My name is Vixx. I started transitioning just over 3 years ago.
This is an introduction to a longer article that I have written about preparing for Chest Surgery. There will be this introduction, the main article, and a post-op piece, and a separate article about the exercises I did to prepare my chest for the surgery.
I am very fortunate to be able to use the NHS (National Health Service) here in the UK to be able to transition, but there are still elements to be navigated around in order to get things done. My lead doctor at the gender clinic here told me on my first visit that 83% of NHS professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Consultants) believe that transitioning is a ‘lifestyle choice’. Like I’m getting out of bed one morning, and thinking, “You know what? Today I’m going to be a guy.”
I saved up the money for my chest surgery to allow me to have the option to choose whomever I felt would do the best job – whether in the UK or abroad. It wasn’t easy as I don’t earn much at this point, but I put a little aside each week so that I wasn’t chained to whatever the NHS decided, should I not like their choice of surgeon for me.
There were a few hitches for me in terms of paperwork before I could get a surgeon, but I had done my homework, and when my local area told me that there were two hospitals I could go to, I knew that the hospitals they had selected only had surgeons that looked after transwomen, and so I was allowed to choose the surgeon I wanted, and they would see if that surgeon was available. I’ll be honest and say that the surgeon I ended up with was not my first choice, but she ended up being the best choice for me.
What I would suggest is that you ask every question that you need to when deciding upon your surgeon. Look at their results, but ask if they can do the same thing for you? It’s like going into the barbers and asking for a haircut that ends up not suiting you. The haircut will grow out in the end, but will the results they show you meet your requirements?
Does the surgeon have a speciality – we have a couple here in the UK that are the ‘go-to’ surgeons if you are small-chested, or if you are larger-chested than most – and so is that a speciality that you will benefit from? Other factors such as cost and location will also come into play too – but never be afraid to ask questions. If your surgeon cannot answer them, then will they be the person to help your journey continue?
Please read the main article for more information.