Virtual FFS FAQ's
On this page I have tried to answer all the questions that I am most frequently asked about Virtual FFS.
Will you give a completely honest assessment?
Absolutely. FFS is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and it is vital that I am completely honest with you about your needs. I hope I am always polite and supportive but I always strive for absolute honesty.
Do you take an aggressive or a conservative approach?
That depends on your needs. I have to balance the potential gains of anything I recommend against the potential risks. I will often advise against a procedure if it is very invasive and will only make a small improvement. For example, chin surgery has a lot of complications associated with it like numbness in the chin and bottom lip and reduced mobility in the bottom lip - these effects can last for many months and can to some extent be permanent in some cases, so if you had a very slightly masculine chin (say a couple of mm too tall) but the rest of your face was feminine, attractive and you had no notable passability problems, I would probably advise against taking those 2 mm off your chin to achieve a tiny bit of extra feminisation. You are free to disagree with me of course and I’m happy to show what the change would look like if it’s a procedure you feel strongly about. So I take a “cautious” approach but that might involve large alterations of a lot of features for one person or a few subtle tweaks for another.
How accurate is Virtual FFS?
It’s very difficult to give an exact answer to this. If the surgeon and patient decide to go for my recommendations; the surgeon is skilled and there are no anatomical problems with the patient that limit the amount of change that can be made to any unusual degree, then they are pretty accurate – I would say something like 80% accurate. However, virtuals are more about planning the surgery than predicting an exact result - it’s a way of sketching out the possibilities and seeing which changes are likely to work for you and what your personal preferences are. For example, you might have a tall square chin and I might reduce the height a little and make it more rounded. You look at the pictures and it clearly shows that chin work is going to help feminise your face, however, your surgeon might say “Yes, but I want to make the chin slightly more pointed and you might say to the surgeon “Can you also make it a tiny bit shorter?” So, the pictures reliably showed the importance of chin feminisation for your face but it’s a work in progress and you can continue to discuss the details with your surgeon. The more changes you make, the less “accurate” the pictures will be but without the pictures you might not have been able to make those detailed changes and refinements.
Is it best to have the Virtual FFS done before I have a consultation with a surgeon or afterwards?
It is better to have them done beforehand as they may give you have a better understanding of your needs. The pictures also work as a frame of reference for helping your surgeon understand your particular preferences and helping you understand any refinements that they suggest.
Can I send you my payment through the post as a money order or a cheque?
No. I only accept payment through a credit card, debit card or through a Paypal account.
Is ”2Checkout.com” secure?
Yes. I have used them reliably for 5 years to process credit cards for me without any security issues at all. They are a large, respected company. Please feel free to do your own research on them.
Do you accept payment by ”PayPal”?
There is an option to pay with PayPal at the checkout.
What will it say on my credit card statement?
If you pay through my website your credit card statement should say:
”2CO.COM *vffs” then a reference number followed by the amount: "$120 U.S. DOLLAR" and the exchange "RATE 1.50". The figures will vary of course according to the number of pictures you buy and the current exchange rate.
Can I pay in currencies other than US dollars?
Yes – you can choose from several major currencies by clicking on the different flags along the top of the checkout. If you click on the flag representing the currency you prefer to pay in, you will be shown all the prices in that currency. However, if you do pay in another currency, you can only use Visa, Master Card or PayPal.
Do you send the pictures and assessment by email or by post?
Everything is sent by email.
How do I know that Virtual FFS is not a scam?
The short answer is that you don’t but there are some things you can do to help you find out - firstly have a good look through the website and hopefully you will see that it is written by someone who genuinely knows what they are talking about. Secondly, join a transsexual support group like FFS-Support and ask about me – my service is fairly well known in the TS community and you will probably come across some of my clients. Speak to some of the better known FFS surgeons – most of them support my work and will be happy to recommend me. You will also find links to my site from some of the top FFS surgeon's sites.
Do you also advise on beauty and rejuvenation?
Yes. Facial Feminisation Surgery is misnamed in a way because beauty and age are always factors. People generally want to be as attractive as possible so, of course, I always take that into account. Most people over the age of about 40 would quite like to look a little younger too so I can often advise on rejuvenating procedures if you want me to. Rejuvenation procedures can be feminising to some extent because younger faces tend to look more feminine than older ones. Quite often I get a client who is proud of her signs of maturity and doesn’t not want any rejuvenating procedures done. I fully respect (and also admire) this approach so just let me know if you do not want any rejuvenating procedures done. Bear in mind that it might not be possible to avoid a lower face-lift if you are over about 40 and have surgery on the chin and jaw done - this is because the reduction in bone combined with swelling can leave the soft tissues in this area a bit slack.
Do you charge extra for showing different stages of FFS?
Generally no. When appropriate (at my discretion) I send more than one set of pictures showing various stages and alternatives. This is often only necessary in cases where there are some borderline possibilities.
Can you show the effects of hormones on the face?
Yes, but not always completely. Hormones change the face in several ways. They do not affect the bone structure but they do make the cheeks fuller and give the skin a more feminine texture. They can also help with the width of the jaw at the corners because they reduce muscle mass and therefore make the the chewing muscles smaller. I can show these changes but there is a certain subtle softness that comes from hormones that is hard to emulate. It is also not possible to predict the exact degree to which hormones will affect any particular person (everyone’s different).
Should I wait until I’ve been on hormones a while before I have FFS or Virtual FFS?
That would be ideal but it is not always possible or practical. The bones of the face are not affected by hormones but the soft tissues are - they make the cheeks fuller, the jaw narrower and the skin softer. I can usually simulate these effects to some degree (see question above) but there is always some guesswork involved. If you wait until hormones have done their work then the virtuals will be more accurate and you will have a clearer idea of what needs to be done. If you go ahead before taking hormones then there is some risk that you might end up having more done than you really need. I try to predict which procedures might be optional once hormones have done their work but there is always some guesswork involved. See my page on hormonal effects for more on this. It is also important to consider the psychological effect of hormones – when we are starting out we often hate even the tiniest masculinities but once hormones have softened you and if you are also passing well, you may start to feel that your face is not such a huge obstacle and might therefore decide you don’t need quite so much surgery.
How much do you charge for revisions?
Sometimes people do ask for a few revisions and I’m happy to do them free of charge. I only start to charge if it gets into multiple or very complicated revisions.
What if I disagree with your suggestions?
You are very welcome to disagree with me and I invite my clients to say if they have concerns about any of my suggestions. I never take this personally and there is always an element of personal taste in FFS. My job is to help you towards a face you will be comfortable with so it is very important that you feel very free to express your honest opinion about my suggestions.
Do you work with women who are not transsexual?
Yes. There are many women who feel their faces are too masculine and are in exactly the same situation as many transsexual women. All the same principles and surgical possibilities apply.
Do you work with cross-dressers and and other transgendered people too?
Yes, that’s no problem at all.
Can you work with different ethnic types?
Yes. Although facial features vary across different ethnic groups, the same male/female differences are common to all ethnic groups.
Do you work with female to male transsexuals?
Occasionally but it is different. There are no masculinisation surgeons out there as such (as far as I know). What I can do for F to M’s is advise them on the key areas that are important for their face and hopefully give some advice on corrections that could potentially be made.
Can you still assess my face if I am overweight?
Yes but the assessment will be limited to some degree. Fat can disguise the shape of the cheeks and hide an adam’s apple but it particularly affects the jawline and chin. I can make an educated guess as to what the underlying structures are likely to be like but it is important to understand that to some extent I am guessing.
Can I send my pictures to surgeons or take them to consultations?
Yes – please do. Most FFS surgeons welcome them and are very familiar with my work. They are an invaluable reference point for consultations.
Can I share my pictures on support groups and social networks like facebook?
Of course – the pictures are yours so you can post them wherever you like.
Why does Virtual FFS take so long?
Doing virtuals is more an art than a science. I don’t have a computer program that changes the pictures for me and I have to make all the changes manually a bit at a time in Photoshop. After an hour or so I stop being able to judge a person’s face and I have to take a break from it – sometimes for a couple of days or more. I then come back to it with fresh eyes and can see more clearly how to improve things. Sometimes I also have quite a backlog to get through. I do offer a one-week-turnaround but it is quite stressful to do Virtual FFS under pressure so I charge extra for that.
Can you remove beards?
I cannot remove an actual beard but I can greatly reduce beard shadow and I usually do this as standard. I sometimes can’t get rid of it completely without making the skin look plastic but I can usually make a big improvement.
Why can’t you add hair?
Technically I can but adding hair is amazingly time consuming as I first have to find the right hairstyle on another picture in the right colour and with the right lighting. I then have to match the texture of the photo and because this all takes a long time, it soon becomes very expensive. If you do not have a feminine hairstyle but want to see yourself with one in the pictures then I advise you wear a wig when you take them – this gives a much more realistic result. I hope I will be able to add hair in the future.
Can you add make-up?
Yes. I sometimes add some light make up in cases where I feel it’s going to help illustrate the possibilities.
Can you pluck eyebrows?
Yes, it's often the first thing I do when I'm working on a face.
Where do you get your information?
You can read all about this in my facial feminisation thesis. You will find a link to the thesis on the left.