Just four hours after sending her first tweet as a woman, former Olympian and transgender hero Caitlyn – formerly Bruce – set a new world record. The massive response to her Twitter account broke the Guinness World Record for fastest time to gain a million followers. The former titleholder was gracious:
"While Jenner's debut on Twitter as Caitlyn broke the president's record, it also prompted congratulations from administration officials such as senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who tweeted "nice to meet you." – The Washington Post
65-year old Jenner has gone where no sports icon has gone before: into a silky white corset in a 22-page cover story for Vanity Fair magazine. Team Costhetics has been following Ms Jenner's transformation and thought you might like to know some of the medical and cosmetic procedures that went into creating the woman in this cover photo:
The cover uncovers the shapely results of facial feminisation and breast implant surgery, which has given Jenner a soft, pretty appearance and a voluptuous, body-appropriate 36D bustline.
Costhetics Explains Caitlyn Jenner's 9-Point Facial Feminisation
Facial feminisation is a term given to a variety of surgical and cosmetic treatments whose goal is to make a masculine face appear more feminine. Jenner's surgeries took a total of 10 hours. Jenner's chosen procedures helped with:
- Overall face shape
- Lip, Chin
In the mid-1980s, Jenner spoke openly about cosmetic enhancement in the press. He announced that he had had a partial facelift and nose job that he called "botched."
"If you Google my name, the worst plastic surgeries of all time or whatever it is ... they've compared me to Michael Jackson" – Caitlyn Jenner
In 2009, he had revision surgery to correct the previous imperfections. Since that time, he's had new work done on his forehead and jaw. The tabloids attributed these changes to a mid-life crisis and the pressure of being part of the full-tilt glamour Kardashian clan.
The most dramatic procedure in Jenner's transformation was something called a tracheal shave. It is typically performed on patients in the initial stages of gender reassignment surgery.
The medical term for a tracheal shave is chondrolaryngoplasty. The surgical procedure reduces the size of the V-shaped protrusion of cartilage in the neck known as the Adam's Apple, a physical characteristic strongly associated with men. Caitlyn Jenner's transformation has pushed it high on the Google search list.
To perform a tracheal shave, the surgeon makes a small incision in a crease of the neck to reveal the cartilage beneath. The surgeon shaves off the excess cartilage and the top part of the V, then stitches the neck muscles back together and closes the incision using sutures.
Chondrolaryngoplasty takes about an hour to perform. The surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia in the operating room. It carries the risk of damaging the voice box and changing the quality of the vocal chords.
A tracheal shave is most commonly performed on male-to-female transsexual patients. Caitlyn Jenner had not yet gone public with her plans to transition to life as a female at the time of her surgery and denied she was having a sex change.
"I just never liked my trachea"
– Caitlin Jenner
Sexual Reassignment Surgery: The Changing Definition of a Woman
Jenner has not opted for full genital transition surgery. He's not alone in that decision. Only about a quarter of transgender woman choose the costly, extensive, dangerous, and emotionally challenging procedure.
In fact, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's "Standards of Care" advises that genital surgery not be done until at least a year after transition.
Costhetics Explores the Emotional Impact of Cosmetic Enhancement
Like many cosmetic surgery patients, Jenner suffered last-minute jitters. When she began to doubt her decision to move forward, Jenner sought the help of a professional counsellor from the Los Angeles Gender Center. The counsellor assured Jenner that her reactions were common, and that second-guessing was a natural human response to change. They talked at length, and Jenner learned that some of what she was experiencing emotionally might even be related to the medications that were part of her treatment program.
At Costhetics, we believe this underscores the need for patients and their doctors to speak frankly about the emotional impact of what may be irreversible changes.
Ultimately, Jenner knew that her transformation was the right thing to do:
"If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,' and I don't want that to happen." – Caitlyn Jenner
If you've been unhappy with an aspect of your appearance, Costhetics urges you to sit down with a cosmetic surgeon or aesthetic professional to discuss what you can do to change your reality.
For information on procedures, pre and post op care, surgeon profiles, and articles visit www.costhetics.com.au