Author Topic: I'm scheduled for vaginoplasty with Dr. Satterwhite, but I'm getting nervous  (Read 862 times)

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Offline LamLamMaam

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Although I'm probably going to have to push my surgery back an undetermined amount of time due to covid, I'm currently scheduled for penile inversion vaginoplasty with Dr. Satterwhite. I'm on SF health plan through medi-cal, and originally I was very excited that I had Dr. Satterwhite as an option, so I jumped on it, but lately I've been doing some research again and negative reviews I've seen are starting to get to me. I just don't know how I can go forward with a surgeon if there's people out there that majorly regret having him for a surgeon. I know reviews can be unfair or unreliable or only a vocal minority, and I know no surgeon is perfect 100 percent of the time, but I'm having difficulties knowing how to get past this. I know I want a vagina, I know it's how I want to see myself and function, but it's not like my genital dysphoria is driving me to the brink or anything, it's not nearly as bad as others I know have had. I just have to wonder whether it's foolish of me to take any risk beyond what's necessary. Anyone have any advice in general, or information about Dr. Satterwhite that you think might be helpful? I've definitely seen glowing reviews of his work and photos that have looked much better than others I've seen, but I know that can be cherry picked.

Offline CosmicJoke

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Although I'm probably going to have to push my surgery back an undetermined amount of time due to covid, I'm currently scheduled for penile inversion vaginoplasty with Dr. Satterwhite. I'm on SF health plan through medi-cal, and originally I was very excited that I had Dr. Satterwhite as an option, so I jumped on it, but lately I've been doing some research again and negative reviews I've seen are starting to get to me. I just don't know how I can go forward with a surgeon if there's people out there that majorly regret having him for a surgeon. I know reviews can be unfair or unreliable or only a vocal minority, and I know no surgeon is perfect 100 percent of the time, but I'm having difficulties knowing how to get past this. I know I want a vagina, I know it's how I want to see myself and function, but it's not like my genital dysphoria is driving me to the brink or anything, it's not nearly as bad as others I know have had. I just have to wonder whether it's foolish of me to take any risk beyond what's necessary. Anyone have any advice in general, or information about Dr. Satterwhite that you think might be helpful? I've definitely seen glowing reviews of his work and photos that have looked much better than others I've seen, but I know that can be cherry picked.

I'm not familiar with this doctor but I am thinking the emotions you are going through right now are normal. It's possible that the fact this is all becoming real could feel overwhelming. Sometimes excitement and being nervous can go hand in hand.

Offline Battle Goddess

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I was very excited that I had Dr. Satterwhite as an option, so I jumped on it, but lately I've been doing some research again and negative reviews I've seen are starting to get to me...I know reviews can be unfair or unreliable or only a vocal minority... I've definitely seen glowing reviews of his work and photos that have looked much better than others I've seen...



Hey, LLM.

There's the story about the kid who won't talk. Never a peep since the day it was born. Kid seems to be developing normally in all other aspects, but it just won't say anything. Years of doctors, specialists, therapies, faith healers... nothing.

Finally, one day at dinner, the kid says, "Yuck! This is awful."

The parents are amazed. "Kid," they say, "Why haven't you ever said anything before?"

Kid replies, "Everything was pretty much okay up until now."



LLM, you've highlighted something very important. Lots of folks call it the "Amazon Effect."

And, yeah, you're absolutely right. Pretty much the only people who have a strong incentive to post reviews are those who have strong feelings about the matter, and those who have the strongest feelings are those who are especially happy or especially disappointed.

It's like how on medication review sites you find all the reviews complaining about having experienced side effects from a med. Makes it look like everyone suffers side effects. But in truth, only the folks with side effects are motivated to kvetch about them. Maybe 2% of everyone experiences the side effect, but most all reviews are from the unfortunates who experience it. Unfortunately, those reviews can discourage a person from taking a med they could really benefit from.

Seems to me that GCS would suffer the same phenomenon in spades. Who wants to expose themselves and risk doxxing by posting a positive review, especially when it concerns such a private matter? Up to you, but I sure wouldn't.

I know nothing about Dr. Satterwhite, good or bad. Were I in your shoes, I'd absolutely be concerned about negative reviews. Just wanted to echo and affirm you in your understanding that online reviews are not entirely trustworthy or balanced sources of information.
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Offline Devlyn

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...

Seems to me that GCS would suffer the same phenomenon in spades. Who wants to expose themselves and risk doxxing by posting a positive review, especially when it concerns such a private matter? Up to you, but I sure wouldn't.
...

<Raises hand>

I gave my surgeon, Dr Oates, two good online reviews. But I do agree with you that a lot of happy customers just walk away happy, and that dissatisfied customers will kick up a fuss.

To the O/P, I looked at Dr Satterwhite's reviews from four sources: 4.2, 4.6, 4.8, and 4.9 out of 5 stars.
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Offline Battle Goddess

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<Raises hand>

Case in point. You have your photo for your avatar. I'm so paranoid that I chose fanart of an obscure anime based on a really terrible pun.
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Offline SadieBlake

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LLM, I was originally scheduled for GCS with Dr Satterwhite, due to scheduling conflicts I changed to Heidi Wittenberg (who he trained. I was her 33rd GCS procedure and she did a great job. As much as I liked Dr Satterwhite, I liked Wittenberg better, and I still think they're among the top choices doing this work. Also, since I had my PI procedure, both have moved on from the Brownstein & Crane practice, to create their own gender-specific practiced.

I suggest you use a search engine to look for accounts of Satterwhite's patients. (the search function on Susan's isn't very specific). You will find reports on sites that aren't allowed to be mentioned on this site, feel free to PM me for links but they're not hard to find.

I don't go so much by sites like Healthgrades, rather I originally came to Satterwhite based on feedback from women here who'd been to him. I talked to them as much as time allowed (many women stop posting on Susan's once they get to post-op). Still, you should be able to find thorough accounts of other people's experiences with Google's help.

I have not heard of anything beyond the normal and non-serious post-op complications with either of these surgeons (so things like post-op infections, granulation tissue, minor necrosis). I have known one woman who went to Heidi who stopped dilating at 2 months post-op due to a personal crisis, obviously that didn't go well can't be hung on the surgeon, except maybe in so far as how they screen their patients.

I've shared my own photos as requested by friends made here.

Now. I have met women who did have some pretty awful results from other surgeons ** these were all doctors I hadn't ever heard of **, I've seen the photos etc. PM me again, if you need more feedback.

Good luck and best wishes!

S
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Offline AllieSF

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Lam,

My best friend had her surgery with Dr. Satterwhite a few years ago.  I was fortunate to be able to accompany her to a few of her post op check ups with him.  I saw him treat some minor healing issues, his bedside manners and I really liked all of it.  He is a wonderful skilled surgeon based on her experience with him.  I have also seen the final healed product and that looks exactly how I would want mine to look like!  I also visited with a few others that used is expertise based on my friends recommendations and, as far as I know, they are all satisfied.

The other thing to consider is that minor functional and cosmetic corrections can be needed even with the best out there.

Please PM me if you would like to talk with my friend.  She is always helpful in these matters.  Since Dr. Satterwhite does not accept Medicare, I can't use him.  I am also looking at the other somewhat newer techniques like colon and peritoneal pull through because of their reduced dilation requirements due to being self lubricating.

All that being said, as with any surgeon, including the best, since everyone's body is different and reacts and heals from surgery in its own way, your results may vary.  In the end, you do need to feel secure in your choice of surgeons, so more research on your part appears needed to get you there, with him or someone else.

Good luck, feel good about your final decision and PM me if I can help you.

Allie
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Offline JanePlain

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Although I'm probably going to have to push my surgery back an undetermined amount of time due to covid, I'm currently scheduled for penile inversion vaginoplasty with Dr. Satterwhite. I'm on SF health plan through medi-cal, and originally I was very excited that I had Dr. Satterwhite as an option, so I jumped on it, but lately I've been doing some research again and negative reviews I've seen are starting to get to me. I just don't know how I can go forward with a surgeon if there's people out there that majorly regret having him for a surgeon. I know reviews can be unfair or unreliable or only a vocal minority, and I know no surgeon is perfect 100 percent of the time, but I'm having difficulties knowing how to get past this. I know I want a vagina, I know it's how I want to see myself and function, but it's not like my genital dysphoria is driving me to the brink or anything, it's not nearly as bad as others I know have had. I just have to wonder whether it's foolish of me to take any risk beyond what's necessary. Anyone have any advice in general, or information about Dr. Satterwhite that you think might be helpful? I've definitely seen glowing reviews of his work and photos that have looked much better than others I've seen, but I know that can be cherry picked.

I just had a conversation with a couple of ladies about a site called "rate your doctor" and we agreed that happy patients have little interest in going to such a site and showering their doctor with praise.  *Also I want to note that I probably would be dead if not for the efforts of my doctors nurse - I sent some token of appreciation (A Card?) and learned that this "never happens???" which I have to say made me a lot more interested in showing some appreciation. If you think about it what kind of person can do the kinds of things doctors and nurses do. Bedpans, vomit, blood, people yelling and crying.  Anyway I went off on my own tangent.  I suggest looking harder for patients with good results and maybe question the negative reviews.  Some of it will be people that just have personality clashes.

That said there ARE some horrible doctors who I wonder about.

Offline LamLamMaam

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Hey, LLM.

There's the story about the kid who won't talk. Never a peep since the day it was born. Kid seems to be developing normally in all other aspects, but it just won't say anything. Years of doctors, specialists, therapies, faith healers... nothing.

Finally, one day at dinner, the kid says, "Yuck! This is awful."

The parents are amazed. "Kid," they say, "Why haven't you ever said anything before?"

Kid replies, "Everything was pretty much okay up until now."



LLM, you've highlighted something very important. Lots of folks call it the "Amazon Effect."

And, yeah, you're absolutely right. Pretty much the only people who have a strong incentive to post reviews are those who have strong feelings about the matter, and those who have the strongest feelings are those who are especially happy or especially disappointed.

It's like how on medication review sites you find all the reviews complaining about having experienced side effects from a med. Makes it look like everyone suffers side effects. But in truth, only the folks with side effects are motivated to kvetch about them. Maybe 2% of everyone experiences the side effect, but most all reviews are from the unfortunates who experience it. Unfortunately, those reviews can discourage a person from taking a med they could really benefit from.

Seems to me that GCS would suffer the same phenomenon in spades. Who wants to expose themselves and risk doxxing by posting a positive review, especially when it concerns such a private matter? Up to you, but I sure wouldn't.

I know nothing about Dr. Satterwhite, good or bad. Were I in your shoes, I'd absolutely be concerned about negative reviews. Just wanted to echo and affirm you in your understanding that online reviews are not entirely trustworthy or balanced sources of information.

Thank you

Offline LamLamMaam

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LLM, I was originally scheduled for GCS with Dr Satterwhite, due to scheduling conflicts I changed to Heidi Wittenberg (who he trained. I was her 33rd GCS procedure and she did a great job. As much as I liked Dr Satterwhite, I liked Wittenberg better, and I still think they're among the top choices doing this work. Also, since I had my PI procedure, both have moved on from the Brownstein & Crane practice, to create their own gender-specific practiced.

I suggest you use a search engine to look for accounts of Satterwhite's patients. (the search function on Susan's isn't very specific). You will find reports on sites that aren't allowed to be mentioned on this site, feel free to PM me for links but they're not hard to find.

I don't go so much by sites like Healthgrades, rather I originally came to Satterwhite based on feedback from women here who'd been to him. I talked to them as much as time allowed (many women stop posting on Susan's once they get to post-op). Still, you should be able to find thorough accounts of other people's experiences with Google's help.

I have not heard of anything beyond the normal and non-serious post-op complications with either of these surgeons (so things like post-op infections, granulation tissue, minor necrosis). I have known one woman who went to Heidi who stopped dilating at 2 months post-op due to a personal crisis, obviously that didn't go well can't be hung on the surgeon, except maybe in so far as how they screen their patients.

I've shared my own photos as requested by friends made here.

Now. I have met women who did have some pretty awful results from other surgeons ** these were all doctors I hadn't ever heard of **, I've seen the photos etc. PM me again, if you need more feedback.

Good luck and best wishes!

S

Thank you for the information. I've considered Dr. Wittenberg, but I'm not longer on anthem and I think that's the only medi-cal insurance she accepts. She's actually my partner's surgeon and I have a lot of respect for her. I've considered perhaps waiting until I can get on anthem again after I exhaust all the opportunities of my current insurance, but that's just a thought I had.

Yeah, I don't really put a lot of stock in review sites like that, but I still check them out. I feel like I've exhausted google searches, but perhaps I should give it a deeper look see. My favorite resource is the <not allowed> wiki, that's an awesome collection of information and links.

Thanks for the response, it's very helpful.

Offline LamLamMaam

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Lam,

My best friend had her surgery with Dr. Satterwhite a few years ago.  I was fortunate to be able to accompany her to a few of her post op check ups with him.  I saw him treat some minor healing issues, his bedside manners and I really liked all of it.  He is a wonderful skilled surgeon based on her experience with him.  I have also seen the final healed product and that looks exactly how I would want mine to look like!  I also visited with a few others that used is expertise based on my friends recommendations and, as far as I know, they are all satisfied.

The other thing to consider is that minor functional and cosmetic corrections can be needed even with the best out there.

Please PM me if you would like to talk with my friend.  She is always helpful in these matters.  Since Dr. Satterwhite does not accept Medicare, I can't use him.  I am also looking at the other somewhat newer techniques like colon and peritoneal pull through because of their reduced dilation requirements due to being self lubricating.

All that being said, as with any surgeon, including the best, since everyone's body is different and reacts and heals from surgery in its own way, your results may vary.  In the end, you do need to feel secure in your choice of surgeons, so more research on your part appears needed to get you there, with him or someone else.

Good luck, feel good about your final decision and PM me if I can help you.

Allie

Thank you, Allie, you're very helpful. I would love to talk to your friend, I don't actually have that many friends here who've had the surgery yet. I'm kind of shy so I don't network in the community as much as I should. I'll PM you.

Offline LamLamMaam

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I just had a conversation with a couple of ladies about a site called "rate your doctor" and we agreed that happy patients have little interest in going to such a site and showering their doctor with praise.  *Also I want to note that I probably would be dead if not for the efforts of my doctors nurse - I sent some token of appreciation (A Card?) and learned that this "never happens???" which I have to say made me a lot more interested in showing some appreciation. If you think about it what kind of person can do the kinds of things doctors and nurses do. Bedpans, vomit, blood, people yelling and crying.  Anyway I went off on my own tangent.  I suggest looking harder for patients with good results and maybe question the negative reviews.  Some of it will be people that just have personality clashes.

That said there ARE some horrible doctors who I wonder about.

Yeah, some physicians/nurses have made a huge impact on my life and they don't get enough credit for all their work and sacrifice.

I've heard some horror stories that do scare the hell out of me. I'm trying not to think about how I would react if things went very badly, but I know I'd be at risk of self-harm, which is why I'm so nervous.

Offline JanePlain

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LLM, I was originally scheduled for GCS with Dr Satterwhite, due to scheduling conflicts I changed to Heidi Wittenberg (who he trained. I was her 33rd GCS procedure and she did a great job. As much as I liked Dr Satterwhite, I liked Wittenberg better, and I still think they're among the top choices doing this work. Also, since I had my PI procedure, both have moved on from the Brownstein & Crane practice, to create their own gender-specific practiced.

I suggest you use a search engine to look for accounts of Satterwhite's patients. (the search function on Susan's isn't very specific). You will find reports on sites that aren't allowed to be mentioned on this site, feel free to PM me for links but they're not hard to find.

I don't go so much by sites like Healthgrades, rather I originally came to Satterwhite based on feedback from women here who'd been to him. I talked to them as much as time allowed (many women stop posting on Susan's once they get to post-op). Still, you should be able to find thorough accounts of other people's experiences with Google's help.

I have not heard of anything beyond the normal and non-serious post-op complications with either of these surgeons (so things like post-op infections, granulation tissue, minor necrosis). I have known one woman who went to Heidi who stopped dilating at 2 months post-op due to a personal crisis, obviously that didn't go well can't be hung on the surgeon, except maybe in so far as how they screen their patients.

I've shared my own photos as requested by friends made here.

Now. I have met women who did have some pretty awful results from other surgeons ** these were all doctors I hadn't ever heard of **, I've seen the photos etc. PM me again, if you need more feedback.

Good luck and best wishes!

S

Your surgeon sounds pretty amazing.  This new approach Peritoneal Pull-Through Vaginoplasty sounds amazing.

Self-lubricating lining with some elasticity  * I didn't know that was possible?
More vaginal depth
Requires less dilation, less douching
Requires less pre-op hair removal
Less risk of prolapse
May be less risky than Sigmoid Colon Vaginoplasty, plus no odorous mucus discharge and no need to monitor colon pathology
 
Hopefully it not hype because this really sounds like a huge plus to have it done that way.

Offline Madison02

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For what it's worth, I have also consulted with Dr. Satterwhite and feel 100% comfortable and confident with him. I am currently scheduled for FFS on 12/14/20 with him, and plan on also doing my BA/Vaginoplasty with him as well in 2021. I'd love to hear your feedback if you go ahead with your surgery.


Offline SadieBlake

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Your surgeon sounds pretty amazing.  This new approach Peritoneal Pull-Through Vaginoplasty sounds amazing.

Self-lubricating lining with some elasticity  * I didn't know that was possible?
More vaginal depth
Requires less dilation, less douching
Requires less pre-op hair removal
Less risk of prolapse
May be less risky than Sigmoid Colon Vaginoplasty, plus no odorous mucus discharge and no need to monitor colon pathology
 
Hopefully it not hype because this really sounds like a huge plus to have it done that way.

Well I think she is, however you have to factor survivor bias, basically all women who are happy with their outcomes see their surgeons as the best. That said, I arrived at my choice of her with a lot of research and I've spent a good bit of time observing surgeries (Dr Wittenberg uses devices made by a company where I did design engineering for 16 years).

I've only seen one critical account of her work and imo that woman had unrealistic expectations, she was 5 months post-op and angry that she was having trouble with penetrative sex. While it's true that some women are completely ready to go at 2-3 months, for me at 5 months I was only just getting able to do penetration without very extensive foreplay.

About pptv. I wouldn't paint it in terms quite so rosy. I found dilation after my pptv revision was quite a bit more difficult than after my original procedure until I was out to 4 months, from that point it's been better / easier.

I've never douched except during the immediate post surgical period, as instructed by my surgeon. If I ever have sex with a man, I might, semen increases vaginal pH which can result in BV.

I think depth has more to do with how we heal. A friend of mine who went to Suporn and after suffered both keloid and hypertrophic scarring is left with a completely non viable vaginal canal. While I'm not generally a fan of the Thai surgery methods (much longer recovery), her main issue was not caused by the technique. Likewise, my body heals very aggressively, it means I beat most metrics for return to normal after both my procedures, however it also meant some loss of depth both times.

My friend who went to Dr Bluebond-Langer for primary pptv had exactly the same hair removal instructions as I did for my PI (and we used the same person for electrolysis / laser).

Now at 7 months post-op I have gotten to the good parts, yes I'm self lubricating, a bit more still now than most of my partners experience, however things are still changing down there.

I do think it's safer than colono-vaginoplasty, it's certainly less invasive and the peritoneal lining regenerates so long term there's no loss of tissue. Dr Wittenberg is doing a long term study, to date there's lots of long term follow up for cis women who've had pptv for mrkh syndrome, only one study on a small group and no long term follow up for MTF pptv.
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Offline JanePlain

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I wonder if there is a video online doing the procedure either for cis women or m2f?  I know most people aren't into seeing the gory details but I've been under the knife enough to have an interest in seeing it done.

Offline SadieBlake

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No idea, the meaningful work would be very hard to capture in a video format. I'll ask my surgeon, I see her Thursday.
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Offline AllieSF

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I just Googled MtF Vaginoplasty and then clicked the video tab, looked at different results and saw one by Dr. Del Corral.  This doctor has multiple videos, including the penile inversion, peritoneal pull through and the Stage 3 brow bone work videos.  They are not the best, but they are real life and not animated.  I am going to search some more.  I hope this helps a little and is not against the sites rules.
     
             <Link removed>

After looking around this site a little more I am not sure if the peritoneal is what we are talking about, or is just a revision procedure.  It is still interesting to watch if you have the stomach for it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 03:13:10 pm by AllieSF »
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Offline LamLamMaam

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I have the option to switch to Dr. Wittenberg if I want, so I'm trying to gather info about them both. I know Wittenberg studied under him, but I do hear good things about her.

Offline LamLamMaam

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Dr. Satterwhite did my FFS Oct 2019, and he is doing my BA at the end of this month (July 2020).

I have bottom surgery scheduled for March 2021 with Dr. Heidi Wittenberg. I have nothing but positive things to say about Dr. Satterwhite.

They've both seem like good options, it's just hard to really get a fair sample of their work, or anyone's work for that matter since people usually only share results within the first year of their surgery, so not exactly a finished product.

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