From the Consumer Connection, a publication of the American Medical Library Association
Deschamps-Braly, Jordan and Douglas Ousterhout. Facial Feminization Surgery: The Journey to Gender Affirmation. 2d ed., Omaha, NE: Addicus Books, 2021. 241 pages.
ISBN: 9781950091393. $49.95
Dr, Ousterhout is a pioneer in Facial Feminization Surgery. Now retired, he has “passed the torch” to Dr. Deschamps-Braly to continue with his work. As the authors point out for transgender women “nothing is more important than having a face and body that match how you feel. Facial feminization surgery (FFS) helps you look like the person you have always been on the inside.” (p.1)
This comprehensive and readable work provides an empathetic guide for transgender women that seemingly covers all aspects of FFS and answers all questions they might have in detail.
Fifteen chapters cover all procedures necessary for FFS, including “Scalp Advancement,” “Forehead Feminization,” “Temporal Fossa Augmentation,” “Cheek Contouring,” a chapter each on Nose, Lip, and Chin Reshaping, “Thyroid Cartilage Reduction,” “Lower Jaw (Mandibular) Surgery,” “Upper Jaw (Maxillary) Surgery,” as well as chapters such as “Facelifts and other Facial Procedures,” and “Hair Transplants,” procedures that are not for FFS alone, but are ones that can enhance and rejuvenate anyone’s face.
In the chapter “Preparing for Facial Feminization Surgery,” the authors clearly describe all preparations for FFS, what to expect on the day of surgery, and all possible adverse effects. They also speak frankly and in depth about choosing a qualified, experienced surgeon for FFS, and offer guidance on seeking surgery abroad. In addition, and to the satisfaction of all librarians reading their book, they warn that transgender women should “Be Cautious About Information from the Internet” and warn they “…need to conduct Internet searches wisely.” (p.13) They also warn that those who seek FFS should “be skeptical” of “before and after pictures” on Internet forums and also those pictures on (some) surgeons’ websites which not only may be altered but have also been proven to use different people in the “before” and “after” photos!
This text has numerous legitimate photos of “before and after specific procedures along with photos and illustrations showing the differences between the male and female face and skull.
The appendix “Specialized Surgical Training and Board Certification” provides information on how to select qualified and experienced surgeons for FFS. A second appendix addresses “Commonly Asked Questions.” Also included is a bibliography of books and articles and a list of “Resources,” where organizations of help are grouped in categories including “Health,” “Law and Policy,” “Race and Ethnicity,” and “Workplace Advocacy.” There is an eight-page glossary of medical terms and an index.
This is highly recommended for those libraries where there’s a need.
Reviewed by Claire B. Joseph, MS, MA, AHIP, Director, Medical Library, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, NY