Mr christopher Inglefield of the London Bridge Plastic Surgery is one of the UK’s authorities on gender reassignment surgery. He talks about some of the treatments avaialble at his practice
When was London Bridge Plastic Surgery (LBPS) established, and how many staff do you have?
LBPS was established in 1998. We have 12 staff that cover our reception team, admin team, nurses and consultants.
What drew you to this area of medicine in the first place?
I loved the challenges in plastic surgery and the opportunity to help a wide range of patients.
What services, both surgical and non-surgical, does London Bridge Plastic Surgery offer?
LBPS offers cosmetic surgery, non-surgical treatments including body treatments for cellulite and fat reduction, Skin Health, LASER treatments as well as Skin Cancer management
What are the benefits of plastic surgery? Surely it’s all just about vanity?
Plastic surgery is about restoring form and function whether this is lost due to injury, disease or ageing. The main goal is about improving quality of life not about vanity which is a very judgmental view.
Is it necessary for people to be referred by their GP before embarking on plastic surgery treatment?
No, it is not necessary to be referred by their GP but we recommend that they do inform their GP of any treatment or procedure that is planned.
You also offer male to female gender reassignment. What does this involve and do you find that this is a process which is becoming more and more common place?
I am one of the leading authorities in MTF Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) and we are in a unique position being able to offer help at whatever stage of transition. We work with patients who have had a constant desire to live as a female for at least two years and have had undergone psychiatric assessment for at least two years. The patient must be able to demonstrate their ability to live as a female for at least one year and it is very important that they have good support from family, friends and partners.
GCS in Male to Female involves conversion of penile and scrotal tissues into female genitals that look as natural as possible. This will give a normal functioning vagina that allows for sexual intercourse and cosmetically normal, female external genitalia. Because GCS is irreversible it is essential to ensure that this surgery is right for the patient and is in their best interest.
With the increased media attention on transgenders and films such as The Danish Girl, it has certainly bought this surgery more into the public eye and made people aware of what is now possible across all stages their transition. We are seeing more and more people from all age groups and life styles looking at becoming who they truly want to be.
On a personal level what is it about your work which gives you the greatest pleasure?
The greatest pleasure comes from helping our patients achieve their goals and seeing how this changes their lives in such a positive way.
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