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Choosing The Doctor For FFS...


Jeanette West

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Jeanette West

I've had  quite some time to contemplate my doctors and I had thought I knew who I wanted to do my face; Dr. Spiegel, in Boston Mass. I even have my consult all set up for Sept 18th. Then I made the mistake of reading Yelp reviews. Okay, I fall back on my second choice, Dr. Toby Mayer in Beverly Hills, California. I read his too. What a mistake! (Insert facepalm). 

 

I have seen and read about the work of Facial Team out of Marbella, Spain, and they've been mentioned in a  thread here too. I know all docs make mistakes, and they wouldn't be in practice if they made too many, but dang! I am only going to get one shot here so I want to spend my money to get the best for it.

 

This being said, here is my question: Facial Team is up front about their digital FFS construct so you can see very near what you'll look like with each procedure performed. I have seen no U.S. based clinic or surgeon with this available. Does anyone know a doc who can do this? My recourse here will be to spend the coin to consult with Dr. Mayer and Facial Team. I have no problem with this, but I would rather have U.S. based surgery.

 

Thank you, and any suggestions appreciated.

 

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  • Forum Moderator

Jeanette, remember the adage that a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 people of their experience while a satisfied one will only tell 1.  So I expected to primarily read negative posts on sites like that.  I had Dr. Spiegel do my trach shave and I was very satisfied.  Any doctor will have "issues" where the patient was not happy, but we never know how much of it is attributable to their perception of what they should look like afterwards.  That, and each of our bodies is different and will react to surgery in their own way.  

 

  

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Jeanette West

Thanks! I am starting to get nervous, and I have only yet to even go to the consultation! HA!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jeanette West

In Wilmette today for electrolysis with Precision Hair Removal and met Dr. Zukowski. I have followed (and dreamed about), getting work done here since I saw his website back in 2000 when I was in university. He took the time to go over everything, spending about and hour and a half with me, and really put me at ease. All I can say is that I about about to write a check! I'll wait 'till the excitement wears off and I have my other consults. He suggested 500mL implants being the minimum for me! Yikes!

 

Facial clearing tomorrow, beauty sleep coming. :)

Not used to this 87* (30.5*C) temperature. It was 51* where I left. Phew, thank Goodness for air conditioning.

 

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  • Forum Moderator

Best of luck tomorrow.   That was good to have a meeting with the doctor.  I'm glad to hear you were still enthusiastic after talking with him.  Sounds like a good fit.   Not knowing your frame size that doesn't sound too large. 

 

I know what you mean about the heat!   Argh! 

 

Jani

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On 8/12/2020 at 2:02 AM, Jeanette West said:

This being said, here is my question: Facial Team is up front about their digital FFS construct so you can see very near what you'll look like with each procedure performed. I have seen no U.S. based clinic or surgeon with this available. Does anyone know a doc who can do this? 

 

Jeanette, there is actually an independent service that can do a digital FFS based on photographs.  Do a search on "Virtual FFS".  The service is provided by a transwoman in England who did a dissertation on FFS.  She reviews your photos and writes an analysis discussing which procedures would be best for you, along with providing excellent digitized images showing what you would look like afterwards.  Her recommendations are welcomed as input by a number of the FFS surgeons in this country and elsewhere.  I used the service, and was extremely impressed by what I got.  The cost is very reasonable, too.

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@Jeanette West -- Just an update on what I posted earlier.  I went back to the Virtual FFS website to refresh my memory.  I have two points to add from that review:

  1. The transwoman who provides the service (Alexandra Hamer) did a thesis on FFS, not a dissertation (still impressive).
  2. She actually works with Facial Team as a virtual FFS artist and consultant, so the quality of work you receive by engaging Virtual FFS would be comparable.  (I found this on the "Disclaimers, Promises and my Qualifications" page of her website, which is worth a read.)
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Jeanette West

Thank you for informing of that website! I will most certainly use her service as soon as the swelling due to the electrolysis goes away.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Jeanette West

Had my Skype consultation with Dr. Jeffery Spiegel this afternoon, 5:30 p.m. his time in Taxachusetts. This may explain what happened while I was talking to him.

 

His surgery scheduler had asked for a list of procedures Dr. Zukowski had suggested, so Dr. Spiegel could go over them and add or subtract from what he thought might be good for me.

 

Okay, we introduced ourselves, he asked me what I was thinking of, then asked me to turn to profile, and 45*, then back. He told me, "okay, this is what I think we should do....", and pretty much outlined exactly what Dr. Z was going to do. He went through this list quickly, so I asked him, "you can do this just from looking at me over a computer camera?" {MISTAKE} His reply was kind of off, I could tell I had insulted him but he hid it well, "I can tell this by the way you move, your profile and how you look". I was kind of flabbergasted. I know this guy is one of the best in the world, but still...

 

And that was where it ended, with him almost visibly disengaging, becoming positively uninterested. I hadn't meant to deliberately insult him, but there it was. So how much was I quoted? Are you ready?

$85,310.00 USD, which is twice what Dr. Z quoted for the same procedures. This is kind of fantastic as I saw a physician on Realself list a load of procedures for which she was charged $56,000.00 so why were mine so high?

 

I got a really bad feeling during the Skype, like I was just a ticket, not enough of a challenge, what-have-you. It really crushed the rest of my day. So there it is.

Dr. Zukowski is trained as a plastic surgeon, cut his teeth rebuilding people during his military stint, and has been in the game for 22 years. He actually suggested getting my breasts done while I was having FFS.

Dr. Spiegel is an ENT who has taken the ball and run with it. The photos on his website are like miracles. And I pissed him off. And he suggested I wait on the implants, "this will be a long afternoon", meaning this procedures will take a long time. And I pissed him off.

-crap-.

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Over $85,000!  Sheesh.  I wonder what Dr. Deschamps-Braly would charge (he's Dr. Ousterhout's protégé, now that Ousterhout retired).  Or the Facial Team, for that matter.

 

Sounds like Dr. Spiegel is a bit touchy.

 

There is a Dr. Katherine Gast I heard about recently who works out of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  She is the Department Medical Director, UW Health Comprehensive Gender Services Program, and apparently does all gender alignment services including FFS (being that much of a jack-of-all-trades seems a bit of a stretch, but . . .).  She might have more reasonable rates.  I'm not sure how many FFS procedures she has 'under her belt'.  People seem to like her GRS work.

 

I'd shop around, both for rates and personality/bedside manor.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jacqui said:

I'd shop around, both for rates and personality/bedside manor.

 

Or even bedside manner.  (I've got to stop posting at 4 in the morning!)

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ElizabethStar

How did I not see this thread before. Dr. Zukowski's office is really close to me. I see they offer a 30 hour electrolysis package that can be done in 2, 7.5 hour, days. It would be real nice to get all my facial hair removed in a matter of days instead of months.

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Jeanette West
2 hours ago, ElizabethStar said:

How did I not see this thread before. Dr. Zukowski's office is really close to me. I see they offer a 30 hour electrolysis package that can be done in 2, 7.5 hour, days. It would be real nice to get all my facial hair removed in a matter of days instead of months.

 

They'll do exactly that!

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Jeanette West
4 hours ago, Jacqui said:

Over $85,000!  Sheesh.  I wonder what Dr. Deschamps-Braly would charge (he's Dr. Ousterhout's protégé, now that Ousterhout retired).  Or the Facial Team, for that matter.

 

Sounds like Dr. Spiegel is a bit touchy.

 

There is a Dr. Katherine Gast I heard about recently who works out of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  She is the Department Medical Director, UW Health Comprehensive Gender Services Program, and apparently does all gender alignment services including FFS (being that much of a jack-of-all-trades seems a bit of a stretch, but . . .).  She might have more reasonable rates.  I'm not sure how many FFS procedures she has 'under her belt'.  People seem to like her GRS work.

 

I'd shop around, both for rates and personality/bedside manor.

 

 

 

I cannot explain it. Like I said, I must have really made him burn up. And all by asking a question. Oh well.

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So what are you going to do now (if I'm not being too nosy)?  (If I am being too nosy, feel free to tell me.)

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Jeanette West
14 hours ago, Jacqui said:

So what are you going to do now (if I'm not being too nosy)?  (If I am being too nosy, feel free to tell me.)

 

I have a phone appointment tomorrow with Dr. Z. I'll ask some more questions, and while I am waiting for the date to come up, look at Dr. Toby Mayer. Remember, this is what Z has been doing for over 20 years.

Spiegel has an excellent web presence for sure, very nice, very flashy. Do they do the same quality work? How can one actually know if one is good enough to keep working without feeling the necessity to have a flash web presence and jack up their prices to the sky? And then maybe Spiegel really is a medical miracle. I have three months, I will figure something out.

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Jeanette West

Had my phone appointment today with Dr. Z, made me feel comfortable just as before. He answered all my questions, assured me all would go well, very strongly suggested I continue to exercise and eat really healthy to heal quickly and well. Asked about my outlook for the near future and also told me to continue working with my speech therapist so that I would be ready for the voice surgery.

So now I will keep working as much overtime as I can handle and wait for the clock to tick down. :)

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