There’s lots for me to consider in choosing a surgeon for FTM top surgery. Money is certainly a factor, but I’m trying not to make it the most important concern. The quality of the work is paramount. I have narrowed my choices down to three surgeons:
Dr. Michael Brownstein is my top pick for a number of reasons. It was his website that I bookmarked about three years ago when I first learned that chest surgery was an option for me. He practices in San Francisco, CA and has been doing this procedure since 1975. One of the things that has impressed me greatly is that when I have contacted his office with questions, I received very quick replies from both his office assistant and Dr. Brownstein himself—even on a Sunday morning. I’ve had email contact with some of his past patients, and while they reported that he doesn’t have an overly soft bedside manner, each and every one said his work was excellent. I don’t need him to be my best friend, I just want high quality results.
I sent photos of my chest to Dr. Brownstein so that he could do an evaluation. He recommended the double incision method and quoted a price of $5000 USD, plus $3000 in facility and pathology fees. Add to this travel expenses for two (airfare and two weeks in a hotel), and Dr. Brownstein is the priciest of my three options.
Dr. Cameron Bowman practices in Vancouver, BC. Right away, this is a huge plus due to my relative proximity to the city. I have heard from his past patients that he is very skilled (though I have not been able to locate any photos of his work online) and that he truly cares about the BC trans community. The costs for my surgery with Dr. Bowman would probably be a little less than Dr. Brownstein, and I would also have cheaper travel expenses. However, there’s some uncertainty about his availability.
Dr. Howard Silverman, who practices in Ottawa, is my final choice. He seems the cheapest of the three (though I haven’t personally received a quote from him.) Dr. Silverman practices informed consent and doesn’t require any letter of support for FTM Top Surgery. The two things that made me consider Dr. Silverman to begin with were the lower cost and the fact that I lived in Ottawa for many years and would be familiar with surroundings. Update: Dr. Silverman no longer performs FTM Top Surgery.
Dr. Brownstein remains my first choice but if there are no issues with Dr. Bowman taking me on as a private client then I’ll need to reconsider this.