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NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Reaches Milestone, Performing 100 Gender-Affirming Surgeries

Eighty-five of the 100 gender-affirming surgery patients underwent masculinizing 'top surgery' NYC Health + Hospitals is recognized as a national 'Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality'

Dec 16, 2021

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan today announced it has reached a significant milestone, performing its 100th gender-affirming surgery on a patient from Manhattan. Twenty-seven-year-old Megan Maguire, who is non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them, underwent masculinizing ‘top surgery’ last month. More than half of the gender-affirming surgeries performed at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan occurred in the last three years; approximately 80 percent of the patients were new to the public health care system. At the public health care system, gender-affirming surgeries can take as little as six-weeks to schedule. This is often far less than other hospital systems that offer the life-changing service. NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has a long history of providing expert, culturally-competent care to LGBTQ patients. It was the first public hospital to open a health center dedicated to the population. Patients can make an appointment at any of the public health care system’s Pride Health Centers by calling 844-NYC-4NYC.

“This surgery has changed my life because I experienced a lot of dysphoria in my chest prior to the surgery and afterwards that has been 100 percent eliminated,” said Maguire. “I had a lot of confusion and nervousness going into it but NYC Health + Hospitals was able to calm those nerves. They made this process very easy, very welcoming and warming. I felt taken care of from consultation to surgery to after-care.”

“This incredible milestone illustrates our commitment to providing every New Yorker with high-quality health care and we’re proud to offer these services to our LGBTQ patients,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Our mission is to provide patients with culturally-sensitive care to help them determine what is best for their overall health.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is one of very few public hospitals in all of the United States that makes gender-affirming surgery available to the transgender and nonbinary patients who need these medically-necessary procedures,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer Cristina Contreras. “This 100th procedure is a significant milestone for our surgical team led by Dr. Aron Kressel, as well as the Pride Health Center that provides ongoing medical care to our LGBTQ patients. We take great pride in being able to offer gender-affirming healthcare services to all New Yorkers, and we are grateful to Megan and all of the other patients who have entrusted their care to us.”

“For a lot of the patients we see, these surgeries are kind of like a transformative experience,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Chief of Plastic Surgery Aron Kressel, MD. “We’re dealing with patients who really just want to be themselves and we have the ability to do that for them by performing surgery. They tell us it’s like we’re giving them a second chance, a new life as the person that they have always wanted to be.”

“I celebrate with Metropolitan in reaching this important milestone, as there is nothing more important than creating meaningful access to high-quality affirming care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Matilde Roman, Esq. “NYC Health + Hospitals welcomes the LGBTQ community and they can trust that our system will provide them with the same comprehensive, dignified and life-saving healthcare we offer every New Yorker.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is the only facility within the public health care system that offers gender-affirming surgery on the chest, also known as ‘top surgery.’ Feminizing top surgery can involve breast implants or breast augmentation. Masculinizing top surgery can involve a mastectomy, or removal of breast tissue. NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan offers top surgeries to transgender and gender non-conforming patients who meet criteria defined by their insurance plans and their medical providers. Eighty-five of the gender-affirming surgeries performed at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan were masculinizing top surgery. According to Dr. Kressel, most of the gender-affirming surgery patients identify as trans male or non-binary. Specific procedures include mastectomy with nipple graft and peri-areolar breast reduction.

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has been a beacon of care and support for all members of our community, right here in our district and throughout the city. I am proud to stand with Metropolitan at every step of the way, and join in celebrating this important milestone,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “I have long advocated for expanded services for LGBTQ New Yorkers, including better access to mental health treatment services for transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary, and intersex individuals. Gender-affirming surgeries such as the type performed at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan are part of that continuum of care. I am proud to represent the hospital at the City Council, and am committed to the close partnership we have developed over the years.”

“Since I took office in 2018, working with NYC Health + Hospitals to improve and expand care and access to services for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers has been one of my top priorities. I have seen first-hand the damage that culturally-insensitive and non-comprehensive health treatment can cause, and that is why I am so proud of the work we’ve done in just a few short years,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Hospitals. “From the opening of the system’s first Pride Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in 2014 to securing baselined funding for transgender health navigator services to this incredible and triumphant milestone of 100 gender-affirming surgeries, our public hospitals continue to set the precedent for the future of inclusive, curated, equitable healthcare for the LGTBQ+ community.”

In 2014, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan became the first public hospital to open a health center dedicated to the needs of LGBTQ patients. The system now has five Pride Health Centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx that provide culturally responsive health services and addresses barriers that contribute to health disparities among LGBTQ youth and adults. The centers offer services for women’s health, men’s health, gender transition, hormone therapy, HIV and STD prevention, screening, and treatment services, adolescent care, social work and behavioral health services, and general primary care:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
    462 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10016
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
    227 Madison St., New York, NY 10002
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Judson
    34 Spring St., New York, NY 10012
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
    1901 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10029
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
    760 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11206

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln also opened a new comprehensive Gender Affirming Integrated Services Practice, dedicated to LGBTQ patients in June 2021.

NYC Health + Hospitals was the first U.S. public health care system to mandate LGBTQ training for all staff members in 2011. In 2020, twenty-three NYC Health + Hospitals facilities earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s designation, “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” for the fifth consecutive year. To earn this, facilities must train staff in LGBTQ health care and have LGBTQ-responsive policies and practices for patients and staff. In November 2021, NYC Health + Hospitals created the system’s first ‘Transgender Health Care Resource Guide‘ for patients and staff.

Patients can make an appointment at any of the public health care system’s Pride Health Center by calling 844-NYC-4NYC.

Learn more about NYC Health + Hospitals LGBTQ Health Care Services.