After a few months of nervous procrastination, I have at last contacted Dr. Vlassis Travias, a specialist in laparoscopic hysterectomy outside of Concord, to begin the very first step of the process. It seems that he comes highly recommended as one of the best, no-education-required surgeons for trans men around, and after an initial phone consultation with him, I am definitely on board with him as my surgeon. Just like Dr. Brownstein years ago, Dr. Travias not only knows his trade like the back of his hand, but he did not have to stop and think while he was talking to me. He had no hesitation with language, pronouns or terminology, and as a bonus, he did not assume that I was squeamish about terminology, either. He explained the entire procedure very clearly over the phone, down to which size instruments he will use, how he will remove my organs and where they will go afterwards.
“Unlike a lot of doctors,” he said at one point, “who will tell you never to look up anything on the Internet and not to try to research on your own, I tell all my patients to Google everything.” He made sure that I knew the name of the procedure, names of alternative procedures to look up in case I wanted him to use a different method than his preferred total laparoscopic hysterectomy, and the pros and cons to each of the methods he is familiar with using.
After talking about my weight, height, medications, recreational activities and medical history, he was very happy to say that on paper I am a textbook patient, and he does not foresee having any difficulty or complications whatsoever.
In the coming days, someone from his office will contact me to schedule the actual dates that we will have to stay in Concord. The irony is not lost on me that out of all the surgeons in the country, I have somehow managed to pick the ones on exact opposite sides of the country — and as far away as possible from Colorado.
We are aiming for January 2015, which is quite some time away, but given that we took nearly a full year to plan top surgery, I know that it will begin to feel very real sooner than I expect.
For the moment, I am strangely excited.