Episode 26: FtM Phalloplasty Surgery with Dr. Ellie Zara Ley & Dr. Nick Esmonde from the Meltzer Clinic

Episode 26

FtM Phalloplasty Surgery with Dr. Ellie Zara Ley & Dr. Nick Esmonde

In Episode 26, Erin Everett, NP-C, interviews gender affirming plastic surgeons Dr. Ellie Zara Ley and Dr. Nick Esmonde from the Meltzer Clinic about FtM phalloplasty surgery. During the episode, the three discuss expectations, complications, and misconceptions related to FtM phalloplasty surgery and the staging process for masculinizing surgeries.

About This Episode

In episode twenty-six of Exclusively Inclusive, Erin Everett, nurse practitioner, speaks with Dr. Ellie Zara Ley and Dr. Nick Esmonde, plastic surgeons at the Meltzer Clinic who specialize in gender affirming surgery, about FtM phalloplasty surgery. Topics of discussion include a general background on phalloplasty surgery, expectations for results, and any complications that might arise.

Early in the episode, both Dr. Ley and Dr. Esmonde share their journeys to gender affirming plastic surgery as a career and how they ended up at the Meltzer Clinic. Dr. Ley had a personal as well as professional interest in performing gender affirming surgery, as she is part of the transgender community. Dr. Esmonde is newer to the Meltzer Clinic but has wide-ranging experience working with the transgender community as a plastic surgeon. Both mentioned the extensive training that goes into becoming a Meltzer Clinic surgeon in order to offer comprehensive care for patients going through the gender affirming surgical process.

Later in the episode, Erin asks Drs. Ley and Esmonde questions specifically about phalloplasty and the masculinizing process. Dr. Ley suggests that the first step for many patients is deciding which type of phalloplasty they would like and what their ultimate goals are, since different options require various levels of staging and come with their own sets of possible complications. Then, Dr. Esmonde goes through what the staging might look like for a patient who is seeking the most possible options for phalloplasty, meaning the ability to both urinate and experience sensation through a lengthened urethra as well as the formation of the phallus and testes. Every patient is different and requires different steps, one of the most important of which being electrolysis for patients who need it.. Dr. Esmonde suggests patients make an appointment with an electrologist sooner rather than later to avoid an unnecessary halt in the process.

Further in the episode, Drs. Esmonde and Ley share their experiences working with patients who have been turned away from phalloplasty because of their weight. At the Meltzer Clinic, they want to try to work with patients depending on their specific anatomy and offer options for patients to take home with them, even if surgery can’t happen right away. They also note that patients experience different processes when it comes to steps like electrolysis, since some patients need it, while others don’t. Every patient is different.

Rounding out the episode, Drs. Ley and Esmonde discuss complications of phalloplasty. While complications are common with this type of gender affirming surgery, the complications are usually not barriers to continuing the process. At the Meltzer Clinic, especially since trailblazer in gender surgery Dr. Meltzer has trained every surgeon, surgeons can generally work with patients to resolve a complication before moving on to the next step in the process. Listeners who have any follow-up questions or want to seek treatment at the Meltzer Clinic can find contact information on their website. The Clinic is now offering telehealth consultations for out-of-town patients as well.

FtM Phalloplasty Surgery with Dr. Ellie Zara Ley & Dr. Nick Esmonde

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