Female to Male (FTM) TOP Surgery; the current obstacles we face

Dr. Michael S. Beckenstein

It seems whenever controversy abounds, surrounding anything, obstacles arise, seemingly more and more of them. This is true for FTM TOP surgery. Today I will discuss what I have titled female to Male (FTM) TOP surgery; the current obstacles we face. This procedure is becoming more and more popular as courageous people are now coming forward with their new identity and seeking to make it a reality through the physical transformation component. Third party payers have resisted responsibility for these surgeries, yet have now come to provide such services for their customers. Now that this hurdle was cleared, we now face a new obstacle, religious beliefs. The hospital, where I perform the majority of my surgeries, has notified me that, based on these religious beliefs, I cannot perform TOP surgery there.

I spoke, at length, with those who make these decisions, and they clearly articulated their argument against allowing TOP surgery at their facilities. The gist of it is that although TOP surgery is not sterilization, the intent of the individual is to transform themselves from what should not be transformed, in the eyes of their beliefs. While I disagree with this argument and made a strong counterargument, I have to accept their opinion and decision. It is their right to do so.

We must accept and tolerate what others believe when we are ” in their house”, that is their choice! We must respect other views as long as they do no harm. They are not denying essential care. It is not discrimination, they are allowed to think this way and make such decisions. We are allowed to have ours and act accordingly, we will perform these TOP surgeries elsewhere without malice. That energy will be devoted to empathetic compassionate care for our patients!.

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