My experience with Dr. Lee
Written December 2018.
FFS. My personal experience / story. Background: my company said they pay for all surgeries, which may have been a large impetus for me doing it before retiring. I had planned to pay out of my 401K after retirement. My experience: I met with Dr Spi...
My experience with Dr. Lee
Written December 2018.
FFS. My personal experience / story.
Background: my company said they pay for all surgeries, which may have been a large impetus for me doing it before retiring. I had planned to pay out of my 401K after retirement.
My experience: I met with Dr Spiegel and with Dr. Lee. Those initial MD interviews were polar opposites. Whereas Dr. Spiegel would just keep coming in and out of my room and not giving me any attention (and charged $200 for the visit, mind you), Dr Lee sat down with me and spent all the time I wanted and was only focused on me and our meeting 100%. Where Dr. Spiegel was in a crumpled and cheap suit in a building on the side of a highway, Dr. Lee was in a very nice office on Park Ave in NYC. So the experience of interviewing was polar opposite. After meeting with Dr. Lee, my insurance said he could do FFS but BA had to be done in-plan with a typical BA surgeon that does cis women. Not cool. The surgeon they made me see said "trans women breasts are too tubular and I don't want my name associated with this since customer satisfaction will be low". So I told Dr Lee and he agreed to do my BA at the same time as my FFS. I then met Dr. Lee a second time, to really button down the details. Dr. Lee worked with Aetna and even met with them via skype to make sure everything was covered correctly and the experience was smooth. While the original plan was Mount Sinai Hospital (eye and ear hospital building), the hospital would only commit 4 hours and Dr. Lee needed 9-11 hours. So Dr. Lee paid for my plane flight, hotel, recovery center in Beverly Hills, rides daily from the recovery center to the hospital in an ambulance, and my flight home. They offered to pay for my wife to come too; but we have 2 dogs, 5 cats, and 3 chickens so she stayed home on the farm. All from his own pocket. Amazing. Dr. Lee also had to negotiate with Aetna. So even though Aetna said "we pay any FFS surgeon as in-network", they haggled with Dr. Lee and only gave him 85% of his normal fee. Again - Dr. Lee said "I won't charge you a penny. Whatever Aetna doesn't pay, is free to you". Dr. Lee impressed me all around. My wife is a PA, my late wife was an MSN, I was an NR-EMT-P when younger, and I spent the last 20 years consulting to CDC and Pharma fortune 100's. So I know what a good MD is and what a bad MD is. The staff were amazing, and every step of the way spent untold hours talking to me about my medicines, my treatment, my post surgical care, etc. Hours upon hours with my wife and I via skype. So, off to Beverly Hills. Flight was unremarkable, and the food was decent in first class. Dr. Lee prefers Alaska Air, but I flew American Airlines. The night before Dr. Lee had me at a Marriott facility right next to Factors World Famous deli. My last meal! Matzoh soup, knishes, and a reuben. Soul food for me as a Russian Jew. Surgery was at Summit Surgical; in the group of centers supporting Cedar Sinai. My anesthesiologist MD was awesome. He sat with me, did prayers to envision success (I kind of got into it, actually), and prepped me. Dr Lee then worked with me to go over everything one last time. We discussed all the procedures: Type 3 forehead, hair advancement, rhinoplasty with fixing my deviated septum, orbit repair, lip lift and botox, cheek implants, jaw reduction with repair of TMJ, chin reduction, facelift, chin lift, breast augmentation with Mentor silicon implants. The anesthesiologist came in and told me what music they would play for the next 14 hours (mood music like Enya), and off I went to the land of sleep. I woke up in the recovery center. A $1K a day facility where nurses work with you round the clock. He paid for that, and the nurses were all nice and did their work. Every day an ambulance would take me to see Dr. Lee and his nurses. After 4 days I was released to a hotel; which Dr. Lee paid for. Same nice Marriott Residence Inn; and they do a lot of work with Dr. Lee so they had me loaded with pillows, extra towels and blankets, a fridge full of orange juice, made me a soft omelet every morning, etc. Eventually at day 8 I was cleared to fly home. Once back in NY, Dr. Lee assigned an amazing doctor that works for him to handle my sutures, staples, screws in my skull, and of course my recovery bra (Ugh!!!!). Her name is Yan and I saw her every week and talked to her on her cell phone every few days as she would call and check up on me almost daily. Here I am at about day 36 (by my math). My breast nerves are re-attaching. I love, love, LOVE my breasts. Shame on Dr. Emese Kalnoki in Rochester who said my boobies would be ugly. They are beautiful. Last week my regular MD said "wow - these are more beautiful than any boobs I ever saw!". My face is amazing. I didn't recognize myself. Now keep in mind I was always labeled as "a man's man". 6.5" tall, body of a football player, face that was extremely male and handsome. The exact opposite of what the universe should have given me. I love my face now. The last of the screws and sutures and staples came out a week or two ago. Now I just hang out at home and watch TV and heal. Dr. Lee wants to see me in another month or two; but I am sure we won't need any revision work whatsoever. I love how I look. Overall I would say this surgical experience was magical, it was red carpet the whole way, and I was made to feel special by everyone that interacted with me. If ever you wonder why Dr. Lee has the most awards, fellowships, diplomates, and memberships. He is a Diplomate x3, Fellow x6 and Member x7. His awards read like a who's who of FFS awards. I felt comfortable and SAFE every step of the way and in his hands. The opposite of dealing with Spiegel, who's office repeatedly lied to me, lied to Aetna, and acted unprofessional and erratic. I would recommend anyone seriously considering FFS consider Dr. Lee and would advise staying away from Dr Spiegel.
- No detailed procedures selected