FAQ

How is Dr. Spiegel different from the other surgeons who offer FFS?

Dr. Spiegel is the only fully academic surgeon with a busy practice providing comprehensive facial feminization surgery.  He truly cares about advancing the field and devotes countless hours to studying and researching facial gender perception and surgical techniques for facial feminization.  With one of the most extensive experiences in facial feminization surgery, and operating at a world class academic medical center, Dr. Spiegel is able to provide the highest quality and safety available anywhere in the world.  Dr. Spiegel maintains the highest level of professionalism about this work and believes that your surgical decisions should always be taken seriously and made in a medical environment, not at a social gathering.

Is it difficult to come for surgery if I live far from Boston?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Dr. Spiegel lived and worked down the street from you?  Unfortunately, there’s only one Dr. Spiegel and he’s in Boston so you may need to travel.  However, with so many patients from outside of the United States we are experts at facilitating your visit and ensuring your comfort while away from home.  Patients who travel far to see Dr. Spiegel (i.e., almost everybody) inevitably find the experience pleasant and relaxing.

Is there a fee for a consultation with Dr. Spiegel?

There is a low fee of $150 to meet with Dr. Spiegel and develop a customized plan to help you meet your goals.  This fee is applied to any future services.

What happens if I want a revision?

Rarely, an individual may feel that they desire additional changes in an area already treated.  In these situations, it is important to meet with Dr. Spiegel to review if these changes are appropriate, desirable, and achievable.  If so, there is no fee for Dr. Spiegel’s work in the revision.  Dr. Spiegel stands by his work completely and wants you to have the best possible results.  If a return visit to the operating room is required the small facility and anesthesia fees will be the patient’s responsibility.  Of course, there is no new fee for Dr. Spiegel’s work in an appropriate revision.

I’ve had surgery with another doctor in the past and am not satisfied.  Can Dr. Spiegel help with that?

Unfortunately, we hear this question a lot.  Many physicians try to provide FFS, but lack the experience and knowledge of Dr. Spiegel.  Fortunately, however, in the majority of cases we can indeed correct and improve prior work.  Be certain to arrange a consultation with Dr. Spiegel to review what you have had done and discuss your goals for further surgery.

I’m not a transgendered woman, but feel my face looks too harsh and masculine.  Is FFS for me?

Absolutely.  Facial feminization surgery is a constellation of procedures that help to create a beautiful female face. There are specific facial features that allow people to identify our gender, and many women have one or several parts of their face that look too masculine.  Dr. Spiegel has performed many of his FFS procedures on women who simply wanted a more attractive, more feminine face.  Please arrange for a consultation to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help.

This website is largely about feminization. I’m interested in making my face look more masculine.  Can this be done?

Certainly.  While the majority of patients seeking gender confirming facial surgery are looking for feminization, Dr. Spiegel is also very familiar with masculinization procedures.  Whether you have a specific request, or just want the doctor’s opinion on how to make you look your best as a man, a consultation with Dr. Spiegel is the place to start.

Is Facial Feminization Surgery expensive?

There are many aspects of FFS and depending upon each individual’s needs, the constellation of procedures can have varying costs.  As an academic medical center (not a private practice) we are typically able to provide the most advanced, most effective facial surgeries available anywhere for a very competitive price.  We always consider each person’s needs and resources, and offer a convenient payment plan option with CareCredit.  Additionally, Dr. Spiegel can discuss with you how to prioritize potential procedures so that you get the best results you can.

Can I get Dr. Spiegel to come speak to a group in our town?

Dr. Spiegel has a busy travel schedule as he is frequently invited to speak and present at conferences around the world.   As part of his academic mission, education is very important to him, and when he can, he enjoys visiting groups to discuss any aspect of facial surgery.  If you are interested in having Dr. Spiegel speak at your event, please contact us at info@drspiegel.com or call 617-414-5058.

How did Dr. Spiegel get started doing FFS?

Dr. Spiegel learned the fundamental procedures involved in FFS during his training at the University of California, San Francisco and at Harvard Medical School.  Many years ago Dr. Spiegel became a member of a physician group at Boston Medical Center with the goal of providing comprehensive health care to transgendered people.  A few people asked Dr. Spiegel if he could do gender confirming facial surgery for them, and he did.  They were so happy with the results that they told their friends, who told their own friends, and now, several years later, Dr. Spiegel is one of the busiest and most experienced FFS surgeons in the world.

Why do Dr. Spiegel’s patients seem to recover faster than other patients?

As a comprehensive academic hospital, Boston Medical Center offers the most state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.  Couple these with Dr. Spiegel’s skill and attention to detail, and add a bit of good fortune, and you’ll understand why our patients recover so well and so quickly.

Will any of Dr. Spiegel’s post-operative patients talk to me about their surgery?

Yes, many of our patients are happy to discuss any questions and concerns you may have.  Please let us know if you would like to speak with someone and we can arrange that for you.

Do you do computer imaging?

Our office does not perform virtual imaging for projected results but we highly recommend Alexandra’s work on www.virtualffs.co.uk.  She does a wonderful job and her projected results are very accurate to what can be achieved with surgery.  These photos are extremely helpful prior to surgery to discuss with Dr. Spiegel what you like (or dislike) about the virtual results and more accurately describe your surgical goals and ideal aesthetics.

When does Dr. Spiegel perform surgery and how far out do you schedule surgery?

Dr. Spiegel’s main days in the OR are Tuesday and Thursday.  When booking a surgical date please let us know what works best with your schedule so we can do our best to accommodate your request.  We book surgery about 8-10 weeks in advance; however, we do our best to schedule your surgery as soon as possible.

Are there any medications I should STOP taking prior to surgery?

Yes. You should STOP all aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, Vioxx), vitamin E and Gingko Biloba products seven days prior to surgery.  You should quit smoking AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and stop drinking alcohol one week prior to surgery. ALL hormones should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery unless your primary care physician or endocrinologist feels otherwise. Patients typically resume their hormones about four days following surgery—as soon as they are up and walking around frequently.

 

Is there anything else I need to do to prepare for surgery?

Once you have decided on a surgical date and confirmed it with a non-refundable 20% deposit we will provide you with a packet of information to help prepare for surgery.  This information will detail what you will need to do to prepare for surgery.  The hospital requires each patient to have a history and physical within 30 days of surgery and depending on the elected procedures and patient’s health some basic labwork.  This can either be done with your local physician or at the hospital.

Where should I stay?

There are a number of comfortable hotels near Boston Medical Center.  Please refer to Our Facility for more information. If you plan on staying with a friend or at a hotel not on our list please supply us with the proper contact information.

How soon prior to surgery should I arrive in Boston?

You should plan on arriving in Boston no less than two days prior to surgery to give yourself plenty of time for your visit with Dr. Spiegel and any necessary testing with the hospital.

 

How long should I stay in Boston?

Patients typically stay about one week after surgery.  Dr. Spiegel prefers patients to stay 8 days after surgery so we can have some extra time to let the incisions heal before taking out the sutures.

What should I bring to Boston?

Bring lots of comfortable clothing since you will be relaxing and recovery for the majority of your trip.  Button down or zip front shirts/sweats are best in order to avoid pulling clothes over your head following surgery.  Contact us prior to your surgery to discuss the weather conditions as the weather in Boston varies quite a bit!