My name is Avery. I’m a 35 year-old MTF transgender woman in the process of fully transitioning. For me, one of the most important things involved in my transition is the appearance of my face. It’s the first thing people see which impacts my safety, job security, and general acceptance. So, after starting hormone replacement therapy, facial feminization surgery (FFS) was my next step (which is a very common surgery for MTF transgenders).
One of the biggest problems that trans people face as they consider the medical options available for transition is deciding where to have their surgeries. Many trans people find their only option is to travel to Thailand for surgeries – both because of the cost there, and also because many Thai surgeons specialize in transgender populations. Unfortunately, traveling to Thailand for surgeries comes with a lot of risks. Just because a surgeon is located in Thailand does not mean they are one of a handful of true experts in FFS surgery. Additionally, due to a lack of government regulations around medical care in that area and political instability, if any problems arise during or after your surgery, follow-up care is harder to ensure and more expensive due to travel costs.
As I started to research my options, I assumed I might have to go to Thailand as well, but I figured it would not hurt to see what options are in the southeast US. That’s when I found Doctor Carson Huynh at Radiance Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine. Doctor Huynh is not only an experienced facial plastic surgeon, but he is also a maxillofacial surgeon specialized in jaw surgery. I was also very impressed to know that he had trained with the doctor who performed Caitlyn Jenner’s facial surgery. When I met with him for the first time, he took a lot of time to explain the procedures available for me, and showed me samples of the great results he has had in the past. I was very pleasantly surprised by the cost of the procedures. Doctor Huynh was very helpful in knowing how to get me the most “bang for the buck” when prioritizing what procedures I wanted, and his staff worked with me in considering finances and the timeline that worked best for me. At the end of the day, I felt very comfortable not only with him and his staff, but with the value of what he was offering – and I started to get excited about the prospect of having the surgery so close to home, and being able to recover in Atlanta rather than in Thailand.
Scheduling the surgery with him was very easy, and when it came time for surgery day, his staff made me feel extremely comfortable and at ease. I decided on getting my jaw and chin contoured, cheek implants, my browline shaved, a browlift, and forehead contouring. All of his staff, including the nurses, consistently respected my gender and used the proper gender pronouns for me. They were just as excited about helping me achieve my results as I was to finally look in the mirror and see the more feminine jawline, chin, cheeks, and forehead that I have always wanted.
Even though what I had was a very complex and lengthy surgery, it went perfectly, and I was able to go back to a local hotel that night with the doctor’s home number in my pocket, and Dr. Huynh’s office just a few minutes away. I was able to sleep through the night and Dr. Huynh met me the next morning (on a Saturday) to check on me. He checked on me again about a week later, and everything was healing properly. I have since been back to his office for a follow-up and had some lip injections as well, and plan to eventually have him do some further work on my nose.
Healing fully and getting to see the final results of such complex procedures takes some time, but I am extremely happy with the results. I had no complications at all from the surgery, and it has made a world of difference in terms of people seeing me as the woman that I really am. Now, I feel safer going out in public and more accepted in my workplace as well.
I am so grateful to Dr. Carson Huynh and his staff for helping me in my transition, and I am very pleased to see his commitment to being a US-based resource in the Southeast to the transgender community.