Overview planning operation

Overview planning

Planning your operation is very important, for you and for us. Please read with attention the following information.

Obligatory things to arrange:

  • Anaesthesiology form—Fill in the anesthesia form online (for operations in general anesthesia en local anesthesia with sedation.)
  • Preoperative tests—Only operations in general anesthesia.

Planning your stay in Belgium

  • Duration and typical stay—You will receive a planning document with all your appointments in Antwerp 5-7 days after receipt of your booking deposit.
  • Transport to Belgium—Belgium is easy to reach from all countries. We also offer a shuttle service during certain hours and days and to certain locations (airport Zaventem, trains station Berchem and Central in Antwerp).
  • Your stay in our guesthouse—For patients of Dr Bart van de Ven most of the proposals are inclusive your stay in our Guesthouse. Some patients of Dr Doornaert will have to book their stay in the Guesthouse, you can find on your proposal if your stay is included or not.
  • Things to bring—We made a checklist of things you might want to bring with you during your operative stay in Belgium.

Informed consent

During your preoperative facial feminization consultation we will ask you to sign an informed consent for the operation. If you wish you can already take a look at it so there are no surprises.

Postoperative instructions

We will provide you with these postoperative instructions on paper in the clinic.

Useful blogposts

Why you should not have standardly a CBCT-scan of your skull taken before FFS

Preparation ffs facial feminization surgery

Pre-Op Best Practices to Follow Before Your FFS Procedure


Is it mandatory to book the place to stay in Antwerp after discharge?

If you live not too far from Antwerp it is not a problem you return home the day after surgery and come for a postoperative consultation with Dr van de Ven 8 days after surgery.

Are the postoperative controls obliged?

No they are not obliged. Just let us know which control you can not attend.

I got a cold last week and next week is my surgery. Is it something to worry about?

If there is no fever above 39° or serious coughing (bronchitis), there is no problem.

Is the preoperative consultation obliged?

Yes it absolutely is. Without this, Dr Bart van de Ven cannot operate.

Can my partner sleep in the hospital with me?

We have two double rooms in the clinic. The charge for a double room is 40 euro a night extra.

What if I take any coagulant like Aspirin or Sintrommitis? Do I have to stop taking them?

Please contact the doctor that prescribed this medication to you and ask him if you can just stop it for a while. Ideally we would like you to stop Aspirin from 10 days before the surgery till 3 days after the surgery.
If you take Sintrommitis it should be stopped a few days before surgery, but often you will need some other anticoagulant that is more controllable to replace it. Your doctor will give you the correct instructions.

Do I need to remove nail treatment prior to surgery?

The reason this is sometimes requested is for the anesthesiologist’s monitoring of the pulse oximeter, which measures the level of oxygen in the blood. This can also be monitored and measured by attaching the sensor to the toe or earlobe, so our anaesthesiologist does not request to remove gel nails.

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.

Why you don’t ask for the blood group?

Dr Bart van de Ven needed to do a blood transfusion in his patient so far twice in his life. So the incidence is very low. If it is necessary the blood lab will ALWAYS do a cross test with the blood of the patient before giving the blood so why test it before? In the case of acute need for blood the blood group O-negative is given. This occasion did not ever occur in our practice (but Dr van de Ven’s blood group is O neg which means he would be able to give his own blood…:).

When should I stop my electrolysis / laser hair removal sessions before FFS?

There is no problem for us if you have a hair removal session two days before your surgery.

When should I stop my HRT treatment?


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.


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.

When do you need to have the results of the bloodtests? What if the results are abnormal?

If the results of your tests are all within normal range you can bring them to your pre-operative consultation so we can add them to your file. It is not absolutely necessary you scan them and send them by email. In case some of the results are clearly abnormal you should ask your GP or a specialist if it has any consequences for the planned surgery. Per definition 5% of test results is out of normal range. That means that very often it is without consequence.

What happens if I need to see a doctor when I return to my home country?

We would advise you to see your GP or the doctor that is on call. We would then discuss the problem with this doctor once you’ve been seen, and recommend the appropriate treatment. In extremely rare cases it might be necessary for you to come to Antwerp.

When will I be able to get up and walk around after the surgery?

In the hospital, once the catheter has been disconnected, you should gently work up to getting out of the bed and walking around a bit, unless your doctor advises differently. Listen to your body carefully and get plenty of rest, but don’t stay in bed all day. After a few days you’ll like to go outside, which you should do.

Will I be able to eat?

If you haven’t had any treatment involving your teeth a sliding genioplasty or orthognathic surgery, you’ll be able to eat normally quite soon. Due to the effects of general anesthesia, you should only feel nausea for the first few hours. You may prefer to eat softer or pureed foods initially if you have intra-oral sutures. Patients should prepare accordingly in advance and purchase juices, yoghurt and soups to have during for the first few days after surgery.
After a sliding genioplasty you should be very careful not to put too much force on the lower jaw e.g. by eating raw meat (steak) or biting an apple. The jaw is really weak in the chin area and it will take about 6 weeks until it has regained it’s original strength.

What kind of pain can I expect?

Pain is surprisingly mild, considering the extensiveness of the surgery performed. Many patients don’t speak of pain at all but more of discomfort. With normal pain suppressants and anti-inflammatories, any pain and swelling can be well managed.

When should I expect to return to work?

Normally our patients return to work after 2 to 6 weeks, according to the extent of surgery.

What about smoking?

As smoking counteracts wound healing we strongly advise against smoking during the 3 weeks before surgery until 3 weeks after surgery. Smoking dramatically increases the risk for skin necrosis and should be avoided at all times.

How long should I stay in Belgium after surgery?

When it is an extensive surgery you can fly home 8 days after surgery. For a typical schedule have a look at the following webpage: https://www.2passclinic.com/practical/operation/typical-stay-in-belgium/

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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