Surgeries for the top half, explained

Breast surgeries are done for a variety of reasons, from health to cosmetic-related. Below is a quick run down of the multiple types of breast surgeries people may choose to have. 


According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are two types of breast enlargements, the first being augmentations. Augmentations are either done with implants made of saline or silicone, or with fat injections pulled directly from other parts of the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, Augmentations are often done to improve body image.

The second is reconstructions. Reconstructions are done to rebuild the breast after physical trauma, poorly done surgery or a mastectomy, which is the removal of one or two breasts to prevent the spread of cancer. 

Various complications can arise if enlargements are done improperly or even when done properly. Problems that can occur include pain or changes in feeling in the breasts, issues breastfeeding and rupture or deflation of the implants, which can come from age or physical trauma. 

Top Surgery 

According to the Mayo Clinic, a full introduction of breasts to a transgender woman is called top surgery. It can be done with implants or injections, and sometimes a combination of both. 

Top surgery for transgender men involves the full removal of both breasts, and oftentimes removal of the nipples and areolas in order to be resized and placed back on.

Video creator Ash Hardell said they was satisfied with their choice to get top surgery.

“I was so terrified that top surgery was going to be the wrong decision, not because that’s how I felt, but because so many people on the internet just kept ramming that into me … It was the right decision and I am so happy,” Hardell said.


According to the Mayo Clinic, breast reductions are the removal of fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. They are done for various reasons, including easing pain that results from heavy breasts and cosmetic reasons. 

Lisa Higgins of Perth, Australia, the creator and admin of a breast reduction focused Facebook group, said she got her breasts reduced to ease back pain and look better. 

“I got it done in 2012 because I get a lot of back pain … I also got it done because, I think I was like a 34 GG, so it was really hard to find pretty bras or nice clothes to wear that would be flattering,” Higgins said.  

Like enlargements, reductions can have the same risks of changes in sensation of the breasts and an inability to breastfeed. Other issues include bruising and scarring of the breasts. 

Reductions also carry somewhat of a stigma with them from both people who dislike seeing breasts become smaller and people who would like to see their breasts become bigger, and are envious of those who would reduce theirs. 

Higgins said complaints from men should be ignored. 

“Guys don’t like you getting you getting it done because obviously a lot of guys like bigger boobs, but I think it’s a decision you need to make for yourself. Most people still have a decent amount left, they don’t go perfectly flat anyway,” Higgins said. 

She also said she’s happy overall with the procedure. 

“I have no regrets. I feel like they look better, and I got everything I wanted from them. They are better for the clothes that I wanted to wear and for working out in … I think if it’s something that you wanted for a long time and you’ve thought about it, definitely make it happen if you can,” Higgins said.

For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website. Support can be sought from Hardell’s YouTube channel or through Facebook support groups. 

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