Bart van de Ven

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Bart van de Ven is a Dutch maxillofacial surgeon specialized in facial feminization surgery (FFS) for trans women. His office in located in Belgium[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Heerlen, the Netherlands at the age of 12 he went to secondary school at the Bernardinuscollege in Heerlen. In 1980 he started as a dental student at the University of Utrecht where he received his degree in 1986. From 1984 he also studied Medicine and received his degree in January 1991. He proceeded as a trainee in maxillofacial surgery (1991–1992) and was a trainee in general surgery for 3 years in Arnhem and Utrecht and 8 months trainee in plastic surgery at the Maastricht University. In 1998, he received his degree as maxillofacial surgeon from the Technical University in Aachen, Germany.


At first he was member of staff in the Beatrix Hospital in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. During a stay in Kenya in 2002, where he performed cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, a colleague told him he was doing facial surgery on transgender persons who wanted to look more feminine.[2] Fascinated by the issue, Dr Bart van de Ven started to assist him and started specialising in FFS in 2006.[3]

In 2008 he founded the Agave Clinic in Marbella, Spain, where he worked with Dr Daniel Simon and Dr Luis Capitan. In the same year he was co-author of a book called “”Cleft lip surgery, a practical guide” by Dr Bart van de Ven, Dr Joel Defrancq and Dr Ellen Defrancq.[4]

He moved to Ghent in May 2010 where he continued to grow his FFS practice. In April 2015 he took over an aesthetic medical centre in Antwerp called the Piccard clinic, together with Dr. Ellen Defrancq. They renamed it into the o2 clinic. Owing this 1100m2 building enabled them to start 2pass Clinic which claims to be the world's first feminisation centre aiming to improve the lives of trans women through surgery, hair removal treatment, voice training, psychological counseling, lessons to improve posture and body movements as well as style advice.

Personal life[edit]

In 1990 Dr Bart van de Ven married Natasja Gehlen, who by now is a judge. They divorced in 1998. They have 2 children, Anne (born 1995) and Pino (born 1997). On a journey to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2007 Dr van de Ven met Dr Ellen Defrancq, daughter of his friend and colleague Dr Joel Defrancq. After his return from Marbella they have been living as a couple with her children Adriaan and Selinde.

Social activism[edit]

In 2000 Dr Bart van de Ven launched the Cleft Surgery Organisation to perform cleft lip and palate surgery for free in development countries. So far he has performed hundreds of surgeries on children whose parents can’t afford this type of surgery in Kenya, Vietnam, The Filippines, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar. From 2014 he travels to Myanmar once a year with a group of surgeons and anesthesiologists for this purpose.[5]

In 2017 his wife Ellen and he launched another foundation called the Gender Foundation which aims to increase understanding for the issues that transgender women face and which is funded by Dr van de Ven’s consultation fees. (


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  2. ^ Gelaatsverandering betekent een nieuwe start voor transgenders, by Marijke Clabots, published by Story, December 4, 2015
  3. ^ Wat ben je met vrouwelijk lichaam als daar nog mannenhoofd op staat, by Sabine Vermeiren, published by Het Laatste Nieuws, November 14, 2015
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