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Chrissy

Dr. Kathy Rumer - GRS in Philadelphia

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Hi all,

I've probably mentioned her in blog posts, but I thought I should do a post here under recommendations - particularly now that I'm 6 months past my own GRS (6 months!!!!).

Anyway - I had my surgery done by Dr. Kathy Rumer in Philadelphia (her office is in Ardmore, PA, a suburb of Philly, she does the surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital). I don't know how long she's been doing this but clearly she is very experienced. She also recently started a transgender health fellowship at Hahnemann (the hospital is affiliated with Drexel University in Philly).

With only a couple of issues, my experience with her and her staff has been really good. The most important part, the surgery, went without incident. Apparently it took about 3 hours in total (maybe less - it's hard to tell since it takes a couple of hours to reorient from being under that long). But it was quick, and the work is really good, I'm very happy with the appearance.

They asked me before we started if they could contact anyone for me when it's done, so I gave them my brother's number and they did reach out to him right after the surgery was completed (I called a little while later, when I was reoriented). I think he actually thought it was Dr. Rumer who called him, he hasn't worked with surgeons so much :-)  It recently occurred to me that I've probably only been awake in a room with Dr. Rumer herself for about 15 minutes - 10 minutes the first time I went to her office, then maybe 5 minutes in the OR. Otherwise it's always been her staff.

Tomorrow is my 6-month check-up, which will be the 4th since surgery (they happened at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months - the 3 months one I just sent pics and we talked on the phone). I'll have one more at 1 year, then I assume others only if needed. The staff has been great every time - and I realized after the fact that I'm glad her entire staff is female. When you're actually in the chair getting checked, it's a pretty vulnerable, exposed feeling, so I feel better that it's women doing the checking (really only 1 woman doing the checking, but another in the room with us). I'm not sure how I'd feel about a man doing that.

I mentioned earlier that I had just a couple of issues: (1) they lost my "reservation" for a hospitality room at their office (she has several rooms upstairs that are available for the first week after surgery). In November I found out that I didn't have a room.  On the plus side, the hotel was very near the hospital and they had a deal with the hospital, so I didn't spend much more than I would have with the hospitality room, and it was probably a nicer room (being at a hotel) which was important since I was pretty much stuck there for a solid week. The other issue was (2) the "bed" in the hospital, where I had to stay for 2 solid days after the surgery (no getting up at all) was a glorified cot - I didn't really feel much pain from surgery, but my butt was seriously hurting from the bed (I think most of my morphine use was to compensate for that). That one is on the hospital, and I did report it to Dr. Rumer's office.

So that's my experience - one of the reasons I went with her was that she is under contract with Cigna, which was my insurance at the time. But I have been really happy with her and her staff overall. For one thing, in the many times I emailed in the first couple of months after surgery (when you're sure that every little tingling sensation is something horrible happening), they were very quick and very friendly in responding, including over the weekend.

Edited by Chrissy
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Chrissy, I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Dr Rumer at Virginia TIES, now twice . She helped inaugurate the 1st Virginia health conference in 2012. She came well prepared and it was my actual first time being able to have a one on one with any surgeon . I have no clue who is scheduled at the fourth year of Virginia TIES other rthan I have begged, pleaded and begged even more to see this conference expanded into something that include more time .

It was a BIG step first for Equality Virginia to have taken my chiding from years earlier as the director , James Parrish once told me that he thought the Transgender population in Virginia barely could hit 900 people and that was in 2010. He know I had my facts together and as a result , Virginia Ties came to Virginia Commonwealth University at the student commons center for the now one day event . I have been a Equality volunteer since the beginning and I look forward to again doing so this October .

Virginia TIES is THE Come to event for all Transgender and those wishing information on the meaning of being Transgender. Subjects range from Legal issues with Medicare / Medicaid to surgical procedures . I continue to push for a dress for success class as this applies to Cross dressers as well. There is simply too much Information that BEGS to be shared to the community as a whole here and one day is simply not enough to take it all in . A social gathering at a nearby bar closes the day and all participants are treated to two complimentary drinks via Equality Virginia .

I look forward to meeting ANYONE willing to travel to Richmond Virginia this fall to attend the event . Bring a notebook as I'm on hand to share knowlee , resources and any pertinent information I can

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Hi Chrissy, thanks for sharing your experience. It helps me gather info as I plan out my possible future. I was wondering if you could send an update on how you are doing and maybe some info on what needs to be done on a daily basis. If anything at all. Still learning about GRS. Thank you so much for sharing. 

Christy😍

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Hi Christy!

I offer this with the qualification that this was my experience, things will vary from person-to-person, including based on the surgeon that you use. I'm now over a year past surgery and there is nothing that I have to do on a daily basis, the only thing left relating to the GCS is that I have to dilate once a week (that will be forever). Dilation schedule varies based on the surgeon - my schedule was 4x/day for the first month, 3x/day for the following 2 months, 2x/day for the next 3 months, 1x/day for 6 months, and then 1x/week after that - it was 20 minutes per session.

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Thank you Chrissy!

That is great information and I appreciate your response. Have a great day

christy

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