Toby Meltzer

Last updated
Toby R. Meltzer
Born (1957-09-19) September 19, 1957 (age 66)
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Surgeon
Website Official Site

Toby R. Meltzer (born September 19, 1957) is an American plastic and reconstructive surgeon. [1] Meltzer specializes in sex reassignment surgery male-to-female, sex reassignment surgery female-to-male, and facial feminization surgery. In the 1990s, Meltzer pioneered the neovaginal construction technique that increased the ability of the neoclitoris to feel sensations. [2] According to his website, Meltzer performs 2-4 vaginoplasties a week, and that he has performed over 3000 male and female sexual reassignment (SRS) surgeries. [3] Joan Roughgarden called Meltzer one of the leading surgeons in this specialized field. [4] He practices in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Education and early practice

Meltzer is a graduate of the Louisiana State University school of medicine, where he completed a residency in general surgery. He completed his plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Meltzer then began his practice, while working as a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). There he specialized in general surgery, plastic surgery, and completed a fellowship in surgery for treatment of severe burn injuries.

Working with the chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division at OHSU, he began training in SRS surgical techniques. Meltzer researched and interviewed pediatric urologists with experience treating children born with ambiguous genitalia, and surgeons already performing vaginoplasty surgeries such as the late Stanley Biber. In 1993 he began performing vaginoplasty surgeries, which eventually became a large part of his practice. In 1996, he opened his own private practice in Portland, Oregon. [5] In 2003, he relocated his practice to Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2003 becoming the first doctor in that state to specialize in gender reconstruction surgery.

Meltzer was forced to relocate to Scottsdale after a conservative physicians consortium, Symphony Healthcare, purchased Eastmoreland Hospital. Meltzer was reportedly forced out due to Symphony's hefty price increase, that some claim was a ruse due to the conservative corporation's objections to sexual reassignment surgery. According to reports, Meltzer's surgeries accounted for 50 percent of the hospital's revenue. Symphony Healthcare filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection less than two years later.

Surgical practice

During the 1990s, during his practice in Portland Meltzer developed a vaginoplasty technique.[ citation needed ] Meltzer's demeanor and surgical skills gained him respect in the transgender community as he was considered having surpassed the veteran Stanley Biber in terms of referrals. [6] He is also one of just a few surgeons in the U.S. who performs metiodioplasty procedures to create male genitalia for FTM trans men.[ citation needed ]

Meltzer performing forehead reduction with an electric burr Toby-meltzer-performing-surgery.jpg
Meltzer performing forehead reduction with an electric burr

In the late 1990s, Meltzer performed many cricothyroid approximation surgeries. This procedure attempts to raise vocal pitch by surgically modifying the cricoid and thyroid cartilage structures. [7] The intent of the procedure is to raise the vocal pitch of patients unable to do so through voice training. Improved voice training methods (which often produce better results than the surgery) and the inherent risks of vocal surgery have largely eliminated the demand for cricothyroid approximation.

According to his website, Meltzer performs facial feminization surgery (FFS), [8] and is available to provide: mandibular angle osteotomy, genioplasty, cranioplasty, scalp advancement, trachea reduction, and other feminizing procedures. Also aspects of his practice are: reconstruction of severed limbs, scar revision surgeries, and more familiar plastic surgical procedures such as breast augmentation.

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  1. C. Beam Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers pg 133-135 Harcourt 2007 ISBN   0-15-101196-6
  2. A. Lawrence "Patient-Reported Complications and Functional Outcomes of Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery" pg 720-723 Archives of Sexual Behavior Springer Netherlands Volume 35, Number 6 / December, 2006 doi : 10.1007/s10508-006-9104-9
  3. Questions How many vaginoplasties/GRS procedures has Meltzer performed and how often does he do them? Official Site
  4. J. Roughgarden Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People pg 285 University of California Press 2004 ISBN   0-520-24073-1
  5. Dean Kotula The Phallus Palace: Female to Male Transsexuals pg 174, Alyson Publications (2002) ISBN   1-55583-654-2
  6. J. Meyerowitz How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States pg 272 Harvard University Press 2004 ISBN   0-674-01379-4
  7. Toby Meltzer, MD et al., Cricothyroid approximation to elevate vocal pitch in MtF transsexuals: results of surgery 111: 477–485 Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, (2002) PMID   12090702
  8. Toby Meltzer, MD, PC Toby Meltzer, MD, PC: Procedures MTF