Saturday, February 18, 2006


Over New Year's, I set a goal for myself- start T and have chest surgery in 2006. I think it's doable, I think it's exciting. Makes me feel good and concrete and accomplished just to have such a goal.

And I say 2006, but really, I mean sooner rather than later. I'm looking to start T in March or April...I was hoping end of March, but the way the doctor visits are shaping up, looks like it may be closer to April. Which is fine, really. Two weeks one way or the other aren't going to hurt anyone.

The surgery I'm really hoping to have this summer, when I can take some time off work, and my mom and sister can take time off to be with me/take care of me. Not to mention if I do it in June, I won't have to bind in July and August! There's a thrilling thought. I don't like binding, even in the winter time when my layers and sweaters mean that my relatively mild binding style carries me a long way.

Anyway, I've been doing research for a couple months (much longer than that if you count all the time I spent on Transster over the last few years, scared but unable to stop looking at all the other guys with their remade skin) and I'd pretty much decided on Dr. Brownstein. I have a friend who went to him a couple years ago with great results, and another friend who's having surgery with him next month, and even beyond their personal recommendations, I like his reputation and I like his results.

Aesthetically, I think his scars follow pectoral contours very discreetly and naturally, and I think his nipple placement is more 'right on' and natural looking than others that I've seen. Plus, it's comforting to know that he's performed hundreds of these, and he knows what he's doing.

The one thing that troubles me is the fact that with his nipple grafts, there's no guarantee about what kinds of sensation will come back to you. Most folks, I've heard, don't retain much erotic, and get back only a little bit of 'protective' sensation...cna feel some pressure/pain.

And, well, my nipple sensation is pretty much the only thing I like about my chest. It'd be real nice to be able to keep it! On the other hand, as I'm coming to learn, this process is going to entail compromise. Give up my place in the sisterhood in order to gain recogntion of my manhood. Give up the ability to bear my own children in order to go through a male puberty that allows me to grow up and be a man. So maybe give up nipple sensation to get a chest that looks good on the beach.

But! Then I started hearing about this fellow Dr. Nguyen, who works, of all places, in Lake Oswego. Barely ten minutes from my mom's apartment, barely a mile from the library I worked in all through high school. He used to work with Wes and Ryan's dad (friends of mine from high school whose father, Dr. Meltzer, happens to be a plastic surgeon who does a lot of SRS procedures) and mostly does MTF work, but apparently has also done top surgery for some guys. Furthermore, he does a pedicle procedure which, while it generally requires a revision at a later date, maintains all nipple sensation.

Well now. All of a sudden we have a darkhorse factor. There's very little information about this guy online, especially as compared to Dr. Brownstein. I've no idea what his results look like. He's not particularly well known, and he certainly wouldn't have as much experience as Dr. B because, well, who does? On the other hand, how great would it be to be able to recover at home? AND retain my nipple sensation!

But it's real important to me to have a visually accurate chest, if you know what I"m saying. Not that I don't know that I'll have scars, and may or may not ever have a chest that will 100% "pass muster", and no surgeon is perfect, but looking at the results of guys who've gone to Brownstein with similar body types to me, they look pretty darn good. I'd really like to see some pictures from this Portland Dr.

I emailed one guy whom I used to know a couple years ago who'd posted about having the procedure with Dr. Ngyuen, and he wrote me back but I haven't been able to write him for more details because my SRC email isn't working at the moment. I'm hoping he might send me pictures, but I'm not sure if he will or not.

He mentioned that you definitely have to plan on having a revision to resize the areolas and remove a bit more tissue at about the 6month-1year mark, because of the nature of the pedicle procedure. Which isn't the most appealing, because I'd like to have it over and done with. On the other hand, Brownstein sometimes leaves dogears that require revisions, too. So I could need a revision no matter what.

Man, I just wish I could get more information! I should try to contact this Doc directly and see if he can send me a portfolio. My mom offered to go over to his office and pick up materials before she comes out to visit next month, so I should do that...if he has pictures, maybe she can make copies of 'em or something.

But this certainly throws another level of decision making into my life.

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