6 Nov 2016
Updated, 1 day ago
Facial Feminization Surgery at 38 years old
When I started transition at 37, I didn't expect to "pass," despite this being a goal of mine. I just didn’t think it was possible. I had tried everything before making up my mind to come out, and I was really scared for what the future had in store for me. Going in, I promised myself only the best. Whether it was finding a therapist, hair removal, breast augmentation, voice lessons, and especially facial feminization surgery, I didn't want to cut a single corner.
For FFS, I was prepared to travel as far as I had to, and I can honestly say that Dr. Spiegel was my #1 choice in the world. That I live in NYC and Dr. Spiegel is in Boston was just a happy coincidence. My decision came down to his experience, reputation, and the aesthetics of all the photos that I managed to find, both on his web site as well as various internet forums.
People say that his results are natural, and I’d agree. I had “the works,” including brow reduction, brow lift, hairline advancement, cheek implants, rhinoplasty, lip lift, jaw contouring, chin implant, and trachea reduction. I feel he was thoughtful in his approach to each one. For some of the procedures, like the brow reduction and nose job, he was aggressive. For a few of the others, like the lip lift, the results are more subtle, but I have naturally full lips so that makes sense to me. Overall, I’d say that he played to my strengths.
The first few days of recovery were absolute hell. About two weeks later, despite being nowhere near healed, I started to venture out. People had no idea I was trans. This was an absolute miracle to me. I was so accustomed to my dreams not coming true, but suddenly it was “ma’am” and “miss” everywhere I went! Gradually, as my new face came into focus, I began to like what I saw in the mirror. I still have plenty of rough days, believe me, but FFS changed my life in ways I truly did not think was possible. Going to Dr. Spiegel was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken in my life, and now at age 41, I’m so incomparably happy that I did.
I did have a complication with the chin implant, however. It had healed fine at first, but after about a year, the area would swell if I talked or chewed a lot. Eventually, I developed an infection and had to have it removed. Several months later, I developed some scar tissue under the skin and needed an injection. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have opted for the chin implant in the first place. I called and emailed Dr. Spiegel’s office a lot throughout this process, and his staff was with me every step of the way. Their commitment to my recovery, even years after my procedure, speaks volumes. Thank you to Dorit, Kelly, and Katie. You're the best!