an invasive surgery! What do you attribute to not having a lot of bruising or swelling?  It's minimal in your photos.

I am planning for FFS in December and want to take 3 weeks of work between the holidays specifically to heal and have most of the bruising and swelling gone by the time i get back to work.

Offline AvaNovum

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Before and After
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 06:52:33 pm »
You look great!

Your bruising and swelling are mostly gone. Amazing recovery after such an invasive surgery! What do you attribute to not having a lot of bruising or swelling?  It's minimal in your photos.

I am planning for FFS in December and want to take 3 weeks of work between the holidays specifically to heal and have most of the bruising and swelling gone by the time i get back to work.

 :icon_chick: Thanks Nina_NYC. All the pictures I have posted are raw images with no filters applied. :icon_woowoo:
I think most of it has to do with the surgeon.  Other Girls I know who had FFS from the same surgeon had similar outcomes.  That said, I had a ice pack on my face in recovery and kept that up for the first few days based on surgeons instructions (Max 20 minutes on and minimum 20 minutes off).  First three days were very difficult (lots of serious pain meds and bed rest) but things were OK from that point forward.  Also, I am on activity restrictions for another three weeks (no lifting or mildly stressful activity).  Hope that helps a bit  :icon_yes: 
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

Offline Nina_NYC

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Before and After
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 07:18:25 pm »
:icon_chick: Thanks Nina_NYC. All the pictures I have posted are raw images with no filters applied. :icon_woowoo:
I think most of it has to do with the surgeon.  Other Girls I know who had FFS from the same surgeon had similar outcomes.  That said, I had a ice pack on my face in recovery and kept that up for the first few days based on surgeons instructions (Max 20 minutes on and minimum 20 minutes off).  First three days were very difficult (lots of serious pain meds and bed rest) but things were OK from that point forward.  Also, I am on activity restrictions for another three weeks (no lifting or mildly stressful activity).  Hope that helps a bit  :icon_yes:

Thank you for the info. I had a negative experience with IPL laser on my face and it was due i think to a mistake on my part. I had been taking a supplement which had fish oil. The bruising on my face lasted 6 weeks (I was told the average down-time would be 6 days...). So i learned my lesson and am always wondering about any remedies (and what to avoid) when dealing with bruising.

I also heard that Arnica supplements may help minimize the swelling/bruising.

Whatever you did (icing) seems to have worked. You look great!


Offline AvaNovum

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AvaNovum's FFS Experience - Two Month Recovery Update
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2019, 07:11:45 pm »
It has now been a little over two months since my FFS on January 25, 2019.  Feeling amazingly better.  :icon_yes:
Top of my head is still numb, but having more frequent "shocks" as the nerves are slowly healing and reconnecting.  Same situation with my chin which has progressed to that weird tingly buzzy feeling. 
Nose was swollen more than I had originally thought. Now it is slimming down and very happy that it is looking more feminine day by day.
Not 100% sure about the lower eyelid area I am guessing it will just take a bit longer for that area to settle down.
Overall very happy with the results and my cis girlfriends at work keep telling me how amazing I look which has really helped me feel better about all the discomfort of surgery.   


This was me today in between conference calls for work while multi-tasking doing some hair self care  :icon_chick:   

Also went ahead and had an Bilateral Orchiectomy in early March.  More on that another time.  :icon_yes:
Always knew I was different.  Started HRT December 2017.  Full time October 2018. Legal Name & Gender Change November 2018.  FFS January 2019. Orchiectomy March 2019

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 02:52:13 am »
Who was your surgeon?

Offline Donica

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Re: AvaNovum's FFS Experience
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 06:21:08 pm »
It has now been a little over two months since my FFS on January 25, 2019.  Feeling amazingly better.  :icon_yes:
Top of my head is still numb, but having more frequent "shocks" as the nerves are slowly healing and reconnecting.  Same situation with my chin which has progressed to that weird tingly buzzy feeling. 
Nose was swollen more than I had originally thought. Now it is slimming down and very happy that it is looking more feminine day by day.
Not 100% sure about the lower eyelid area I am guessing it will just take a bit longer for that area to settle down.
Overall very happy with the results and my cis girlfriends at work keep telling me how amazing I look which has really helped me feel better about all the discomfort of surgery.   


This was me today in between conference calls for work while multi-tasking doing some hair self care  :icon_chick:   

Also went ahead and had an Bilateral Orchiectomy in early March.  More on that another time.  :icon_yes:
Looking very beautiful my dear Ava!

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Rebirth June 9, 2017. Started HRT August 22, 2017. Came out June 16, 2017, Full time July 9, 2018.
Started FHR August 9, 2018, Started VFT September 19, 2018, Name and Gender change October 19. 2018.