the soup of the afternoon
9.5 months post op, 21 months on T

I just had my (probably) final follow-up appointment with Dr. Bartlett.

In the last few months it’s been hard to tell what’s been the effects of healing and what’s been the effects of a different/better workout schedule, with regards to how my chest (and the rest of my torso) looks. My pecs are getting a little bigger and more toned in different places; I’m still trying to even them out since my left pec is noticeably bigger, or at least to me it is.

My nipples are still healing, and the checkup with Dr. Bartlett confirmed that. Healing is a process that keeps on going for up to two years post-op. Not only that but the wound itself isn’t just the incision under the nipples - it’s the whole area where tissue was removed and where nerves still have to regrow and stuff still has to patch itself back together. My nipples have a little bit more sensation than they did last time I updated. However it’s kind of weird - when I touch them they get hard, and I can feel something that’s kind of close to erotic sensation, but after a few moments of this they go numb and get super hard and also a little itchy sometimes. Sometimes the incision area swells up a little too, and feels hard and numb. Particularly on the right side, the lower half of the nipple is still kind of hard and lumpy, and protrudes in a kind of weird way. However, I don’t think it’s incredibly noticeable, although you’d probably be able to tell on fairly close examination in real life. Dr. Bartlett said that he’d be willing to revise at no cost (i.e. redo the incision and try something that will make the nipple lie flatter) if I wanted but also said just sitting and waiting would be a good idea. My nips also get kind of dry and itchy, I think because of the weather. I’ve been putting lotion on but asked him if it was okay and he said it was. My chest is still kind of tender in some spots, in the sense that when I got bearhugged from behind by a friend and lifted off the ground it hurt where his arms were crossing my chest and kind of pulling on the skin, but it was okay afterwards anyway.

Bartlett also said my areolas decreased in size. apparently they went from like 30 millimeters all around to 28 by 22 millimeters which is supposedly the ~ideal male size~ hahahha which is funny because I think my nipples look a little bigger than those of other dudes my age and build and ethnicity - so maybe it’s to do with body size overall providing a different scale, since even among skinny Asian teenage dudes I’m still on the way small end of the scale. Who knows lol

regarding T: my hips are definitely still slimming down, my acne may have gotten worse, chin hairs slightly increasing, for some weird reason the hair on my left thigh got a little longer in the last month. It’s also very interesting to just think of where I was at a year ago, since the things that had been kind of bothering me then - the ridiculous black hole of hunger that was my stomach, some of the irritability I was feeling - are either gone or much much easier to deal with. Actually, it’s more like both are pretty much gone. And like, my body just makes me feel loads happier.

Oh, and soon my pre-op photos are gonna be on Bartlett’s website, since I just took my post-op photos today. Maybe in like a week to two weeks? It might be obvious which are mine but idk how comfortable I am with pointing out which boobs were mine

Hey! I'm looking into Bartlett for my top surgery and I had a few questions. It might be a back-and-forth conversation but first off, how much was it? Did health insurance help at all (I have Health New England)? How was the experience? I might have more but this is what I have for now.

9300 bucks. I don’t actually know what the insurance situation is like right now, mine (Blue Cross Blue Shield Empire) said they’d cover like at least 4000-5000 bucks? We had to make them change their policy a bit because I was 17 at the time of surgery. But my parents have been trying to sort things out and I don’t know whether we’ve actually gotten any money back.

Check the posts I’ve tagged insurance for more stuff, I guess?

Feel free to ask more.

1.5 years on T, 6.5 months post keyhole with Dr. Richard Bartlett, 18 years old

In celebration of my recently turning 18 I am posting some booty pics. I am packing in the photos. (I doubt you would assume that I wasn’t but ???)

Some changes I’ve noted recently/sometime in the past month or three

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Amazing result! I was wondering how did you manage to builded that nice clean cut (packs)? Thanks in advance for sharing.

A billion planks basically. Some stuff like leg lifts on the power tower? But a lot of planks. Currently I can do a two-minute plank relatively easily.

Also I guess I try to eat pretty healthy - I actually really like salad, so that helps.

It’s kind of funny because I really don’t consider myself super cut or whatever I’d honestly offer that maybe 60% of the answer to your question is also “good lighting and a bit of ab-tensing”

edit: if you scroll down my page a little/check in the exercise tag, there’s my workout regimen that I had been following for about a month or two pre-surgery, and I’d been kind of faffing around with weights and exercise and whatever for a good couple of years before that - but since surgery, I really haven’t been in the gym as obsessively as I had been. And honestly I think that’s been nice. Testosterone is still changing my body, making it easier to retain muscle and strength. I’m no longer as paranoid that my shoulders will shrink into oblivion after a while of not working out. Most of what I do now is bodyweight stuff. Pushups, pushups with feet elevated (works shoulders more), planks, pullups/chinups. (I should probably do squats but I’m terrible and neglect my lower body like hell.) Being less stressed, not so crazed about trying to fill myself up with the right amount of proteins or carbs or whatever, or follow the right regimen, may honestly have contributed to my getting a bit leaner recently (thus making some muscles stand out more.)

lol edit was longer than original ask response

17 months on T, 5.5 months post keyhole with Dr. Bartlett

Sorry for being away so long. I’ve been really caught up in a bunch of things offline and also kinda busy moving into college and stuff (that’s my dorm room you see there, if you recognize somehow please don’t out me or whatever) Additionally trans related stuff has been making me +50000 anxious lately for a whole bunch of very ?????? reasons so. Pfffff anyway

Also I no longer have binders available, I donated them all to the In a Bind program, sorry.

I’ll try and get higher-quality pictures up at some point.

Testosterone-wise: my love handles/hips have gone way down. I’ve really stopped being so obsessive about working out - I think the forced break from working out because of recovery (and then because of being busy over the summer) and only really working out maybe a couple times a week, and not going nuts over a plan or whatever, has been really helpful. I don’t know if I’d say I’m more secure since I still do feel pretty anxious about some parts of my body but it’s very manageable and I’m definitely happy seeing progress continue.

There haven’t been a whole bunch of changes recently - honestly it’s more like I don’t give a shit anymore. Like who the fuck cares. I have gotten a little hairier on my belly and some other places I guess. Whatever.

Top surgery wise I’ve also stopped giving much of a shit? Honestly I forget I had it a lot of the time. My pecs are still a little lopsided but that’s because of the muscle being more developed on my left (???? i’m right handed wtf) I’m still numb and a tiny bit tender on my chest, mostly in like an inch or so radius of my nipples. I have a tiny bit of sensation back in my nipples. My left I can kind of feel if I touch the actual sticking-out nipple bit itself, but not really the areola - the right it’s a sort of weird situation, since I can feel sensation in the nipple, but only if I touch along the incision line under the areola and/or directly to the right of my areola (???????) And it’s not exactly the same as the sensation I had before. It’s not particularly pleasurable but mentally it’s pretty nice being able to go like, awww yiss I can feel my nips sort of. Also, my right nipple sticks out a bit more and sometimes when I touch it, it gets hard kind of around the incision. I have no idea what the fuck is even going on there but it really doesn’t bug me and I guess I might ask when I go in for my next Bartlett follow-up.

Being shirtless fucking rocks, also. Basically none of my anxieties re: top surgery came to pass. I forget I ever had it. It’s cool.

Oh yeah, and my drain scars are a bit itchy sometimes. And they kind of got hypertrophic but they just look like pretty bad bug bites or something. I don’t really care much. Besides they’ll fade with more time it’s only been five months.

Again, sorry for the absence.

hi i would like to receive a binder if ever the time arises because i really really need one and yeah and i don't have enough money to buy one but yeah

Okay, so this is extra motivation for me to actually make a proper binder giveaway post, so probably in the next few days.

I don’t want to give any one person priority or whatever - really sorry - I decided it’s going to be raffle style so sometime soon I’ll post a list of the binders I have, along with pictures, so you can decide which binder might be best for you. Then I’m going to make a separate post for each binder and catalog all the likes and then at the end of the time period (probably a week) randomly select one person. You can totally enter more than once btw. There’s six binders total so your chances aren’t horrible. (Also binders101 is doing raffles too for the next few weeks and the binders are all small or xs sizes too so go check those out as well.)

Good luck and stuff!

I have a really geeky question for you. Do you know how big your nipples were (in measurements) before surgery? Do they look smaller after surgery? I'm going to get peri with Dr. Fischer and am in the same boat as you - she will do the semi-circular peri incision on me if I'm willing to not resize my nipple, which is large for a male nipple, but still passable. Anyway, yours look good! So I was wondering how mine compared.

Actually I do because Bartlett actually does measure!

My first consultation (in August), they were about 30 mm in diameter, and it was kind of funny because Bartlett was like “we might have to resize, male nipples are usually 20-25 mm in diameter” and I was like “bro let’s measure my dad’s” and my dad’s were like 35 mm and I laughed a lot

By the second consultation though, which was only a month before surgery, I don’t remember precisely what Bartlett measured my nipples as, but it was a couple millimeters smaller than 30, I guess? I vaguely recall him saying something like “your nipples are 25 mm!” and I’m pretty sure that can’t be right because I just measured now, and my nipples are still just around 30 mm in diameter. Maybe it was cold?? Who the heck knows.

Basically: I don’t think they look much smaller post surgery. Their shape is different though, they’re more oval/compressed vertically, rather than round like they used to be. I was just really not bothered by their size since like I said, my dad’s nips are larger, which might just be an Asian thing but there’s plenty of variation around town.

Also I’ve been talking about the areola for this whole thing but if I can say something about the sticking-out nipple bit specifically, mine were and are also very small. They are essentially the same size as they used to be.

So, um, recently I've been looking into binders but they seem to be pretty expensive and I have no money, do you have any suggestions for like homemade ones or cheap binders?

I do not have very intimate experience with making my own but I did resort to sports bras quite a lot before binders (but I was pretty tiny) anyway there’s a few methods I found here and here but I can’t speak to their effectiveness, worth a shot though I guess?

Also there’s sometimes people giving away binders or raffling them off, often in the ftm or the havebinder tag, and I’m still trying to figure out a good way to give mine away so if you’re a really small-chested individual watch this space I guess?? Also if you’re in the US, there’s a thingy called the In a Bind program, dunno how good it is and apparently the waiting list is huge but yeah

ALSO if you do come into some cash and want to order from Underworks, the coupon code under10 takes 10% off your order if you enter it during checkout

Your body look great,what's your workout??? Thanks!

So right now I’m not actually back to doing full workouts yet, but what I was doing pre surgery was like what I think is called a three-day split? it’s like an alternation between “push” exercises (pecs, triceps, shoulders), “pull” exercises (biceps, back) and a day when I do a little of everything but concentrate on my core (abs, obliques, lower back.)

So my weekly schedule is like Monday “push”, Wednesday “pull”, Friday “push”, Sunday abs/everything, (next week) Tuesday “pull”, Thursday “push”, Saturday abs/everything, CYCLE. If that makes sense.

Additionally, I’m in weight training PE at school, which also alternates days - so I try to set it up so pretty much every day I’m working out. Generally at school PE I take it kind of easy and do an exercise I didn’t get to do at the gym because someone was using the machine and I was in a hurry or something.

Rest of this is under the cut.

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Hey bro, wondering why you don't show pic of yourself at all? Was just curious.

I’m assuming you meant why I don’t put my face on here

basically, I do have another blog where it’s mostly just your standard teenager faffing about being an idiot tumblr, where I do post pictures of my face on rare occasion because vanity is awesome. However, I’m still not sure how stealth I want to be for the rest of my life, and that blog does have a lot of trans stuff and personal stuff on it, which I’m fine with - only thing is, in the event that I have to delete my main blog for whatever reason, so that people don’t connect my face with the trans stuff or whatever, I want to have this blog up to serve as a resource.

Did that make any sense at all?? idk, I also feel uncomfortable about the tumblr culture of attracting people to your blog with pictures of yourself, as if whatever I might have to say is more valid because I’m now passable or whatever. I mean that’s a vastly cynical and probably inaccurate view of things, and I know that it can be really helpful to see how testosterone affects one’s face or whatever, but it just ???? I don’t know.

Essentially: Reasons, which are probably not going to change, since I feel like my face is more suited to my personal blog than here.