BMC Making Strides for Transgender Patients
This past May, Boston Medical Center announced the launch of a new surgical program that will be the first in the Northeast to offer male-to-female gender affirmation surgery for transgender patients, meeting the community’s long-standing demand for access to this treatment. The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at BMC will build on the hospital’s history of providing access to appropriate medical care for transgender patients, including hormone therapy, mental health support and primary care, as well as plastic surgery procedures such as facial feminization and mammoplasty. The addition of the genital surgical procedures, which includes orchiectomy (removal of the testicles) and neovaginoplasty (construction of a vagina), will make the transgender medical program at BMC one of only three comprehensive programs to be housed in academic medical centers in North America.
“This is an important addition to our surgical offerings as it truly represents BMC’s commitment to industry-leading medical care and to serving the needs of all members of our community,” says Kate Walsh, president and CEO of BMC. “For many of our transgender patients, surgery is the only way for them to lead a more complete life.”
BMC will be the only hospital between Philadelphia and Montréal to offer this procedure. Other states providing comprehensive gender affirmation surgery for transgender patients include Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Transgender patients seeking this surgery have struggled for many years to find appropriate and necessary medical care,” says Gerard Doherty, MD, former chief of surgery at BMC. “Now, we will be able to better serve this population and meet their needs by providing medically indicated surgery that will enable them to fully live as the gender they identify with.”
Patients interested in this procedure must meet strict criteria determined by an internal board comprised of several BMC clinicians including physicians and surgeons in endocrinology, urology, plastic surgery, primary care and mental health.
“We have a very active transgender community in Greater Boston. These patients have been asking for this service for many years, and we think they’ll be very pleased that the hospital they have come to rely on for unbiased, comprehensive care will be able to go one step further.” – Jaromir Slama, MD, chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery
All genital surgeries will be performed by Robert Oates, MD, vice chair of urology; and Jaromir Slama, MD, chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery. The surgeries will complement BMC’s existing transgender surgical and other specialty programs, including hormone treatment under the supervision of BMC endocrinologist and new Medical Director for the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, Joshua Safer, MD; and facial feminization procedures are available with Jeffrey Spiegel, MD, chief of the division of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery in the department of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery.
“We have a very active transgender community in Greater Boston,” says Slama. “These patients have been asking for this service for many years, and we think they’ll be very pleased that the hospital they have come to rely on for unbiased, comprehensive care will be able to go one step further.”