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#1 joshcohen

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:11 PM

My name is Josh; or it will be as soon as I have my top surgery. I have been waiting since 2005 to have top surgery because $8500 is way out of reach. I work and I make enough to get by and maybe go see a movie or out to dinner a couple times a month; there is nothing left to save. I ache to have this done but it really is about money. I think it is criminal that health insurance, including Medical, does not recognize that surgery is essential to trans health. I live in northern California about an hour north of San Francisco; sometimes I think of moving to SF to get a city or county job there where it is covered; then I remember how unhappy I was living there and even surgery isn't worth going back there. For me, it's a great place to visit, but living there isn't an option.

I have been male as long as I can remember; when I was young, I used to rip off dresses and other girl's clothing because it just felt wrong. But I soon learned to go along with the program; it was bad enough getting beat for whatever I did or didn't do without adding that to it. Once I left home, I only had boys/mens clothing. When I started taking T, I felt normal inside my skin for the first time in my life.

My family never accepted the gay thing; no need to even address the trans issue as they don't have anything to do with me anyway. I started telling my friends, but it felt like I was apologizing for being myself so I stopped. If they have questions, they can ask me. Some have and others haven't; I've only lost one or two friends over this process. The rest either have said they knew it all along or have been incredibly supportive.

That's enough for now.

Bob, The Utilities Guy | Save Money on Your Utility Bills and Feed Starving Children

#2 Bones

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:01 PM

I believe mine will also be around that price (I heard it was $9000). I'm having keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.

I agree that it's crazy that the medical community will acknowledge that transition is a medical need (they require diagnosis for us to go through with it), but then will not assist us at all financially. I am also downright furious that you have to have surgery to legally change your gender, when they know it costs this much without any help. The diagnosis should be enough to have that legally changed, I really believe that. Because legal sex/gender (the government uses these terms interchangeably) does not reflect genitals AT ALL. I can legally get that changed with chest surgery. That's why I know it's a load of hogwash that they require surgery at all. We are "serious." Surgery doesn't prove that. It only proves we somehow got all that money.

I used to live near your area. I was in Sonoma County. I wanted surgery with Michael Brownstein. It took my friend two years to save up enough. I'd still like to work with Brownstein. I worry he'll retire before I can save up enough! I have other medical problems that need addressing too. Being trans is an extra problem and I don't know where I'm going to get this extra money...

I'm very frustrated by the surgery situation. Now, I'm smaller than an A cup, but still. I want a normal male chest. And I want to be legally male so people will stop giving me "looks" when I show them my ID. I'm tired of also people thinking my ID is fraudulent or stolen.

#3 Christian_transman

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:41 PM

Hey Josh and Dan, Don't give up! Your surgery will happen - just keep believing in yourself and your future. Just a note, that top surgery should NOT cost that much. I had my top surgery done by a fine surgeon in Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Perry Johnson, for a total of $6200.00 with a free consult two days before surgery since I had to travel about 600 miles to get there. It was well worth the trip and he did an excellent job - I couldn't be happier! The spacing was perfect, and nipple size was small just like I asked for. He also does free revisions. If you want to see examples of his work, there's a yahoo FTM surgery group that he has pictures of previous patients - I can't remember the exact name of it right now, but I'll post it when I do.
If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me, OK? Chris Ohara

#4 Bones

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:46 PM

Did you have double incision? I've heard keyhole is simply more expensive... Keyhole is only really available to small-chested trans men, because a small incision is made below the nipple and this is where the tissue is removed, and the extra skin is left to "shrink back". After a certain size, skin must be removed, as is done in the double-incision surgery. My chest is smaller than a full A cup, so I think it would be unnecessary butchering to cut large gashes on my chest. I am willing to pay extra to bypass that and leave with virtually no scarring.

#5 Christian_transman

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:04 AM

Hey Dan,
I had double-incision because I was a C cup - but the scars are minimal and fading more every day. Seems like a key-hole would be even less money, not more. Whatever surgeon you decide on, make sure they have plenty of experience doing this type of surgery, and check out their photos of their work before you have them cut on you. I've seen some photos of some really badly botched chest surgeries, so beware. The surgeon in Nebraska did a GREAT job on my chest - and I healed up really quickly which was great.
Good luck and it WILL happen for you! Chris

#6 Bones

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:40 PM

I don't know why it is, but in what I've read about keyhole, it costs more. Logically, in my mind, it should cost less, but for some reason I'm finding every surgeon charges more. I'm not sure if it's on the grounds that it's a "specialized surgery" or not. I have so little breast tissue that it would likely cut the time in half. But they charge "equally" for all patients generally... maybe I'll get some good news on an intake and they'll charge me a lot less, I really don't know.

Another thing is that supposedly not many surgeons do keyhole. Now I have not done a great deal of research but I know of two surgeons who's results looks pretty much completely natural. But they both charge quite a bit. I had a friend who payed about $9000 for his.




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