Dr. Michael Safir is one of the doctors taking over Dr. Mang Chen’s patients after Dr. Chen leaves Brownstein and Crane Surgical Services on September 30th. You can read about Dr. Safir’s career here. Dr. Safir is a trained reconstructive urologist in both male and female anatomy. This puts him in a unique position, as most urologists specialize in one or the other. Dr. Safir will be performing both metoidioplasties and phalloplasties for BCSS.
Dr. Safir has trained in the techniques of Dr. Crane and Dr. Chen, which includes their unique technique of the v-y scrotoplasty and phallus lift*.
I had my phone consult with Dr. Safir on August 17th, 2017. Here is a bulleted list of specific things I asked him about regarding my own wants and needs out of this surgery:
- *Dr. Safir stated that they cannot cut the phallus from the top and the bottom. Any “lift”, beyond the normal release, that can be achieved is done during 2nd stage revisions/implant surgery.
- Given my length, body habitus and photos, Dr. Safir said I have a “good chance” of being able to clear my fly when standing to pee.
- Dr. Safir confirmed a 20% chance of fistula.
- I forgot to ask Dr. Wittenberg about the rate of extrusions for implants. I asked Dr. Safir about this and he stated that extrusion is usually do to implants that are too large and/or infection during the healing process. He shared that they give you strong antibiotics for that part of the procedure to try and prevent infection from happening. Dr. Safir stated that he felt like extrusions happened less than 5% of the time.
- Dr. Safir has been training with Dr. Chen for three months. During this time he has performed 12 metas under Dr. Chen’s supervision. He will begin performing metas on his own the week of October 1st. He estimates that he will be performing one to two metas per week for the foreseeable future.
- He stressed the importance of how the body is before and heals as affecting the aesthetic results.
Dr. Safir was a little more aloof and “surgical” than Dr. Wittenberg was. His conversational style was more like Dr. Crane’s, but Dr. Safir answered all my questions specifically and thoroughly. This is not to say that Dr. Wittenberg didn’t, I’m just saying that it was a difference in their styles and the way they discussed things. We were on the phone for the total 30 minutes that the call was supposed to last. He did look at my photos during the call and complimented me on the thoroughness of angles. Dr. Safir answered my specific questions, but also stated that until he looked at me at my pre-op appointment, that we could only develop my surgical plan so much.
I feel very comfortable with Dr. Safir’s urological experience and he is my first choice. I hope to hear from the office by next week for a surgery date. Honestly if I can’t have him, I feel comfortable with both him and Dr. Wittenberg, but for different reasons with both.
Remember: Always explore your options. Always try and recognize the journey for what it is, even when the road is long and you are tired.
My next post should have good news, including a surgeon and a date!