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Your Guide to Transgender Surgeries


Dr. Sherman Leis Surgery Guide:


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Dr. Sherman Leis, D.O., F.A.C.O.S.

The Center For Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery
19 Montgomery Avenue 
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Phone: (1) 610-667-1888
Email: DrShermanLeis@DrShermanLeis.com
Websites: www.thetransgendercenter.com and www.drshermanleis.com 

(Please Review Below)

I had a bilateral orchiectomy with Dr. Leis in September of 2012. I have written a review below.





Disclaimer:


 The following information is provided as a guide to assist in discovering, researching and selecting a surgeon. After you have narrowed down your search, it is your responsibility to double check the information and ask them any questions that you may have. If you discover any updated or incorrect information, please email info@tssurgeryguide.com so that it can be corrected. Thank you.



Overview:


 Doctor Sherman Leis, D.O., F.A.C.O.S. is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. His career has focused on surgery to correct injuries, deformities and disease as well as to train young surgeons. He currently dedicates much of his time providing surgical services to transgender patients.

 Dr. Leis believes in expanding the amount of doctors who perform gender affirmation surgery. He has trained many surgeons as part of his commitment to educating residents in plastic and reconstructive surgery and transgender surgery. Some of the surgeons that he has trained includes Dr. Christine McGinn and Dr. Kathy Rumer.



SRS Requirements:


Dr. Leis follows the WPATH Standards of care.



Mandatory:

 1. A true transsexual with gender dysphoria.

 2. Surgery recommendation letters by 2 mental health specialists trained in          gender identity issues.
 3. Hormone treatment for at least one year.
 4. Living “real life” test for a minimum of one year.
 5. Emotionally stable
 6. Medically healthy with any medical conditions being treated and under            control.



Possibly Negotiable:


 1. Adult age (at least 18 years old)
 2. Support of spouse, family, significant other, friends
 3. Economically stable

Online therapists that can provide letters of recommendation for surgery


Dr. Leis doesn't require mental health clearance or hormonal therapy prior to facial or chest surgery. An Orchiectomy has the same requirements as SRS, but he may be more flexible depending on your situation and who you got a letter of recommendation from.



Hair Removal:

 Dr. Leis strongly recommends removing hair from the scrotal area prior to MTF sex reassignment surgery (SRS). This is to prevent hair growth in your vagina. He says that you can use either laser or electrolysis, but if you have dark skin or light hairs you will need electrolysis.

 If you are embarrassed to get genital hair removal you can try the Tria laser hair removal system (www.triabeauty.com) at home. This should at least reduce the time that you will need professional services. You could also try Silk'n (www.silkn.com) as an alternative.

 You also may be able to do some of your own electrolysis from home with the One Touch system. The cheapest place to buy it is on Ebay, it usually costs about $10 USD. Make sure to buy replacement tips though, they bend easily.



Smoking:

 Dr. Leis requires for you to stop smoking at least two months before any surgery. This is because smoking greatly increases risks, and slows healing. It also causes scarring.



Weight:


 Dr. Leis doesn't have a set weight requirement for sex reassignment surgery, however he strongly recommends for you to be a healthy weight.



How Much Does Dr. Leis Cost?:


Male to Female (MtF) Price  
   
Facial Feminization Surgery: 
 
   
 Blepharoplasty (Eyelids Upper and Lower) 
$6,700
 Rhinoplasty 
$6,200 
 Rhinoplasty with Septoplasty 
$7,500 
 Facelift (Rhytidoplasty) 
$10,600
 Mini Facelift 
$7,800
 Liposuction of Neck 
$2,600
 Chin Augmentation 
$3,600
 Cheek Augmentation 
$5,200
 Forehead/Brow Lift with Brow Bone Reduction and Hair Line  Advance $6,200
 Thyroid Cartilage Reduction 
$3,600
 Upper Lip Shortening 
$4,400
   
Breast and Body Surgery:  
   
 Breast Augmentation 
$8,200
 Liposuction 
$1,000-$1,500
 Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) 
$8,500
 Mini-Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) 
$5,300
 Buttock Augmentation (Implants) 
$9,500
 Buttock Augmentation (Fat Transplant) 
$7,500
 Calf Augmentation (Implants) 
$6,700
   
Bottom Surgery:  
   
 Vaginoplasty (SRS, One Stage with Penile Inversion,  Clitoroplasty, and Labiaplasty) $19,150
 Orchiectomy 
$4,100
   
Female to Male (FtM)  
   
 Subcutaneous Mastectomy w/ Minimal Skin Reduction & Areolar  Reduction (Periareolar Incision) 
$6,000
 Subcutaneous Mastectomy w/ Moderate Skin Reduction,
 Aeolar Reduction & Elevation (Lollipop Incision) 
$5,500
 Subcutaneous Mastectomy w/ Large Skin Reduction, Areolar  Reduction & Elevation (Anchor Incision or Peri-areolar &  Submammary “Double” Incision) 
$8,100
 Metoidioplasty (Clitoral Release) 
$5,200
 Groin Flap Phalloplasty 
$12,700
 Abdominal Flap Phalloplasty 
$13,700
 Testicular Implants (Pair) 
$1,500
 Penile Implant – Hydraulic 
$7,200
 Scrotal Construction from Labia 
$3,000
 Glansplasty 
$1,000
 Phalloplasty, Scrotoplasty, Testicular Implants, Glansplasty,  Transpositin of the Clitoris 
$21,250




The prices above are current as of 2012, and may vary depending on which hospital is utilized and if hospital or anesthesia fees are changed.

Dr. Leis offers discounts on the surgical fees if you get multiple procedures.



Aftercare:


 After male to female SRS, you will need to use a vaginal dilator for the rest of your life. This is to retain the depth. Each surgeon has slightly different methods of dilation, you will need to follow your surgeon's instructions.



Orchiectomy:


 Dr. Leis performs the bilateral orchiectomy while under general anesthesia. You will need to stay two days after surgery in one of his rooms. It is recommended for you to stay in the area for a week. Dr. Leis will remove the stitches about 5 to 7 days after surgery. $3,000 is due up front, and $1,100 is due by the day of surgery for the operating room and anesthesia. If you are young and in good health he won't require you to stop hormone replacement therapy prior to surgery.



Lodging:


 Dr. Leis has recovery rooms available for $50 a night. You can stay there prior to surgery also. 



Travel:


 You should make sure to check the cost of traveling when calculating the price of surgery. You can use www.skyscanner.net and www.priceline.com to find the most affordable flights.



Review of My Experience with Dr. Leis:


 I decided to get an orchiectomy for health and legal reasons in 2012. I started transitioning 5 years prior as a teenager, I could not afford the cost of the full sex reassignment surgery (SRS). 

 I chose to get an orchiectomy with Dr. Sherman Leis because he was one of the closer surgeons, also does SRS and had a short waiting list. I scheduled a month and a half in advance. I also liked that he used general anesthesia for the procedure, since I did not want to be awake for it.



Presurgery:


 His receptionist, Carole was very helpful by email. However I had financial help from someone who said she was rude to her when she called to pay. In my experience she answered questions even when she was on vacation in europe. I have found her to be very fast in providing help, even months after the surgery. She has sent me records and letters right away, without any issue and I have never been charged a fee for additional copies.

 I was first asked to fill out a patient intake form. I was accidentally sent one that contained another patient's information, including social security number. I believe that this happened because they were working while on vacation at the time.

 Next I needed to get a CBC (complete blood count) and urinalysis. It cost me about $65. If you are an older patient, you might be asked for additional tests. For the urinalysis, you need to pee in the cup mid stream. My white blood cell count was high, but it didn't prevent me from getting surgery.

I was sent a prescription for Percocet, that I needed to have filled prior to surgery.

 I had two letters for full sex reassignment surgery and a letter from my family doctor. He said that this would be good enough for SRS if I had enough money.



Arrival:


 We drove by Dr. Leis' office a couple of times looking for 18 Montgomery Ave. It turned at that his office was on a small side road off of Montgomery on the right side. It was smaller than I expected. 



 When we arrived we went inside and were greeted by a woman, I forget her name. She had a european accent. She seemed nervous to speak English, but she actually was very fluent and explained a lot about our rooms and the area.



Lodging:


 Our room was on the 3rd floor of his office so we had to climb a bunch of steps. The kitchen area and bathroom is shared with another patient on the other side. The room had two small twin beds, a futon and a lounge chair. It had a flat screen TV but as far as we could tell it only got a couple of channels. It also had window air conditioning that worked well. The room seemed clean, although we found a previous patient's bloody underwear beneath the bed on our last day there.



Consultation:

 My consultation was the day prior to surgery at his office. Dr. Leis and his medical student talked with me for about an hour, some of which was recorded by audio. He explained all of the potential complications and made sure my paper work was ok. The consultation is done in the room in the video above.

 He recommended that I lose weight before SRS and also said that my spouse needed to. In all honesty I was surprised, because nobody had ever called me overweight before in my life. I actually had the opposite experience with being called skinny and have been happy with my weight. He did not say this to be insulting though, and I probably could be in better shape and eat healthier.

 After we were done talking, I was brought to a small examining room across the hall. I had to put on a medical gown and lay on the table. I was very nervous because I am so gender dysphoric over been preop. If you aren't already shaved he will do it then. Luckily I already was. Strangely he didn't wear any gloves or wash his hands as far as I could tell.

 His medical student came for this part of the consult as well, but she just observed. Finally he took a picture and I was able to get dressed.



The Surgery:


 I woke up early on my own at 5:45 am. I was supposed to get to the surgery center at 6:45. He has several surgery centers that he performs surgery at. Mine was at the Delaware Valley Orthopedic and Spine Center.

 We drove to the DVOSC, which was about 5 minutes or so from his office. I had to fill out some forms and give them my ID at the desk. I think a little after 7 am I was called back. 

 I was given a surgical gown and socks. I was able to change in a small bathroom and pee. My clothes were placed in a plastic bag. I came out and they told me that I had the gown on backwards, and that everyone does it. Apparently it is like the opposite of a robe, with the opening behind you and the tag in the front.

 I came back out and was given a bed to lay on. I was asked several times if I knew what surgery I was getting. I told them an orchiectomy, and they didn't seem surprised or shocked so I guess that the nurses and anesthesiologist are used to Dr. Leis' patients being trans. In ordinary life many people don't know that I am transgender so I'm not used to being so open with strangers.

 I was asked to sign some more forms and was given an IV. First I was given saline solution and an anti-nausea drug. I was asked if I wanted my spouse to come back and I said yes. We were able to talk for a few minutes before it was time to go to the operating room. Dr. Leis also showed up for about a minute to see if I was ready. He left to go get coffee.

 I was given a surgical cap and pushed down a hall to the operating room. It was cold, and had lights that looked like spot lights. I had to move from the bed to the operating table. I had my arms secured away from my body. There were three people in the room, but Dr. Leis wasn't there yet. They were about to place a mask over my face, and that is the last thing that I remember.

 The next thing that I knew I was laying back in a bed in a recovery room. I had oxygen tubes in my nose and the IV was still hooked up. I think it was about 9:15 am. My underwear was already on underneath the gown and I was covered by a blanket. My throat hurt from the breathing tube placed down it.

 My spouse came in, and I was given Tylenol. The IV and oxygen was taken out. I was kind of out of it for 30 minutes or so. The nurse seemed very nice and asked me if I wanted to go or stay longer. I was ready to go, so she helped me to put on my clothes and get in a wheel chair. I was pushed out to the car.



After the Orchiectomy:


 As we drove back to Dr. Leis' office, his road was completely shut down for paving and trimming trees. I was in a lot of pain, and sitting up so long on a bumpy road was hurting me. After about a hour we were able to get someone from his office to come and help us to get into his parking lot.

 Next I had to get up the steps to the 3rd floor. The woman that had greeted us the first day helped me to get up the stairs. I was in so much pain. The pain was initially mostly in my lower abdomen and felt similar to if you had been hit in the testicles. I immediately took some Percocet once I got to my room.

 Dr. Leis and his medical student came to check the surgical area. This was the first time that I had saw him since right before the orchiectomy. It was bleeding and starting to swell, but he said that I was doing ok and had no complications during surgery. He didn't use gloves this time either. He was really kind.

 I was supposed to feel nauseous and be unable to eat but I was starving. My spouse picked up some subs from nearby. Since the bathroom was shared with another patient and a man that she brought with her, it caused problems. I needed my spouse to help me to get up and walk, and it was a 5 minute trip to the bathroom. By the time that I was up and on the way they would go in and take a shower or something. 

 The other problem that I had with the bathroom was that the ceiling over the toilet was just over shoulder height for me, because of the slope of the roof. This actually wasn't as much of a problem after surgery because I couldn't stand up all of the way.



Complications:


 In the first 24 hours after surgery my abdomen and genital area started to swell a lot. The surgery center had forgotten to give me an ice pack. It got so swollen that I had to walk like I was riding a horse and it was difficult to pee without urinating on the surgical incision. 

 I was concerned so we contacted Dr. Leis. He said that it should be ok. After the first 48 hours the swelling finally stopped getting worse. The area was completely purple and black. When he came to see me Sunday night at 8:30 pm he told me that I had a hematoma and recommended that I take bromelain to reduce the swelling and get rid of it. 

 He had told me during the consult that none of his orchiectomy patients had ever had a hematoma before. If that's true it might have been because of the combination of the road work, climbing the stairs and not being given an ice pack at the surgery center. None of those are Dr. Leis' fault except maybe the stairs, but I think most buildings in the area would have had the same problem. He seemed really caring and took his time to make sure that I was ok.

 He didn't wear gloves this time either. I guess it doesn't matter too much though since I didn't get any infections. If it bothers you, I'm sure that you could ask for him to wear gloves. I was told to come back in a week to see if I need to have the hematoma drained.

 The bromelain seemed to really help to reduce the swelling. A week and a half after the orchiectomy, I still have trouble walking though, and I look pregnant from the swelling. Where it doesn't hurt, I seem to not have any feeling. This should go away though over the next few months. 

 I saw Dr. Leis again and he was able to drain some of the old dead blood from the hematoma while using local anesthesia. At least half of it was too clotted to get out though. I also had the remnants of the stitches removed.



Update:

 The hematoma went away after about 4 months. Feeling has been coming back to the numb areas slowly, but after about a half year most of it is normal. I think that nattokinase really made the hematoma disappear. Within two weeks of taking that it was gone. This was after months of trying other things and waiting.



Conclusion:


 I am happy with getting surgery with Dr. Leis. Everything might not have been perfect, but nothing ever is in life. The fact that I even need an orchiectomy is proof of that. He is a kind surgeon, that is very experienced and knows what he is doing. I am happy to at least have been able to get the orchiectomy done, hopefully it will help some while I continue to save for SRS. I would go back to him again for surgery.



Additional Information:


 For additional information please visit Dr. Leis' website or email
DrShermanLeis@DrShermanLeis.com.




Review or Comment:


 If you have a review, question or comment about Dr. Leis, please help others out by posting below or in the forums.