Meeting with the surgeon

Meeting with the surgeon

Being as prepared as possible for your surgical consult will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself.  

What is a surgical consult?

Your first  appointment with the surgeon is called a surgical consult. During the surgical consult, the surgeon will ask about your goals for surgery and provide you with information about your surgical options. It’s also an important opportunity for you to ask questions. 

What to expect during your surgical consult

Before the appointment for your surgical consult, you’ll receive information about what to expect during this appointment. Each surgeon does things a bit differently, but generally the surgeon will:

  • Ask questions about your gender, general health and family history
  • Conduct a physical exam of your chest and underarm area (you will be asked to remove your shirt and undergarments)
  • Record your chest and nipple measurements
  • Take preoperative photos of your chest tissue
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Ask you to get blood work done before surgery
  • Explain potential risk and complications 
  • Explain possible surgical outcomes
  • Give instructions for aftercare, including return to physical activity

As part of the consult, the surgeon will recommend what they feel is suited to your body shape and goals. Their recommendation may not align with what you had hoped for. If this happens, you can:

  • Discuss your preferences with the surgeon.
  • Reach out to your primary care provider A person’s main health care provider in non-emergency situations such as check-ups and referrals. Family doctors, general practitioners (GPs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are all primary care providers. for help to come up with a new plan. 
  • Request a second opinion. If you want to pursue a second opinion, contact Trans Care BC if your referral was sent to the Trans Care BC Central Waitlist.

Depending on your age and risk factors, the surgeon may also ask for a mammogram, blood test, electrocardiogram (ECG), an anesthesia consult or other investigations.

And finally, the surgeon’s office will call you later with the date.

Preparing for a surgical consult

Being as prepared as possible for your surgical consult will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself.  

Download the workbook

In addition to the information below, our Chest Construction Workbook contains reflection activities to help you prepare your appointment(s).

A few things you can do to prepare include:

  • Understand the procedure by reading our information on surgical options, risks and complications.
  • Search online for before-and-after photos of the outcome that you’re seeking. Find photos of people who have a body similar to your own.
  • Prepare a list of questions (see below) and bring along a pen and notebook to the appointment. You may also want to ask a support person to attend the appointment and take notes so you can focus fully on the conversation. 
  • Prepare a complete list of any current medications and supplements (including traditional medicines, herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc.) including the dose and frequency.

Sometimes this appointment may take place on Zoom (or a similar platform). It’s still helpful to prepare in advance and have a list of questions and a way to take notes.

Here is a list of questions you may want to ask your surgeon:

  • Which surgical techniques are options for you?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each technique?
  • What are the risks and possible complications of each technique?
  • What are your options if you are not satisfied with the appearance of your chest?
  • Do they have photos of surgical outcomes of other patients who had this surgery (both successful and unsuccessful outcomes)? 
  • What are the complications that could occur after the surgery? And what are the surgeon's complication rates for each procedure?

Next steps after your consult

If you choose to go ahead with surgery, next steps will include:

  • Book a date — The surgeon’s office will confirm your surgical date afterwards.
  • Complete the operating room booking package — If you’ve been cleared by your surgeon to proceed with surgery, the surgical team will complete the operating room booking package. While some people will complete the booking package at their initial consult, others may need a few additional appointments with their surgeon.
  • Confirming your location, date and time — Once the details have been finalized, your surgeon’s office will contact you with details about the location and date for the procedure.
Download the surgery workbook

This workbook contains worksheets, exercises and checklists related to chest construction

Need support?

Contact our team of experienced health navigators for information about gender-affirming care in B.C.