I am pretty much done with this dick diary, but I’d like to give a review of how I felt about the doctors, and their office. I waffled back and forth on doing this, because it’s not all flattering, but in the end my loyalties are to other transgender people that want to use Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley’s office.
We are so often very desperate to get our surgeries, and it’s hard to find good information on what people experience with specific surgeons. Because of that, I am putting this up here.
I am very happy with my results. I felt both of them were very fantastic surgeons. I was Dr. Ley’s first metoidioplasty, alongside Dr. Meltzer. I felt it was well done and I like the look of it. When I went back to get the mons resection done, Dr. Ley did some revision work on my empty scrotoplasty. I feel she has a very good eye for anatomy and is an exceptional artist. I feel she really does good work.
I have fantastic results and I’d recommend them again and again.
Nobody in this office will be on time for any reason. I went to a consult and two surgeries, with multiple visits. There was never a time I didn’t wait at least an hour. Take this into account with your own time management. I spent literally hours in the office waiting for my appointments, well past my appointment time. Hell, in my last surgery, Dr. Ley was hours late and the hospital staff was even annoyed. This effected my ability to even leave the hospital. I was ready to be discharged at 9am, but as everyone waited for Dr. Ley. I was finally informed at 5pm that I could leave because she wasn’t going to get to me until 11pm that night… I didn’t want to pay for another hospital night I didn’t need, so since I was fine and had no complications with the second surgery I went back to the hotel.
Getting actual answers from staff is difficult and felt adversarial. I worked with Lindsay as the nurse, and she was hard to get a hold of and even harder to wrangle actual answers out of. It took me multiple calls to get information about complication rates on scrotal implants, and really that should be an easy answer.
I also had an issue where I asked billing how the payment worked. You have to pay upfront, whereas in most medical settings they bill insurance up front, and you pay the rest. I got an email back telling me if I didn’t pay they would take my appointment from me. All from just asking how they do business.
I would also be careful about medical information. I was told a couple of outright garbage things from the nurse for surgery.
- I was told to take vitamin B before surgery with my metoidioplasty surgery. I can only think it was due to a half assed study with a small number of participants that showed laughing gas left the body with vitamin B. However, general anesthetic doesn’t work with the same mechanisms, and when I asked the surgical nurses they laughed at it.
- They give you homeopathy in their surgery packs. I have some serious questions about any medical office that engages in homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic arnica does nothing but pay for the manufacturers new house, and probably impending FDA lawsuit defense.
- The surgery prep for the vaginectomy and hysterectomy had a bowel preparation that is gangbusters. I was told to start this way too late in the day before surgery. I knew this, having prepped patients for surgery as a nurse, and did it earlier. I didn’t do it early enough and was literally still having bowl movements while I was prepped for surgery. The surgical staff said they hated Dr. Meltzer’s regime, because patients would sometimes unload on the surgery table. This is not optimal. You hurt nothing by taking your bowel prep earlier if you don’t do anything but clear liquids after you start. When asked, Lindsay said bowel preps just don’t last that long and then I knew she had probably never done floor nursing because whoa nelly, they do to! I felt I was being set up for a far more difficult time than it needed to be.
Post-operative care sucked. Just straight up sucked. In my first surgery I had a metoidioplasty, hysterectomy, and a vaginectomy. I had extra bleeding, and some of the worst bladder spasms known to man. When I kept calling to ask what to do, I was treated like a pill seeking junky by Lindsay the nurse all over a request for 5 additional Percocet so I could take a half in the morning and a half at night to get me through my first work week with the painful spasms.
I was a nurse and did wound care, and I felt these first surgery incisions were slow to heal (No fault to anyone. Sometimes that happens.), and I wanted to make sure someone assessed them because they were dicey. I was told to send in pictures, and when I did, I never heard back. I had to keep emailing and calling and was told it was fine and not send in follow up pictures weeks later.
I had to go to my primary care physician to deal with all this. He was, as always, super supportive and quite horrified at how this went down.
With my second surgery I was told I’d have to remove my drain by myself. This can be done, but since I was in Phoenix for so long, I asked for them to remove it. I had to really push to get them to do this. They couldn’t do it on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday before I flew out. Instead I had to go in Monday before my flight left. I was told the nurse would come in early to meet us and take it out so we wouldn’t miss our plane.
This was an unmitigated fiasco. First, we waited an hour past our appointment time. Then two nurses took turns trying to yank the drain before Dr. Ley came in to yank hard on it. Between each attempt a half hour or so would pass. My husband kept asking about time, and a MA gal kept rolling her eyes literally at him. This was just so out of bounds and rude.
I passed out because the amount of pain that came with Dr. Ley yanking on the drain unsuccessfully. I have Graves Disease, so this can happen with pain for me.
I had to be reopened up, drain removed, then stitched back closed in the procedure room. The MA gal that rolled her eyes at my husband was clearly not interested in even dealing with me, and I found out that Dr. Ley didn’t even know I had passed out cold in the exam room ten minutes earlier. None of her staff had told her which seems pretty problematic.
We missed that flight home, and it was more due to Delta and my husband’s diligence that we got home that night. If we didn’t travel for work and have a good working knowledge on how to work around this, we might have been stuck with the added time and expense of another night in Phoenix.
I felt this could have all been mitigated if the drain was 1) taken out four days earlier when it should have been or 2) if we had not been sitting in the office for literally hours past our appointment time.
I was healing fast and fine at home, but then developed a serious reaction to the extended Keflex prescription. From previous experience with the office, I dealt with it myself with my own primary care doc. When called for follow-up information, I felt Lindsay was more worried about liability than how I was doing. I got a serious third degree about what else could have possibly caused the reaction. It was the Keflex. It was literally the only medication I was on at the time. Not even pain meds, which seemed to
shock the hell out of her.
I basically just stopped talking to the office, because I felt there was no point to it. I did get an email from one of the nurses asking if everything was good and if I could send pictures. I did and wrote a detailed listing of my progress including somethings about the long-lasting issues I was having with my bladder since the first surgery. (I have since asked my own doc and it’s to be expected. I’m a bit slow on recovery there.) I got back a
“Great!”. I doubt my email was even read. If you are doing triage through email this is not good.
My overall opinion is that Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley do good work, but the office could be a landmine of issues. If everything goes right, it’s golden. If you have any issues, then you will probably have to fight the office just to get through. I would do this again and am ecstatic with my results. However, I would have set up aftercare with my primary care
physician ahead of time, and not even bothered to try and deal with that office for it.
I am sure they will know exactly who I am if someone there reads this. I am the only person that has ever had a drain stuck in their office. Since they send folks home with drains, and their office communication is rough, that might not be true. This isn’t common, but it’s not exactly uncommon if I recall back when I used to remove drains as a nurse. However, I am the first in office for them.
This is why I waffled on posting this. It’s not all flattering, but it’s my experiences with the office. I hope by putting this out there, that other people going to Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley can have the information in order to navigate their experiences with less frustration.
This will probably be the last post of real content here. I am considering mirroring this over on WordPress so I don’t have to worry about Tumblr’s weird issues. I plan to leave his dick diary up, so others can read it if they are considering the surgeries I had.