Top Surgery
in Templeton, CA

      • Gender-affirming surgery performed by Dr. Charles Chalekson can provide harmony between your outward appearance and your inner self. The breasts and chest strongly indicate either a female or male gender, and therefore they are an obvious opportunity for greater transformation to your complete self. Whether you want to feminize your chest or remove feminine breasts, Dr. Chalekson is here to provide guidance. To arrange a consultation in Templeton, CA, please call our team at 805-434-2828.

What is Transgender Top Surgery?

Top surgery simply refers to surgery on your chest. Because the chest anatomy we develop in adolescence doesn’t always match who we truly are, these surgeries exist to remove breast tissue or enhance breast tissue.

Breast augmentation with breast implants

Sometimes referred to as male-to-female or MTF (or male-to-nonbinary) top surgery, breast augmentation creates beautiful, feminine breasts. You can choose the shape and size of breasts you want, although the size must fall within a certain range given your current breast dimensions.

Breast tissue removal/mastectomy

You may have heard this type of top surgery referred to as female-to-male/FTM (or female-to-nonbinary) breast surgery. Mastectomy removes the breast tissue, leaving you with a firm, masculine chest.

Dr. Chalekson is an experienced provider of both forms. He is driven by the sense of wholeness his patients report feeling after top surgery. Dr. Chalekson knows just how life-changing it can be for our external features to reflect who we know ourselves to be on the inside. He will discuss with you what you can expect from top surgery so that you can decide if it’s right for you.

Who is a Candidate for Top Surgery?

You may be a candidate if you:

  • Want to modify your chest to align with your authentic self
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved
  • Have been living as your true gender identity and want this surgery so you can match your physical characteristics to this identity
  • Have been working with a therapist to discuss the impact of transforming this part of your body
  • Are making this decision for yourself and not to please someone else 
  • Are at least 18 years old

You can discuss your candidacy with Dr. Chalekson during a one-on-one consultation. Dr. Chalekson will review your health history, listen to your goals, learn more about your expectations, and determine if a chest procedure is an option for you. Our comfortable and inviting office is located in one of the most beautiful areas of California, and we hope you’ll visit us to discuss these procedures.

Is Top Surgery Painful?

These procedures are performed under general anesthesia, so you will not experience the procedure itself. After you’ve woken up and the numbing medications degrade, you’ll start feeling soreness and discomfort. We will have previously discussed pain management for when you start feeling this way, and that may include prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers. The discomfort and soreness may peak the next day or two, and will lessen over the course of 1-2 weeks.

How Do I Prepare for Top Surgery?

We will of course provide detailed pre-operative instructions for you, and they typically include:

  • Stop taking medications or supplements as instructed by your doctor and Dr. Chalekson (you may need to temporarily stop taking aspirin and certain supplements that increase the risk of bleeding)
  • If you smoke, stop smoking at least 3 weeks before surgery (and be prepared to not smoke for 3 weeks after)
  • Stop eating at the specified time cutoff the night before. Don’t eat anything the day of surgery
  • Follow our directions for bathing
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to surgery
  • Make sure you have arranged for someone to drive you home and stay with you

Don’t worry, we’ll provide complete instructions that you’ll be able to refer back to. Getting ready for your surgical appointment isn’t too big of an inconvenience, and we’ll make sure all your concerns are addressed beforehand.

How is Transgender Top Surgery Performed?

Most often, the approach is a more or less straightforward breast augmentation or breast removal.

Breast augmentation

Breast implants are placed within the tissue to create bigger breasts. Most of the time, patients have been taking feminization hormones, so breast mounds will have started developing. The breast implants are often placed in the existing breast mounds and the tissue stretches to accommodate the implants.

In other situations, a tissue expander device may be used before the implants are placed. The tissue expander looks a lot like an implant. It is gradually expanded over time, gently stretching the tissue so that it can hold and encapsulate the implants.


The mastectomy is the removal of the breast tissue. If there is a lot of excess skin as well, that may need to be removed. Sometimes the nipples are reduced and/or repositioned. All of the remaining tissue and skin is positioned over the chest contour to look masculine.

Tailored approach

As an experienced cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Chalekson performs a full array of cosmetic procedures. He may recommend combining liposuction with mastectomy or breast augmentation, or other procedures to achieve the best possible results. The only way to know for sure is to visit him for a consultation.

What Our Patients Have to Say

"Such a great experience, staff is very friendly and welcoming I mean staff is AMAZING. I am so pleased with my results as well as the care and support you have provided me. THANK YOU." -N.P.

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What is Recovery Like From Top Surgery?

Recovery from breast augmentation usually involves:

  • Having someone drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery
  • Nothing more than light walking for the first week
  • Return to work after 1 week, assuming your job doesn’t involve heavy lifting or strenuous activities
  • Return to strenuous activities/full range of activities after 4-6 weeks

At first, your breast implants will sit high on the chest and may feel somewhat firm to the touch. They need time to settle and “fluff” into place, as it’s called. They’ll first drop and soften after about 3 days, and continue to settle even more into place over the course of 6 weeks. After 3 months, you will be looking at your final results.

If you are undergoing male chest surgery, the recovery typically involves:

  • Having someone drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery
  • Nothing more than light walking for the first week
  • Returning to work after 1-2 weeks, as long as your job doesn’t involve heavy lifting or using the chest muscles
  • Returning to strenuous activities/the full range of your normal activities after 6-8 weeks

These timelines will vary based on individual healing. We’ll review the activities and exercises you usually enjoy, as well as the nature of your job, and provide customized timelines for returning to them. We will schedule follow-up appointments with you and make sure you have contact information for any questions or concerns that arise during recovery.

What Can I Expect From My Top Surgery Results?

Our patients are typically very satisfied with the results and do not regret the decision to undergo top surgery. Having a male or female chest contour that you do not identify with is distressing and causes chest dysphoria. Research shows that chest surgery can eliminate or reduce dysphoria and improve self-esteem. If you identify along the transgender spectrum or as nonbinary, these procedures may be the right way to feel even more like yourself and feel at home in your body.

If you are mulling over the option of top surgery, it’s important to speak to an experienced, compassionate, and understanding plastic surgeon. Even if you’re really excited to get the procedure, it can be a stressful situation. Dr. Chalekson cares about making your experience as positive and successful as he can. He has worked with many transgender and nonbinary people over the years, and he is ready to provide clear information about your options and how to navigate the process.


Take the next step toward becoming the truest expression of yourself. To schedule a consultation to discuss transfeminine or transmasculine top surgery in Templeton, CA, please call the practice of Charles Chalekson, MD, at 805-434-2828. Or, you can fill out our appointment request form in our contact page. Our practice looks forward to serving you!

“Dr. Chalekson is an excellent communicator, he possesses a bright and eager mind, extraordinary manual dexterity and genuine compassion. Dr. Chalekson’s team is a reflection of how well rounded he is.”

Schedule Your Transgender Top Surgery Consultation Today

If you are considering transgender top surgery or other breast surgery, contact the plastic surgery practice of Charles Chalekson MD Inc., today online or at 805.434.2828 to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Charles Chalekson. In addition to women in Paso Robles & Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Cambria & Morro Bay, Arroyo Grande & Pismo Beach, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, we happily welcome patients from across California and the U.S.

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Located in Beautiful California

1310 Las Tablas Road Suite 202
Templeton, CA 93465

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Fax: 805.434.9928

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