Dr. Annette Cholon and Dr. Peter K. Davis
Dr.Annette Cholon practices plastic surgery including SRS in Menlo Park, California.
and I am very happy with the results.
Not many people in the gender community have heard of
Dr. Cholon because she has just started building this part
of her practice. Dr. Cholon assisted Dr. Laub's SRS's for
the last 5 years, and now she is doing the primary work
herself. I think I was her twelvth patient. She does a
penile inversion, using a skin graft from the stomach or
thigh for the extension of the vaginal cavity. The scrotal
skin is used for labia only. It is a one-step procedure
(although I've heard she does a two-step now);
I have my labia majora and minora complete at this point.
Dr. Cholon is a delightful young blonde woman, rather
reminding me of the actress Tea Leoni. Her bedside manner is confident but not arrogant. It may be silly of me, but I like the idea of having my procedure performed by a woman, and I am especially comfortable with her in my follow-up visits.
Unfortunately, as of 2006, Dr. Cholon has retired from her practice to spend more time raising her kids. Her
collegue, Dr. Peter Davis, who assisted Dr. Cholon at my SRS, continues her SRS practice in Menlo Park.
Dr. Davis invites new patients to contact him directly, or work through Judy Van Maasdam of the
Gender Dysphoria Program, Inc. (Judy is a therapist who specializes in gender treatment.) Dr. Davis also invites you to call him with any questions you might
have about SRS, FFS, or anything else.
Here is contact information for Dr. Davis and for Judy Van Maasdam:
Peter K. Davis, M.D.
Physician & Surgeon
Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
1515 El Camino Real, Suite D
Palo Alto, CA 94306-3260
Judy Van Maasdam
Gender Dysphoria Program, Inc.
1515 El Camino Real, Suite E
Palo Alto, CA 94306-3260
Judy and Dr. Davis have put together a package that keeps costs under control. I had my actual surgery in a modest OR called the Plastic Surgery Center of Palo Alto, in the small medical building where Judy has her office. Then I spent 4 nights at the Surgical Hospital of Menlo Park, which is more of a recovery inn than a hospital. My total bills were about $15,000. Since I live in San Jose, this was very convenient for me.
Several people have asked me about my personal reasons for selecting Dr. Cholon, so I will tell you.
I did NOT select her because I thought she had the best skills and technique of any of the available
surgeons. My feeling was that all of the top surgeons in the field are doing good work and
getting great results. I did not feel that I had the expertise to judge between them on a technical
basis, no matter how much research I did. I do feel that Dr. Cholon is one of the top surgeons,
and I relied a lot on Judy van Maasdam's recommendation as she has a lot of experience and
expertise working with many surgeons over many years.
I placed a high value on having a surgeon that was local to my home. I dislike travelling even
in the best of circumstances, especially to places where I don't speak the language. There
is plenty to organize prior to SRS, without the additional hassles of arranging an
overseas trip. Getting back
into my own bed as quickly as possible meant a lot to me.
Having Dr. Cholon in my area meant
that she would handle all of my follow-up care, and I liked that idea a lot--and
the doctor likes following up on her own work, too.
As a bonus, all my follow-up
visits are free!--well, included in the package cost, let us say. But it is still nice not to have
to dig into my pocketbook each time I go in for a check-up.
I felt good about having my procedure in the good old U.S. of A. because I have
faith in our health care system--the technology, not the financial end, which is a mess. And
I was able to bank my own blood in advance of surgery, which set my mind at ease about the
quality of the blood should I need a transfusion. (Dr. Cholon did wind up putting my blood
back in me, although she said it wasn't absolutely necessary.)
Another thing that was very appealing to me was that Dr. Cholon did not (and does not currently)
have a waiting list. Once I decided I was ready to go, I did NOT want to face a one or two
Finally, I really like the idea of working with a female surgeon. I can't justify it rationally,
but there's something about having a doctor who knows first-hand about vaginas that seems like
a good thing. I think I feel a bit more comfortable in my check-ups than if I had a male
physician, for the same reason that many women feel more comfortable with a female gynecologist.
So those were my reasons. I have the highest recommendation for Dr. Cholon based on my results,
her skill and techniques as far as I can judge, and her very pleasant bedside manner. However, if I was
on a more restricted budget, or if Dr. Cholon hadn't been available, I would have had no
reservations about going to some of the other fine surgeons working in this field.
probably would have been my second choice.