Inclusion & Diversity Patient Care

Facial plastic surgeons join Washington University Transgender Center

photo of WashU facial plastic surgeons
The Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University, from left: Greg Branham, MD, Emily Spataro, MD, and John Chi, MD, MPHS.

The Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University recently joined forces with the WashU Transgender Center to expand medical services available to patients seeking gender-affirming medical treatment.

Facial plastic surgeons Greg Branham, MD, John Chi, MD, MPHS, and Emily Spataro, MD, are the newest providers to join the Center, which also includes laryngologists Molly Huston, MD, and Randal Paniello, MD, PhD. Speech-language pathologists can also offer gender-affirming voice training.

Read more about gender-affirming voice therapy »

John Chi, MD, MPHS

Gender dysphoria is an internal conflict due to a person not identifying with their gender assigned at birth.  According to Chi, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals who experience gender dysphoria may be assisted in their transition to their chosen gender through a variety of medical and surgical treatments.

“Not all transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals experience gender dysphoria,“ says Chi. “For those seeking more masculine or feminine facial features, facial plastic surgery can help. Most commonly, these are patients on the trans-feminine spectrum who are seeking facial feminization procedures.”

Chi says rhinoplasty and forehead/brow re-contouring are the most commonly requested procedures, but there are a number of other procedures that can be helpful:

  • Hairline Lowering Surgery
  • Blepharoplasty (Upper/Lower)
  • Lip Lift
  • Genioplasty / Mandibuloplasty
  • Face / Neck Lift
  • Submental Liposuction
Voice-specialized Speech-Language Pathologist Jess MacKimm conducts voice training exercises with a patient.

There are multidisciplinary centers for integrated transgender care throughout the United States.  The Washington University Transgender Center was established in 2019 and is comprised of endocrinologists, gynecologists, urologists, adolescent medicine specialists, mental health professionals, plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and otolaryngologists. 

“While our facial plastic surgeons and laryngologists are members of the Washington University Transgender Center, our entire department is committed to providing health care for transgender and non-binary patients in a welcoming and affirming environment.”

John Chi, MD, MPHS