Marbella is home to FACIALTEAM, one of the world’s leading Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS) units. The multidisciplinary team of specialists includes two of Ocean Clinic’s surgeons; Oral & Maxillofacial specialist Dr. Luis Capitán (Director and Founder of FACIALTEAM) and Head Surgeon Dr. Kai Kaye. Transgender women from across the world come here to Marbella to receive cutting-edge treatment that will bring their facial features closer in shape and size to typical female features.
For anyone considering FFS (also called Facial Gender Affirmation Surgery), FACIALTEAM offers free intensive evaluations in Marbella. It’s a rigorous assessment process that includes the opportunity to meet with a range of specialists, tour the hospital, obtain complete cranial CT scans, have a clinical photo shoot and get a 3D animated reproduction of your face.The service also includes a free round-trip airport taxi transfer, as well as help with travel plans, if required.
Studies show that we determine a person’s sex within a millisecond of seeing their face. Features that help us make this assessment include the chin - which is more pointed in females - the jawbone, and the nose, which are both generally less prominent and less angular in women. The shape of the forehead, too, is quite different in males. To give a more feminine appearance we are able to contour the bones of these features. Another distinct male characteristic - the Adam’s apple – can be reduced with a tracheal shave.
FSS also includes soft tissue procedures such as brow lift, neck lift, canthoplasty (eye reshaping), cheek implants and lip augmentation, as well as non-surgical treatments like Botox, fillers and skin resurfacing. The surgeon will help you to select a bespoke suite of treatments tailored to your individual requirements. The key for men becoming women is to help them look more feminine.
Dr Kaye's focus, aesthetically, is on the face and breast, and it depends on what the patient wants. He tries to individualize care. Procedures could include cheek implants, chin augmentation or reduction, reduction of the jawbone, maybe the brow, focusing on the bone on the forehead, and also the orbit of the eye. With the forehead there can be shaping; contouring; and possibly doing a set-back where we unroot the bone, take it off, contour it, and put it all back together with plates and screws.
Surgery is only 1 piece of the pie. Patients have to know how to dress, how to control their voice, how to carry a female attitude. There are hair pieces and everything else — a whole package. It’s not just the surgery.
Yes. There are also agencies, such as the Transgender Law Center, that protect the rights of a transgendered person in the workplace. Also, some medical insurance is beginning to cover some of the gender transition surgery. My understanding is that they need the gender counselling for the sex reassignment surgery, but not necessarily for the part that you do as a plastic surgeon. Right. It’s different for what I do as compared with the actual genital reassignment. If I do a breast augmentation on a patient I could reverse that by taking the implants out. The genital reassignment surgery often can’t be reversed. So to answer your question, yes — gender therapy is more important for someone who undergoes gender reassignment surgery. In fact, the Harry Benjamin Criteria, or the W-path, outlines what patients typically undergo in counselling before a feminizing procedure.
No, not yet.
Really, all you need is the surgeon who specializes in that. They typically have a nurse or medical assistant to help with the postoperative care. That’s not my field.
Typically they require larger implants to achieve the final outcome than in a patient who is a genetic female. Many of these patients are on hormones, so a number of them already have breast tissue. But they may have a broader chest requiring larger implants.
Yes, there are differences. If it’s not a transgender patient, the surgeon may work on some of the muscles in the forehead, reduce some of the frowning, some of the transverse wrinkles in the forehead, do a brow lift where the eyebrow is lifted, and then close it. In addition, I focus on bone work. This may be to contour the orbit around the eyes, or decrease the amount of prominence of the bones in the forehead. Then I have to make sure that the feminizing is in sync with the nose, which needs to be in sync with the chin and the jaw.
Most patients undergo 2 surgeries, for what I do. This may not include the gender reassignment. So there can be as few as 1 or as many as 3 or 4.
Maybe a couple of years.
Hormone therapy is up to the endocrinologist, but from a surgical standpoint the biggest question is potential postoperative blood clots in the lower extremities.
From my observations, the long-term results are very good. But there aren’t any strong long-term studies. Collecting more data would be a good idea for research.
People are often surprised to learn that one of the world’s leading Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS) departments is based here in Marbella – and that Ocean Clinic is a part of it.