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Recovering from MTF Surgery

After undergoing male-to-female top surgery, you will need some time to rest and recover. Dr. Delgado has put together the following information to help trans women understand what their recovery will be like after MTF top surgery.


MTF top surgery is performed using general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. You will spend the first few hours after surgery in a recovery suite so Dr. Delgado can monitor you. You will likely feel disoriented and/or groggy until the effects of the anesthesia have completely worn off. Once Dr. Delgado has cleared you for release, a friend or family member can drive you home. Be sure to arrange for transportation home after your surgery, as you will not be able to drive yourself.



During the first 48 hours, you should plan to remain at home and spend most of your time resting. Your body will be sore from surgery and your chest will likely be quite swollen and discolored. You should avoid lifting anything and try to keep upper body movements to a minimum. It’s important that you allow your body to recover adequately from the demands of surgery before attempting any physical activities.


After the first 2 – 3 days, you should begin moving around your house and may even feel up for a walk. Moving about will help reduce the risk of blood clots and minimize swelling. You won’t be able to take a shower until your drains are removed. Stitches are removed during your follow up appointment, but it’s ok to sponge clean yourself as long as you don’t get your wounds wet. Be sure to take all your medications and change bandages exactly as directed.


Most of our patients report that they are feeling much better within 3 weeks of their surgery. Even if you are feeling better, your body will still be healing, so it’s a good idea to not take on extra commitments and rest as much as possible.



Most of our San Francisco patients take 1 -2 weeks off from work following MTF top surgery. This gives them an adequate amount of time to recover from the comfort of their home before. If you have a physically strenuous job, you may need to take more than 2 weeks off.


MTF breast augmentation is a major procedure. As such, it’s important that you give your body an adequate amount of time to heal before resuming certain physical activities. The following are Dr. Delgado’s general guidelines for resuming normal activities:

  • Walking around the house or neighborhood at a slow pace – 48 hours
  • Light housework – 1 week
  • Light physical exercise – 3 weeks
  • Vigorous physical exercise – 6 weeks


Around 6 weeks, you will feel more comfortable with physical activities, such as lifting your arms over your heard. While it’s important that you slowly resume physical exercise, you should not push yourself beyond your limits until you have fully recovered. You can expect most of the swelling and bruising to be gone within 2 months of your top surgery. Your scars, however, are likely to be visible for much longer. Most of our patients notice that scars are much flatter and less noticeable within 12 month of their surgery.


One of Dr. Deglado’s primary goals is to ensure that you have a safe and quick recovery from top surgery. We are always happy to answer any questions that you may have during your recovery. If you experience any of the following complications, please contact us immediately:

  • Signs of infection (e.g. fever, puss leaking from wounds)
  • Pain that is not responding to your pain medications
  • Excessive bleeding

You will return to our San Francisco or Novato office for your first follow up appointment within 3 or 4 days of your surgery. You’ll continue to attend follow up appointments until Dr. Delgado determines that you have fully recovered and achieved an optimal result.

We’re here to help you prepare for top surgery It’s perfectly normal to have questions or feel anxious before any surgery. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or doubts before your top surgery. Our experienced team is here to help and provide reassurance as needed Virtual Consultations. Click to Learn More
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