When it comes to gender affirmation, choosing the right surgeon is critically important. Aligning your identity with your appearance is the point of gender affirmation surgery. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Marco Ellis explains what to look for in a gender affirmation surgeon and questions to ask candidates.
Perhaps the best way to make a decision about a gender affirmation surgeon is by obtaining recommendations from other medical specialists as well as people you know who have undergone the surgery.
Review Their Experience and Specialties
Find out how long the surgeon has been practicing gender affirmation surgery, as well as the areas in which they specialize. For instance, a gender-affirming surgeon may work primarily on facial affirmation surgery and not perform genital (“bottom”) surgery, or vice versa.
How often has the surgeon performed the surgery in which you are interested? You may find surgeons with plenty of experience in several types of plastic surgery who have not done many gender affirmation procedures. If the surgeon performs gender affirmation infrequently, it is best to choose someone who works in this particular field regularly.
Inquire About Their Education and Training
Besides learning where the surgeon went to school, find out who they trained under. How much experience did those individuals have? How does the surgeon keep up with the many changes in the field? You want someone at the top of their game.
You also want to find out if the training focused more on masculinizing or feminizing procedures.
Obtain Photographs of Their Work
The surgeon should provide you with photographic examples of their work so you can judge the results for yourself. Request as many examples as they are willing to provide. If they can only show you numbers in the single digits, they may not have the skills you seek. However, if the results are exemplary and they are experienced plastic surgeons, you may still want to take them into consideration.
If the surgeon has no photos to share, that’s a big red flag.
Read reviews and testimonials of the surgeon’s work. Of course, if the majority of such reviews are negative, that is a surgeon to cross off your list. Many reviews and testimonials go into a great deal of detail, and this information can help you decide whether a surgeon is a good choice for your procedure.
Meet With Dr. Ellis
Specializing in facial and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Ellis is one of Chicago’s best-known plastic surgeons for gender affirmation procedures. For an appointment, please call (312) 695-6022.