I have finally chosen the doctor and clinic for my GRS (gender re-affirmation surgery). I will have my surgery in mid September.
In order to qualify for GRS (some call it ‘bottom’ surgery), a transsexual person needs to have:
- Signed letter by a therapist stating you are indeed a transsexual and that surgery is required, plus that you do not have any other psychological disorders that would prohibit or complicate this
- Documentation showing that you have lived at least one year totally and completely in the chosen gender (this is called the RLE – real life experience)
- Medical documentation that you are fit and can ‘live’ through a 7 hour procedure.
It has been difficult to choose a surgeon/clinic for my GRS.
Basically, from everyone I have talked to, emailed, read blogs, etc. that have personally been through GRS plus reading many different clinic web sites and information – it came down to three: Dr. Bassard in Canada, Dr Bowers in California and Dr. Suporn in Thailand. Anyone that had been to any of these three had raving reviews for their doctor and would go to them again. Everything put these three at being precisely equal as well. This made the decision all that much harder.
Dr Suporn’s method is not the standard method for GRS. It is not the ‘inversion’ method and it results in most everything being ‘reused’. This results in most of the same areas being sensate that a natal female has. One of the women I talked to stated that this was a very high importance to her and Dr. Suporn came through. She stated that other doctors would not guarantee the result would be orgasmic, however Dr. Suporn did (however she would have to pay the airfare to come back for corrective surgery – but he would guarantee it and the corrective surgery would be paid by him).
Two other factors also helped in choosing Dr. Suporn. As my GP doctor stated: “go with who has the most experience” and that is Dr. Suporn by a long shot. His fees are lower as well. I’ll be able to get both the GRS and a breast augmentation for the same price as the GRS alone here in the states (and that includes the travel expenses and the hotels). They also keep you longer. I will be staying in Thailand for 30 days, verses the two weeks with the others.
Dr. Bowers is herself a transsexual, having had the surgery from one of the pioneering doctors in this field and going on to study from him and eventually take over his clinic when he retired. It was hard not to choose her.
I’ve had glowing reviews from people I know that went to Dr. Bassard’s clinic in Montreal. My sons and grandsons live in Minnesota and I would have been able to stop over on my way back, breaking up the journey and being able to recuperate closer to the clinic.
But in the end, it was a letter from a friend that went to Dr. Suporn that finally allowed me to decide. The different technique, the additional sensate tissues and layers, the more ‘normal’ appearance and the additional comfort that Thailand affords, all added up to make it the winning ticket!
Of course there are other things that I now have to take care of:
- Airline tickets that cross the international date line (the flight is 21 hours, plus crossing the date line – so exactly which day do I actually land? The tickets give the time of landing but not the date – ack)
- Getting my passport updated, in time. I already had turned this in only to have it returned stating that I used the wrong form and please attach a letter from my doctor, which I had and they did not return!
- Getting a visitor visa for Thailand. Their consulate here is on a different island, so I may have to fly over there just to get this.
- Transferring a large amount of money overseas – governments don’t like that – smells of terrorism. So lots of red tape plus a lot of intermediate banks that all want to charge a fee.
- Cardiac stress tests (like why do I want to stress that? Does not sound nice at all) and other medical tests.
- My partner (will be my spouse a week from now) is coming with and will have to deal with all the name changing and especially passport and visa issues.
I’ll keep posting as this progresses.
With much Aloha,