Top Surgery Can Be a Mystery to Patients – Dr. Grace Valina Demystifies It

Dr. Grace Valina .

Dr. Grace Valina says that no surgery comes without questions about risks and benefits.

Dr. Grace Valina says that no surgery comes without questions about risks and benefits. Top surgery – often elective by nature – is no exception. By considering top surgery, there will likely be a number of queries: Why get it in the first place? Who’s a good candidate? What should the expectations be around pre-and post-operative care and follow-up? And finally, how to prepare physically and mentally for the procedure and its aftereffects?

Thankfully, experienced, skillful, and straightforward surgeons such as Dr. Grace Valina are on hand to help answer those questions in the most patient-centric way possible.

First, a bit about Dr. Joan Grace Valina. Based in the Miami area, Dr. Joan Grace Valina is a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon specializing in breast procedures, liposuction, female-to-male top surgery, labiaplasty, and face and neck procedures. She recognizes that there are two elements to any procedure beyond the surgery’s outcome itself, which is especially true for top surgeries: the pre-and post-operative concerns and the value proposition of the investment. That’s why Dr. Joan Grace Valina’s M.B.A. from Indiana University makes her unique amongst her peers: She applies analytical thinking to her consultations, focusing on whether the procedure is right for patients from a cost/benefit perspective and introducing an empathetic bedside manner.

Dr. Joan Grace Valina has much to teach us about top surgery.

First, why get it? Top surgery for transgender men and nonbinary people is considered a key step in ameliorating discomfort when a patient’s gender identity differs from the assigned sex at birth. The procedure can help transgender men and nonbinary people navigate transitions that can be complex and stressful.

Second, who is a good candidate for top surgery? The answer is bifurcated: factual considerations and psychological considerations. Factually, the age of consent, living as a member of the desired sex, and a qualified doctor has diagnosed persistent gender dysphoria. Psychologically, displaying reasonable expectations and any mental-health challenges are controlled. A good surgeon can help determine whether someone is a good candidate.

Third, how about pre-and post-surgery considerations? Dr. Joan Grace Valina believes that there should be an “interview” with a surgeon before choosing. Seek a doctor who has performed at least several hundred analogous surgeries with a high success rate. For instance, if a transgender person is seeking breast removal, how many mastectomies has the doctor performed, and what is his or her success rate? Also, dive deep with the surgeon on the magnitude, location, texture, and coloring of the scar and post-op recovery.

Finally, mental preparation. As Dr. Joan Grace Valina stresses, top surgery is a life decision that should be positive and hopeful. Make a list of all important queries and fears to give to the surgeon before deciding. Loop in a mental-health team as well as a primary care physician, so that all bases are covered.

Bottom line – there’s a lot to consider with top surgery, but following Dr. Joan Grace Valina’s advice is a great start. Call her or another local surgeon to start the conversation.

Caroline Hunter
Web Presence, LLC
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