FTM Top Surgery in Chicago & Vernon Hills

Be Confident in You…At Last


Introduction to FTM Top Surgery

FTM Top Surgery

Top Surgery is a gender affirming surgery for transgender men and non-binary individuals that creates a masculine chest. Also known as FTM Top Surgery, the procedure involves breast removal (mastectomy), decreasing the size of the nipple/areola, and male chest contouring. It’s also called masculinizing chest surgery. At the RL Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa, we help you understand the requirements, risks, and the different types of surgeries available to find out which one is best for your body.

Am I a candidate?

Treatment Type

Cosmetic Surgery

Treatment Time

2 to 3 hours


General Anesthesia

Back to Work

1 to 2 weeks, with restrictions such as lifting, extending your arms, and repetitive motions that can lengthen the healing time

Total Recovery Time

Up to 6 weeks depending on healing time

Duration of Results

Long lasting

# of Treatments


Treatment overview

FTM (female-to-male) Top Surgery is a term frequently applied to the surgical procedure of altering a genetic female’s chest to create a masculine appearance. This procedure is often one of the first gender affirming surgeries patients pursue. Dr. Leonard Lu performs chest recontouring to remove breast tissue, decrease the size of the nipple/areola, and liposuction the chest to reshape and give a masculine appearance to the patient’s chest.


Used to Treat

There are a number of reasons you might want to come in for a consultation on FTM Top Surgery. These include:

Have persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria

Be able to make a fully informed decision and consent to treatment

Have reached legal age of 18 to make health care decisions

Be managing any significant medical or mental health concerns


Benefits of an FTM Top Surgery

There is a well-established body of peer-reviewed medical research that demonstrates the effectiveness and medical necessity of Top Surgery as a form of treatment for many people diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Below are benefits of TOP surgery that Dr. Lu has noticed:

  • Top Surgery decreases body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria in social interactions.
  • Top Surgery is a visible change toward defining your true self
  • Sense of relief when your sex characteristics match your identity

How it Works

The Consultation

At RL Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa, each initial patient consultation is different. Depending on your needs, desired treatments, areas of concern, and simply who you are as a patient, we will schedule you with an actual treatment provider to discuss your goals, budget, and more. During this appointment, we will go through before & after photos, your medical history, and any questions you might have. Only then can we make a recommendation for which procedures or treatments may be right for you and why. We will be sure to educate you on how the treatments work, including what to expect during and afterward.

We charge $100 for surgical consultations that last about 40 minutes. At the end of your consultation, you will leave our office in Vernon Hills with a thorough, personalized treatment plan. And when you’re ready, we’ll schedule your surgery for a day and time that works for your schedule.

The Procedure

In Top Surgery, there are special techniques used to contour the chest, resize and position the nipples and areola, and minimize scarring. These techniques vary according to where the incisions are made, whether the nipple and areola are reduced and/or re-positioned and how much sensation is preserved. Two of the most common are double-incision surgery and peri-areolar, both of which we offer our patients.

Double-incision Top Surgery with nipple grafts
The double incision Top Surgery procedure is the most widely-used technique and is ideal for those who are medium to large chested. During this procedure, the skin on the chest is opened along two horizontal incisions, at the top and bottom of the pectoralis major muscle (the muscle itself is not touched.) The skin is pulled back and the breast tissue is then removed. The nipple and areola are removed, re-sized and grafted on the
chest in the appropriate position.

Peri-areolar Top Surgery
This involves making a circular or semi-circular incision around the border of your areola. This incision allows for the breast tissue to be removed directly or in conjuction with liposuction. Resizing and reinsetting of the areola is performed at the same time. While peri-areolar surgery involves less scarring, it can only be used if the patient requires minimal excess skin removal.

The Recovery

Immediately following the procedure, your incisions will be covered with bandages and special garments to deter excess swelling and for optimal healing.  The garment will be placed on your body in the operating room after surgery. It is very important to wear the vest at all times to prevent post-operative bleeding and fluid collections. You’ll need to sleep on your back while recovering from Top Surgery. This can be difficult for those who are side- or stomach-sleepers and some people find it easier to sleep in a recliner rather than in a bed.  Recovery time for top surgery varies from person to person. For approximately three to four weeks after the surgery, you should not lift your arms greater than 90 degrees away from your body or over your head. You should also not push, pull, or lift anything greater than 5-10 pounds during these 3-4 weeks. This ensures your scar will heal well and not stretch and become larger.

You should wait 6-8 weeks before going back to the gym. Heavy chest workouts should be avoided for even longer, up to 3 months.

RL Center for Cosmetic Surgery during facelift surgery

Before & After

Results of an FTM Top Surgery

Dedicated to your care

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about FTM Top Surgery

FTM Top Surgery near you

Book Your FTM Top Surgery Consultation

An improved silhouette is just one click or phone call away. Contact us online or by phone at (847) 367-8815 to book your consultation to learn more about arm lifts and the personalized surgery process at RL Center for Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa.

Book Now


Happy patients


Dr Lu and his staff are wonderful! I’ve gone through two surgeries and have not been disappointed. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next surgery, but I know I’m in good hands and will be well taken care of. There isn’t any other team I would place my trust in.

Katie is a gem and the best addition to that team. I have so many questions and she is always there ready to deal with my anxiety with a calm voice of reason and a smile. I feel like she has truly listened to me and genuinely cares about me.

-Nicole Hatfield

Dr. Lu and his staff were professional, efficient and very friendly throughout the entire process. They addressed any concern I had and answered all my questions. I never felt rushed with any appointment and they made me feel like I was a priority.

On the day of the surgery, any nerves I had were reassured by the professionalism and experience Dr. Lu and his staff demonstrated. It was great getting a text from Dr. Lu the next day to see how I was doing, and knowing I could text him any time with concerns or questions.

I would highly recommend Dr. Lu for any cosmetic surgery, he’s the best in the area. I had gone to a plastic surgeon a couple years ago in Schaumburg and I had a totally different experience. The staff there seemed ‘bothered’ with questions I asked and the doctor made some troubling comments when I had expressed some concerns about my results. So when I met Dr. Lu, I knew I was making the right choice to have him do my surgery.

-Dru Hay

Dr Lu and his associates are wonderful and always explain everything in detail. They took time to answer all my questions and my surgery results look better than I anticipated.
-Nina Whittaker

Very friendly team, they are all very professional, it is a very clean facility. Dr.Leonard Lu does wonderful work. I am very happy with my results.

-Cynthia Brechel

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