10 questions frequently asked to PA gender reassignment surgeon

The Center offers a uniquely supportive environment.
Photo credit:
wiseGEEK

Dr. Sherman Leis, a pioneer in transgender surgery, is the founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, a leading transgender health facility of world renown. 

He has performed thousands of transgender surgery procedures during his career. 

Dr. Leis lists below the 10 questions he’s asked most frequently by transgender people who are considering transitioning:

“How do I get started?”

Although Dr. Leis can begin the process with a consultation at his offices, the first step should be meetings with mental health professionals to make sure that the individual is mentally prepared for transitioning.

In fact, before bottom surgery can be scheduled with Dr. Leis, two mental health professionals, preferably with experience in transgender medicine, must provide letters of recommendation.

“How long does the mental health stage take?”

“It varies,” notes Dr. Leis. “Frequently, it takes a short time, but if the patient suffers from severe depression or other issues, it can take longer,” he said.

“What is the time requirement for being on hormone therapy?”

In addition to letters from two mental health specialists, Dr. Leis requires candidates to have at least one year of hormone therapy, prior to genital reassignment surgery (GRS).

“Is there a weight limit for candidates?”

No, there is not a weight limit, although a patient having body weight that conforms to medical height/weight standards recovers and heals more quickly and with less risk of complication.

Dr. Leis requires patients to be both mentally and physically healthy to be considered for transgender surgery.

“How long am I in the hospital after surgery?”

Dr. Leis keeps patients for 3 days, following genital reassignment surgery (GRS), to ensure the initial recovery process is complete.  

Often, facial and chest surgeries are usually done on an out-patient basis requiring no overnight stay.

The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery is one of the few facilities that has on-site recovery suites, so Dr. Leis can check on patients’ progress several times each day after surgery.

“What is the recovery timeline after surgery?”

“Typically, a patient can return to work or school anywhere from a few days to about 2 weeks for most facial or chest surgeries.

For bottom surgery or GRS, one can resume work or school in about 2 months,” says Dr. Leis.

Dr. Leis advises patients to wait 3 months before participating in physical activity to ensure a full, successful recovery. 

“How do I pay for transgender surgery?”

Dr. Leis reports most patients pay in cash; however, an increasing number of patients, currently about 30%-40% are covered by insurance, even if it doesn’t cover the entire bill.

Payment plans and loans are also available.

“Can I schedule my transgender surgery in stages?”

“Yes, patients can schedule surgery in stages,” explains Dr. Leis.

Most patients start with surgery on the face, breasts and hair.

Bottom surgery is often scheduled at another time, although many patients plan to have top, chest and bottom surgery at the same time.

“How can I make my voice sound more feminine?”

For patients concerned with the sound of their voice, Dr. Leis recommends visiting a voice coach.

The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, being the complete transgender medical resource, can recommend voice, hair, posture, clothing/dressing and other coaches, who are affiliated with the Center and specialize in working with transgender people.

“How soon can I have sex?”

“If patients do not experience any issues with healing, it is safe to engage in sexual activity after 2-3 months,” says Dr. Leis.

About Dr. Sherman:

Dr. Sherman Leis is one of the world’s pre-eminent transgender surgeons and founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, one of the leading facilities in the world, specializing in gender confirmation surgery.

The Center offers a uniquely supportive environment where one can connect with Dr. Leis’ surgical and non-surgical team of dedicated specialists - surgeons, psychologists, endocrinologists, aestheticians, speech therapists, legal experts, and others. 

The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery is located in suburban Philadelphia at 19 Montgomery Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA  19004.  Phone: 610-667-1888.  Website:  www.thetransgendercenter.com 

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