Everyday Oral Surgery: Surgeons Talking Shop

Dr. Elda Fisher: pearls on cosmetic gender affirmation surgery and being a program director

August 30, 2021 Grant Stucki - oral and maxillofacial surgeon Episode 65
Everyday Oral Surgery: Surgeons Talking Shop
Dr. Elda Fisher: pearls on cosmetic gender affirmation surgery and being a program director
Show Notes

Dr. Elda Fisher, our guest on today’s show, works with a highly disenfranchised cohort. Although transgender people make up 0.6% of the US population, they struggle with a lack of access to the kind of healthcare that Elda specializes in; facial gender affirmation surgery. As Elda explains, maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely qualified to do this type of surgery, and she is hopeful that in the future, there will be a more well-developed connection between them and the patients who are seeking to feminize or masculinize their faces. In this episode, Elda explains the life changing capacity of gender affirmation surgery, and offers examples of some simple strategies that surgeons can use to ensure that there is congruency between their patient’s face and their intended gender. As director of the oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program at the University of North Carolina, Elda also shares what she loves about working in an academic setting, some of the biggest learnings she has had during her time as a teacher, and the qualities that she looks for in potential residents. 


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Elda’s journey to specializing in gender affirmation surgery. 
  • The size of the transgender population in the United States. 
  • Challenges to providing gender affirmative care. 
  • Why maxillofacial surgeons are so well equipped to do gender affirmative surgeries.
  • Gender affirmation surgeries that are covered by insurance, and those that are not.
  • Why there are a limited number of studies which demonstrate positive effects of gender affirmative surgery. 
  • Elda shares some simple strategies that surgeons can use to feminize or masculinize a face.  
  • The number of patients in UNC’s transgender health program.
  • Why Elda has found it particularly rewarding working with transgender patients. 
  • How Elda navigates the psychosocial dynamics of gender affirmative surgery. 
  • The first step towards performing successful cosmetic surgery and gender affirmation surgery.
  • Primary orthognathic surgeries that Elda does as part of her gender affirmative procedures. 
  • Learnings that Elda has had through her position as a teacher.
  • Elda’s strategy for giving feedback to her residents. 
  • What Elda loves most about working in an academic setting. 
  • Qualities and experience that Elda looks for in potential residents. 
  • The life changing and lifesaving potential of gender affirmation surgery.


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dr. Elda Fisher — https://dentistry.unc.edu/people/elda-fisher/ 

Dr. Elda Fisher Email — [email protected] 

Dr. Grant Stucki Email — [email protected]

Dr. Grant Stucki Phone — 720 441 6059