Facial feminization surgery

A natural, feminine beauty.

Facial feminization surgery

Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) is a combination of surgical procedures aimed at reducing what we call ‘masculine facial features’, giving the face a softer and more feminine look. During a personal consultation, Dr Bart van de Ven and you can discuss which of the procedures are most suitable for you. Dr Bart has treated over 3,000 patients over the last 10 years.

Many trans women feel insecure and anxious about their external appearance not matching their internal state of being. Facial Feminization Surgery can help them live in confidence as the woman they were all along.

Go to the before and after gallery

What is facial feminization surgery (FFS)?

Facial feminization surgery is a combination of surgical procedures with which the masculine facial features are reduced to give your face a feminine look. FFS is applied to both bone and the soft upper tissue covering the bone.

These are all the procedures that can form a part of facial feminization surgery:


Which of these procedures you need is something that can be analyzed and discussed with Dr Bart van de Ven. He also uses a technique to create a 
simulation of your face after FFS, so you can discover what you could personally look like after surgery.

3 ways to get a professional opinion by Dr Bart van de Ven

Do I need Facial Feminization Surgery?

Facial Feminization Surgery can be a solution:

  • If you are a trans woman who cannot find a way to be comfortable with looking in the mirror.
  • If you are a trans woman who feels like certain facial features cause misgendering and this bothers you.
  • If you are unhappy with some facial features for whatever reason.


Facial Feminization Surgery can improve your “passing”. It can help you live in confidence as the woman you are without having to worry about being misgendered. This was proven in a study in which 118 of our patients analyzed their feelings around their
passing before and after their FFS.

No one could explain it better than former FFS patients themselves:


Quote by Munroe Bergdorf, former patient at 2pass Clinic:

‘There was a point where I was afraid to leave the house. I couldn’t go out in the world, and that’s no way to live. That’s when facial feminization really became crucial to me.

I just wanted to live a life where I wasn’t affected by gender dysphoria to the point where I couldn’t concentrate on my job or be vulnerable in sexual situations. I wanted freedom.

Now, I feel the best I ever have. I can leave the house without makeup on and not feel like I’m going to be attacked. I didn’t realize how dysmorphic I was about my body until I got that surgery. I didn’t know how much I was holding back in regards to intimacy, either. If you can’t feel a connection with your body, how can you form a connection with somebody else? Getting closer to how I saw myself allowed me to get closer to other people, too.’

-Munroe Bergdorf (by Refinery29)

Your road to FFS in 3 steps:

Done! We’ll take it from here.

2pass Clinic makes 3 promises to you:

What can make a face look masculine?

There are 6 key differences in facial features that can make a face look masculine and can be addressed by facial feminization surgery.

These are the 6 key differences:

Masculine Feminine
Chin and jaw Male facial features jaw and chin Female facial features jaw and chin
Brow bone Male facial features brow bone Female facial features brow bone
Nose Male facial features nose Female facial features nose
Lips Male facial features lips Female facial features lip
Eyebrows Male facial features brow Female facial features brow
Adam’s apple (Trachea) Male facial features adam's apple Female facial features adam's apple

 

More information about the 6 main facial differences

Freya before and after Facial Feminization Surgery: what can be achieved with FFS?

One can achieve major changes with FFS. Meet Freya, who underwent her Facial Feminization Surgery with Dr Bart van de Ven. She chose to have the following procedures:

  • Forehead recontouring type 1 (shaving) with hairline lowering (forehead reduction) and browlift: The brows were lifted, opening up the face more. Her hairline was lowered, creating a smaller forehead. And her forehead was shaved, to make it look smoother and softer.
  • Rhinoplasty: The shape of the nose was refined.
  • Chin recontouring: The chin was very broad and was made much more narrow
  • Jaw reduction: A piece of the jaw bone was cut to create a softer, rounder look

Freya before and after facial feminization surgery Freya before and after facial feminization surgery Freya before and after facial feminization surgery

Who is Dr Bart van de Ven?

At 2pass Clinic, the surgery is performed by the respected oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr Bart van de Ven. He has dedicated his career exclusively to helping trans women and has performed surgery on over 3,000 trans women over the course of 10 years. Currently he’s performing FFS about 4 to 6 times a week. This makes him one of the most experienced facial feminization surgeons in the world. No trainees perform during his surgeries, every patient is operated on by Dr Bart.

“I have started doing facial feminization surgery because I understood that many trans women suffer deeply from not looking like the woman they are, from being misgendered, … It makes them feel insecure and depressed. Suicide rates among trans folks are very high. Therefore, I wanted to help. Help women to be recognized as the women they are. I was an oral and maxillofacial surgeon already and decided to specialize in feminizing faces.”

Dr Bart van de Ven’s goal is to create a natural, feminine look. Over the years he has developed a series of FFS procedures which are the tools he uses to provide these changes in a predictable and safe way. The end result of the surgery is just as important to him as it is to you. He refined his techniques with one goal: make you pass without complications. He has an incredible eye for detail and strives for perfection.

During Facial Feminization Surgery, Dr Bart van de Ven is assisted by Els and Thaïsa – two very experienced nurses. Our anesthesiologist has been trained in open-heart surgery: technically the most demanding procedures an anesthesiologist could learn. Your safety is our first concern. After the surgery, Sabine, the recovery nurse with an intensive care education, will take care of you. At night, night nurses Evy or Tamara will be there to keep an eye on you and take care of you.

Learn more about Dr Bart van de Ven

What does facial feminization surgery cost?

There are many factors that influence the average price for FFS surgery. Very roughly speaking, you can Facial Feminization Surgery costs ranging from 5,000 to 60,000 euros. At 2pass Clinic prices range from 5000 to 30.000 euro depending on the procedures you need.

We argue that for many transgender women, FFS is medically necessary to treat gender dysphoria. It can be just as important or even more important than sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in reducing gender dysphoria and helping trans women integrate socially as women. We think it should be covered by your basic medical insurance, but unfortunately, we are still far from this ideal.

3 ways to get your quote

What our patients are saying

In the testimonials below, our patient Alev and Len talk about how they experienced their lives before and after FFS. You can follow them both on Instagram to see how they’re doing now!

Do you want to contact one of our former patients? You can contact a large number of our patients to ask them anything about their Facial Feminization Surgery and their recovery! You can find their contact information on their respective testimonial pages.

Follow Alev on Instagram

Follow Len on Instagram

Your stay at 2pass Clinic

We are expecting you at 2pass Clinic one day before your facial feminization surgery. Our patient coordinator Elli will welcome you, give you a tour of our guesthouse. In this warm, welcoming oasis you have time to recover from your surgery. You can also share your experiences with other trans women staying in the guesthouse. It is more like a family environment than a clinic.

Petra is the resident at the 2pass Clinic guesthouse. She is on hand to help you 24/7. Petra was once one of Dr Bart van de Ven’s patients, so she knows exactly what kind of help you will need throughout the entire process. Every day she makes a delicious breakfast and fresh meals packed with nutritious ingredients to help you get back on your feet after your surgery.

You will be ready to return home one week later.

Petra, permanent resident and Elli, patient coordinator

Petra, permanent resident and Elli, patient coordinator

What will my recovery after FFS be like?

First week after your Facial Feminization Surgery

After your facial feminization surgery, you will stay at the guesthouse in the clinic for a week so that you can recover and get back on your feet. We will help you with your post-op instructions whenever you so require. During these first days after your operation, we will take care of your every need.

By the time you are ready to return home, you will no longer require any extra care. Should there be any complications following your facial feminization surgery, we will, of course, provide the necessary treatment to rectify the situation – without additional fees for the surgical procedure (only the costs have to be covered).

Things you can expect during your recovery are:

  • Numbness: If Dr Bart van de Ven has carried out a procedure to change the bone structure of your face, you will most likely experience numbness in that area for a certain period of time (for example, the forehead, chin or jaw – depending on the procedure). In any case, you really don’t need to worry because it’s completely normal.
  • This numbness occurs because your skin is detached from your bones during the surgery, which affects the nerves under your skin. So it’s not surprising that it takes a while to fully recover from facial feminization surgery. It’s not unusual for a procedure to have a 12-month recovery period, but after two to five weeks you’ll be ready to get back to work.
  • Swelling: Swelling is on its maximum 2 to 3 days after surgery. Swelling and bruising may be present for up to 2-4 weeks. It may take up to 3-6 months to get an impression of the final results that will be reached after 1 or even 2 years. So patience is required.
  • Bruising: Swelling and bruising differ strongly from one person to another and can be anywhere. Bruising may not appear immediately and will gradually fade over the course of several weeks.
  • Difficulties breathing through the nose: Most people find it very difficult to breathe through their noses after the rhinoplasty. We will give you some nose drops to open up the nose during your preoperative consultation.
  • Trouble eating: Due to swelling that may occur on your lips due to certain procedures, it might be difficult to properly eat and swallow. This swelling will disappear between one to two weeks. Don’t worry, we’ve adapted our food menu for you, and we provide special cups to help with drinking!

Four months after your Facial Feminization Surgery

Four months after your facial feminization surgery, you are expected to visit Dr Bart van de Ven for a free check-up. This appointment is scheduled automatically after booking your facial feminization surgery. It is possible to change the date and time of this appointment. The check-up takes place at the 2pass Clinic in Antwerp, London, Munich, Berlin, Stockholm, Zurich, Amsterdam,… – depending on Dr Bart van de Ven’s schedule.

What are the possible complications of Facial Feminization Surgery?

If there are any complications, they generally are:

  • Infection
  • Each procedure has its own specific risks. Check out the page of the procedure you’re interested in to find more information.
  • Feeling down or depressed: surgery is quite impactful, and it appears that many people go through a post-surgical depression about three weeks after their surgery. Don’t worry, you are not alone. We suggest seeking some additional support in case it’s all a bit overwhelming. If you don’t know a qualified therapist, you can make an appointment with our in-house psychologist, Michelle. She also does counseling over Skype.

What are the pros and cons of Facial Feminization Surgery?

Pros

 

  • A more feminine face;
  • Strengthens social acceptance and integration as a woman, aka ‘passing’;
  • Positive effect on self-image and self-esteem because the feminine face confirms one’s gender identity;
  • After two to five weeks you’ll already be back at work.
Cons

 

  • The swelling right after the surgery may be scary, but it goes down really fast, don’t worry!
  • You may temporarily experience numbness where the surgeon worked on bone structure;
  • A full recovery period can take four months up to one year. The recovery process takes longer in some than in others. Patience and trust are required.

 

 

Want to know what Dr Bart van de Ven could do for your face?

1 – Pictures evaluation (50 euro)

Dr Bart van de Ven will make a personal analysis of your face and give his surgical opinion of which procedures you need to feminize your face. He will send you a quote for these procedures and a simulation of the FFS result based on the pictures you upload. The payment of the 50 euro is processed by Paypal (you don’t need a Paypal account to pay with Paypal). You can upload the requested pictures as instructed in the form.

Request your quote and simulation based on pictures only

2 – Pictures evaluation + Skype consultation (100 euro)

The Skype consultation combines the pictures evaluation with a Skype consultation.

  • After booking your Skype consultations you will receive an email with instructions to send your pictures.
  • Before the actual Skype consultation, Dr Bart van de Ven will make a personal analysis of your face and give his surgical opinion of which procedures you need to feminize your face. He will send you a quote for these procedures and a simulation of the FFS result based on the pictures you upload.
  • During the consultation, Dr Bart van de Ven will answer all of your questions and explain the procedures suggested.
  • The available hours are the same as the Antwerp consultation below (every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, and Friday morning, Brussels time).

Book your Skype consultation

3 – Live consultation (50 or 100 euro depending on the location)

Book a live consultation with Dr Bart van de Ven in Antwerp or one of the other cities he will be visiting. During your appointment, you will be able to address Dr Bart van de Ven with all of the questions you may have and he will give you his professional opinion on the procedures you might want or need. This is what you can expect from your FFS consultation. He will also make professional pictures and send a simulation of the FFS result based on the pictures after the consultation.

  • Antwerp, 50 euro, Belgium (every week):
    • every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, and Friday morning
  • London, 100 euro (every 3 months): Upcoming dates: 
    • Saturday May 4, 2019
    • Sunday May 5, 2019
    • Saturday July 6, 2019
    • Saturday September 21, 2019
  • Munich, 50 euro (every 2 months): Upcoming dates: 
    • Saturday May 11, 2019
    • Sunday May 12, 2019
    • Saturday October 5, 2019
  • Berlin, 50 euro (every 2 months): Upcoming dates: 
    • Saturday June 22, 2019
  • Vienna, 50 euro (every year): Upcoming dates:
    • Saturday November 2, 2019
  • Stockholm, 50 euro (every year): Upcoming dates:
    • Saturday May 30, 2020




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Worldwide consultations: 55.924586, 10.195313

All quote- and consultation fees are fully donated to the charity organisation of Dr Bart van de Ven.

Just want a general idea of costs?

Example of the cost of Jessica’s FFS

 

FAQ facial feminization surgery

What does this procedure cost?

There are 3 options to receive a financial and operative proposal. You can either send us pictures and receive a quote and an FFS simulation, or you can book a Skype or a live consultation with Dr Bart van de Ven during which you will also receive a quote and FFS simulation.

How do I get my FFS price request?

Click here if you want to get a general idea of FFS prices.

How would the clinic deal with an emergency if serious complications were to arise during the procedure?

If a patient needs hospitalisation we would transfer her to the Middelheim hospital which is 8 minutes or 3,5km from our clinic.

We have had this situation 2 times in more than 700 surgeries. In case this would be because of a mistake from our side we have an insurance that covers the cost. More likely is that it happens without anyone having made a mistake. In that case most health insurances cover these costs.  If you don’t have a health insurance it’s your (financial) risk.

When can I judge the final result?

After three weeks you would look presentable but it takes at least 4 months to get a good impression of the final result. Sometimes after chin and jaw work it can take up to a year for the swelling to completely disappear. Scars take about a year to fully mature.

What type of care is needed after the treatment? Will I require check-ups in my own country?

All care in Antwerp is provided. In general no extra care is needed in your home country. Check-up with Dr Bart is after 4 months and can be in any city where Dr Bart van de Ven provides consultations.

What happens if there are complications after the procedure and is this covered?

We will correct the complication if surgically possible, without charging any surgical fees. Hospital, material and traveling costs are for the expense of the patient.

How long is the waiting time to book an operation?

The average waiting time for an operation at the moment is 3 months. For big surgeries it can be a bit more, for small surgeries less. You can check availability through our online operation planner.

Is FFS painful?

There is no complete answer to this. It depends entirely on the pain threshold of the patient, and the operation procedures performed.Most procedures will involve the need for some incisions, and closure with sutures. Inevitably these will lead to some level of discomfort for some period post-operation. Mostly patients describe it as ‘uncomfortable’ rather then ‘pain’.

Can I loose feeling permanently in some areas following FFS surgery?

Some temporary numbness in any of the areas where bone work is done is an absolute certainty. That could include the scalp, forehead, chin, jaw or even cheek areas depending on where the surgery has been done. This is simply because the flesh is detached from the bony area. Several thousand minor nerves are severed, and it will obviously take some while for those areas to heal. Up to 18 months is not unusual, but less than that is more common.

I am interested in a surgery, in which country do you perform FFS and BFS?

Dr Bart van de Ven (FFS) travels to different European cities for consultations twice every month, but surgery is only performed in Antwerp, Belgium. Dr Maarten Doornaert (BFS) on occasion also travels for consultations, but also only performs surgery in Antwerp.

How long do you need to stay in the hospital after an FFS?

When you’ve had an FFS you will most likely stay at our guesthouse for a week to recover. You arrive one day before your surgery, and you stay for six days afterward. So if you’d arrive on Monday, you would be leaving again on Monday.

What if there are post-op complications?

It doesn’t happen often, but should there be a complication during your stay, you can notify Petra (our permanent resident) or one of the night nurses and they will get in contact with the surgeon if they can’t help you themselves. There will always be someone by your side.

When you leave our clinic, you will receive the phone number of the surgeon in case a complication were to arise later on.

Do the pictures sent for the online FFS quote/simulation have to be taken with a professional camera?

If you have a professional camera, definitely use it. The better the quality, the better the simulation can be. If you don’t own a professional camera, don’t worry. Just make sure you don’t take the pictures like you would take selfies. Prop up your camera against something, use a tripod, or even better: have someone else help you take your pictures.

How long will it take for the sensation in my face to return back to “normal”? What can be done to help?

Facial stiffness and a lack of sensitivity are both common factors after a Facial Feminization Surgery. Recovery time is different from patient to patient, but it can be expected that one will recover to “normal” parameters within six months to two years.

Is it safe to perform an MRI after FFS?

Yes, we use very small titanium screws and plates which are never a problem for an MRI. Also the bonecement does not contain metal.

I’m a bit overweight. What is the maximum BMI for elective surgery?

In principle the maximum BMI is 30. If your BMI is between 30 and 35 but you are in good health, your case is considered on an individual basis by our anaesthesiologist (fill out the anesthesiology form) and we also need Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET). If your BMI is higher then 35 we don’t operate, so you would need to lose weight.

I only speak English. Will they understand me in Belgium?

In Belgium as good as everyone can speak English. Hence our entire staff speaks English as well, so you will always be able to communicate whatever you feel or need!

Can I get this surgery if I’m a cis woman?

Yes, of course. We perform Facial Feminization Surgery on all women. Every woman is welcome at our clinic!

When should I stop my HRT treatment?

For FFS

You can continue your HRT treatment before, during and after your FFS. You will receive an anti-thrombotic injection the day before surgery to prevent blood clotting. We prefer you to continue taking your hormones because FFS is emotionally already perturbing enough without messing with your hormone balance.

For BFS

Only for implant surgery of the buttock and hips we ask to stop one week before the surgery. The day after surgery you can continue your HRT treatment. This because this type of surgery implies some immobilisation (obliged) after the surgery. In this case the risk for blood clots is higher.

Which language does the FFS surgeon speak?

Dr Bart van de Ven speaks Dutch, English and German!

Can I get in contact with one of your former patients?

Yes, you can. You can find a picture (due to spam) of the email address on the before and after FFS picture page of most patients (those that gave us permission). For example on the before and after FFS page of Maya, you can find the following:

What does this procedure cost?

There are 3 options to receive a financial and operative proposal. You can either send us pictures and receive a quote and an FFS simulation, or you can book a Skype or a live consultation with Dr Bart van de Ven during which you will also receive a quote and FFS simulation.

How do I get my FFS price request?

Click here if you want to get a general idea of FFS prices.

Will I have numbness?

The treatment areas will feel numb in the beginning. It will take 3-6 months to recover feeling, and you may not regain the same level of feeling as before.

Should I wait with FFS until I have taken hormones long enough?

The hormones will have their effect on the soft tissues of your face: the fat will redistribute and the muscles will atrophy a bit. Also the facial hair will diminish and hair to the scalp will become denser and thicker. All this will make your face look softer and more feminine.
Dr van de Ven will try to make your face as feminine as possible and there is no negative effect to your face becoming even more feminine after your FFS due to the hormones. Those last changes will be very subtle. Therefore Dr van de Ven does not see a reason to postpone FFS if you have only started taking hormones recently.

You still have another question? Feel free to ask! We will answer your question and if generally applicable add it to the FAQ of this page.








 

 

 

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