Facial Feminization Surgery

ART Surgical and Dr. Angela Rodriguez provide trans women in San Francisco and across the country with gender-affirming care. Dr. Rodriguez talks to each patient to learn what they want for their facial feminization surgery. Then, she makes a personalized plan for them that may include both surgical and non-surgical options.

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What is Facial Feminization Surgery?

Facial feminization surgery includes several procedures that make the face more feminine. These procedures can include forehead contouring, adjusting the hairline or a tracheal shave. Other procedures include eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, facelift, lip enhancement, and more.

To align their physical appearance and gender identity, transgender individuals often start with hormone therapy. Feminine features can be further enhanced through facial feminization surgery.

Dermal fillers, Botox, and facial feminization with makeup or prosthetics are temporary. However, feminizing facial surgery permanently alters facial features.

Facial Feminization Surgery Options

Dr. Angela Rodriguez has performed over 3,000 major craniofacial surgeries in her career. She meets with each patient to discuss their goals, expected outcomes, and personalized treatment plan. The following may be part of the facial feminization strategy:

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Hairline Advancement:

This procedure shortens the forehead for a delicate, feminine look.

Frontal Sinus Setback:

The anterior wall of the frontal sinus is receded to soften the face's bone structure.


As one of few gender surgeons who are active members of the Rhinoplasty Society, Dr. Rodriguez has a unique philosophy and approach. She performs endonasal or closed rhinoplasty. This procedure reduces trauma and swelling and creates more predictable results than traditional rhinoplasty.

Forehead Contouring:

Reshaping the ridges and orbital rims of the masculine forehead create a smoother, rounder appearance.

Lip Lift:

Upper lip reduction and mouth corner lifting can make a smile more feminine.

Lip Augmentation:

Lip augmentation can be done with dermal fillers, fat transfer, or customized lip implants.


The chin can be moved forward, backward, or side to side. It can also be made shorter, longer, narrower, or wider depending on the patient's desired outcome. Adjustments can be made by fat transfers, dermal fillers, silicone chin implants, or reshaping of the bone.

Mandible Contouring:

By rounding the jaw and redefining the chin, mandible contouring makes a face more feminine.

Tracheal Shave:

Tracheal shaving reduces Adam's apple cartilage for a more feminine neck.

Neck Liposuction:

Fat can be removed to reshape the chin and neck.

Facial Fat Transfer:

Fat is taken from other parts of the body and used on the lips, cheeks, temples, and forehead.

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Planning for Surgery

At ART Surgical, our team is dedicated to fully preparing you for your facial feminization procedures. We will provide you with all the necessary information and address any questions or concerns you may have.

We recommend a couple crucial steps ahead of your surgery. First, contact your insurance provider to understand your coverage. Second, ask a friend or family member to accompany you to your surgery and drive you home afterward. On the day of, we will notify your designated point person of your progress once you are ready for discharge. We will then release you into the care of your friend or family member and go over care instructions with you.

Learn about the process to begin your surgical journey, including letters of support from mental health providers.

Our primary goal is to make your surgical experience as comfortable and successful as possible. We are here to support you every step of the way.

What to Expect During Recovery

Recovery from facial feminization varies by procedure. Surgery often causes tenderness, bruising, and swelling. Dr. Rodriguez and ART Surgical will manage pain and post-op care. We'll help you adjust to daily life as you heal. As you recover, Dr. Rodriguez will discuss next steps in your transformational journey.

Each patient is on their own transformation journey with Dr. Rodriguez as their guide. If you'd like to see before and after photos of facial feminization surgery, click below.

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Compassionate Gender-Affirming Care with Dr. Angela Rodriguez

Patient Stories

It was part of her journey to developing her identity. One patient knew she needed a doctor to help bring out the features she loved in her face without losing her unique physical attributes. She also knew she needed a transgender plastic surgeon who would listen rather than make decisions for her. Watch her story.

See All Patient Stories

To learn more about the procedures for facial feminization and how Dr. Angela Rodriguez and her team will guide you through the process, book a one-on-one consultation.

Facial Feminization Surgery FAQ

How Much Does Facial Feminization Surgery Cost?

The cost of facial feminization surgery varies widely. It depends on factors like the procedures required, the surgeon's expertise, and location. On average, it ranges from $10,000 to $50,000. The cost could increase if you choose to have more than one type of operation. It's best to consult with a qualified surgeon for a personalized quote. Insurance coverage also varies. Check with your provider for potential coverage.

Is Facial Feminization Surgery Covered By Insurance?

Insurance coverage for facial feminization surgery depends on your insurance plan, the specific procedures needed, and your insurance company's policies. In some cases, specific components of these procedures may be covered if they are deemed medically necessary.

It's essential to review your insurance policy or contact your insurance provider directly to understand what is covered and what requirements must be met for coverage. Additionally, working with healthcare providers who have experience navigating insurance coverage for transgender-related healthcare can help you determine your options.

How Long Does Facial Feminization Surgery Take?

The time of facial feminization surgery depends on the procedures involved and individual factors. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several hours. Your surgeon can provide a specific estimate based on your needs and goals.

How Long Does Facial Feminization Surgery Take to Heal?

Healing time after facial feminization surgery depends on the specific procedures, your body's healing abilities, and other factors. Initial swelling and bruising will heal within the first few weeks after surgery. Complete healing can take several months to a year. Most individuals can expect to see significant improvement in their appearance within the first few weeks to months, with final results becoming more apparent 6 months-1 year after surgery. Follow your surgeon's post-operative care instructions and attend follow-up appointments for the best healing and results.

What Happens During Facial Feminization Surgery?

Facial feminization surgery includes procedures to feminize facial features. These may include forehead contouring, brow lift, rhinoplasty, cheek augmentation, lip lift, jaw reduction, chin reshaping, and Adam's apple reduction. During surgery, incisions are made to reshape bone and soft tissue. The specifics of the procedures depend on your facial anatomy and desired outcomes.

Is Facial Feminization Surgery Worth It?

For many transgender individuals, facial feminization surgery can be incredibly impactful. Benefits include improved self-confidence and matching physical appearance with gender identity. Undergoing these procedures is a personal decision. Factors like cost, recovery time, and your goals should be considered. Consulting with healthcare professionals can help determine if it's the right choice for you.

How Painful Is Facial Feminization Surgery?

After facial feminization surgery, discomfort levels vary. While some may experience minimal pain, others may have more discomfort. Surgeons use anesthesia during surgery to minimize pain. Afterward, swelling and bruising are common but can be managed with pain medication and proper care. Recovery experiences differ for everyone. At ART Surgical, we provide personalized aftercare support, including medication management and follow-up appointments, to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results.