Marci Bowers

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Marci Bowers
Born (1958-01-18) January 18, 1958 (age 61)
ResidenceBurlingame, California
NationalityUnited States
EducationUniversity of Minnesota
OccupationSurgeon
Known forGender confirmation surgery
Children3
Websitewww.marcibowers.com

Marci Lee Bowers (born January 18, 1958) is an American gynecologist and surgeon who specializes in gender confirmation surgeries. Dr. Bowers operates at Mills-Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame, CA and San Mateo Surgery Center in San Mateo, CA. From 2003 to 2010, she practiced in the town of Trinidad, Colorado, where she apprenticed under Stanley Biber, MD, a general surgeon and father of international transgender surgery, until relinquishing these duties to Dr. Bowers in July 2003. Dr. Biber performed more than 2300 MTF genital reassignment surgeries and 1000 FTM surgeries and is credited for earning Trinidad the moniker, "Sex Change Capital of the World." Dr. Biber died in January 2006.[1][2][3][4]

Dr. Bowers is viewed as an innovator in gender confirmation/affirmation surgery, and is the first transgender woman to perform such surgeries.[1][5][6][7] Dr. Bowers has been referred to as the "rock star" of transgender surgery.[8]

Dr. Bowers is also an international expert on functional clitoral restoration after Female Genital Mutilation/cutting (FGM/c). She was chosen in 2007-2009 to mentor under Dr. Pierre Foldès, pioneer of Clitoral Restoration Surgery (CRS) and is the first US surgeon to do so.

She has spoken about her practice and other transgender topics in numerous documentaries, interviews, news reports, and articles. Media appearances have included The Oprah Winfrey Show (2007), The Tyra Banks Show (5 episodes), The Today Show, and CBS Sunday Morning feature. She is also the featured surgeon in a six-part BBC Channel 4/World of Wonder production, "Sex Change Hospital" in 2006-2007.

Education[edit]

Marci Bowers is a University of Minnesota Medical School graduate and former class and student body president.[9] After Ob/Gyn residency at the University of Washington, she continued in Seattle as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at the Polyclinic and Swedish Medical Center. [2][10][11]

Career[edit]

Before moving to Trinidad, Dr. Bowers practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology at the PolyClinic/Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. In her 20 years practicing obstetrics, she delivered more than 2000 babies.[9][10] She has served as Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Chairperson at Swedish (Providence) Medical Center, and was named the only physician member of the Washington State midwifery Board. She is a member-elect of the European Academy of Sciences.[9]

When Dr. Biber retired in 2003 at the age of 80, Dr. Bowers took over his practice, and since then, has done more than 2000 genital reassignment surgeries, performing as many as 12 gender affirming surgeries weekly. While performing surgery in Trinidad, Dr. Bowers estimated revenue at US $1.6 million per year to the hospital.[10] Revenue generated in California may be ten times that figure.

In 2010, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to practice in Burlingame, California.[12][13] She has also helped initiate transgender surgical education programs at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel (2014), Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York (2016), Denver Health in Colorado (2018), and University of Toronto in Canada (2019). The transgender surgical fellowship at Mount Sinai is acknowledged as the first of its kind in the United States.

In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Bowers performed the first live surgical vaginoplasty surgeries in WPATH-sponsored surgical educational programs at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Dr. Bowers is an elected board member of WPATH and has served on the board of directors for both GLAAD and the Transgender Law Center.

Dr. Bowers is the first US surgeon to perform Clitoral Restoration Surgery for survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM), whom she does not charge for surgery.[14] She was trained for this specific operation under Pierre Foldès and has now performed more than 500 clitoral restorations at her clinic in San Mateo.[15]

She has led medical missions to Burkina Faso (2014), Nairobi, Kenya (2017 and 2019). Working with local plastic surgeon, Dr. Abdullahi Adan, and others, this specific surgical venue is a first for Africa after the failed opening of the Pleasure Hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso.

Media appearances[edit]

Perhaps Bowers' first television appearance was a dramatic role in "Ch-ch-ch-changes" (2004), a season-five episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation that focused on transgender issues. She also served as a production consultant for the episode.[8]

She appeared briefly in the 2005 docuseries TransGeneration, produced by World of Wonder; soon after, World of Wonder turned their attention to Dr. Bowers herself and her practice, in their 2007 documentary series Sex Change Hospital—a six-episode series that follows 12 patients before, during, and after surgery.[8][16] Sex Change Hospital premiered on More4,[16] and was rebroadcast on E4 in the UK and WE tv in the US. She and her practice were also the focus of Trinidad (2009), an independent documentary directed by PJ Raval and Jay Hodges.[17] The filmmakers examine the success of Dr. Bowers' practice, and the transgender people who travel to the town of Trinidad, Colorado for sex reassignment surgery. The film premiered in the US on the Showtime channel.[18]

Bowers appears as herself in the television documentary, Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric (2017), and in the 2016 and 2018 (seasons 3 through 6) of the reality series, I Am Jazz. She has been a guest on US talk shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show[19] and The Tyra Banks Show.

She has been interviewed for several publications.[20] She is the author of at least five book chapters in surgical textbooks.

Opposition[edit]

Not all of Trinidad's residents were happy with the town's title of "Sex Change Capital". In 2005, Terry Keith, a pastor for the All Nations Fellowship church, told The Pueblo Chieftain, "Our reputation as sex-change capital of the world has brought shame and reproach on the community."[10] That same year, two pastors circulated a petition for the closure of the clinic. They cited a Johns Hopkins University study that they claimed was proof that gender confirmation surgeries were an ineffective treatment for gender dysphoria.[21] The petition was rejected.[10] Bowers said that the church misrepresented the study data: "If you look at the actual study itself, the satisfaction rates and happiness rates after [surgeries] were overwhelmingly positive, their interpretation of the study was that the respondents—the patients themselves—couldn't possibly be accurate about what they were feeling, because they were crazy in the first place. There's been nothing like it since—and it's very important to point out that it's from 1972."[21]

So too, clitoral restoration surgery remains controversial with some doubting restoration of sensation to the clitoris. After Dr. Foldès' landmark study in Lancet February 2012, his results were met with skepticism from British gynecologists who wrote a rebuttal to his findings, questioning his methods and outcomes. Dr. Bowers is conducting ongoing studies using standard measures of female sexual function to definitively affirm Dr. Foldès' conclusions, but as Dr. Bowers has stated, "There is no happier text that I receive at three in the morning than someone stating they have had their first orgasm in their life."

Personal life[edit]

Dr. Bowers remains married to her spouse in a nonconventional relationship.[10][19] They have three children.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jacob Anderson-Minshall (2006). "Trans Surgeon Keeps Small Town on Map". San Francisco Bay Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b L.A. Johnson (October 4, 2006). "Transgender woman followed long road to feel at home with herself". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  3. ^ The Seattle Times (April 11, 2006). "Few private policies cover sex changes". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  4. ^ Faye Flam (May 3, 2006). "Transsexual describes female-to-male transformation". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  5. ^ Colorado State University (2005). "Trinidad Gender Reassignment Surgeon to speak at Colorado State University-Pueblo". Colorado State University. Retrieved October 12, 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ Marc Gunther (November 30, 2006). "How Corporate America fell in love with gays and lesbians. It's a movement". CNN Money. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  7. ^ Margalit Fox (January 21, 2006). "Obituaries: Stanley H. Biber, 82, Surgeon Among First to Do Sex Changes". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d Douglas Brown (July 1, 2007). "Trinidad's transgender rock star". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c California Dreamin Organization (April 15, 2007). "Dr. Marci Bowers". California Dreamin Organization. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Laura-Claire Corson (2007). "Country's most popular gender-reassignment surgeon has been through it". The Associated Press / The Times. Retrieved October 18, 2007.
  11. ^ Associated Press/CBS (January 18, 2006). "Sex Change Doctor Dead At 82". CBS News.
  12. ^ "Marci Bowers - Information Regarding the Move to San Mateo". Archived from the original on 2012-07-04.
  13. ^ "Dr. Bowers SRS/GRS Guide: Overview".
  14. ^ Eve Conant (2009). "The Kindest Cut: In Colorado, a surgeon helps restore feeling—and so much more—to victims of female genital mutilation". Newsweek. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  15. ^ Giselle Portenier (2014). "Defying Destiny". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Channel4 (2007). "Sex Change Hospital". Channel4. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  17. ^ "LAFF '08 INTERVIEW Trinidad Co-directors Jay Hodges and PJ Raval". IndieWire. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  18. ^ Jones, Kimberly (1 June 2009). "'Trinidad' Premieres on TV: PJ Raval and Jay Hodges' documentary will air on Showtime this June". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Gender Identity". Oprah.com. Harpo Productions. September 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  20. ^ Alan Prendergast (2004). "The Doctor is Out". Denver Westword News. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  21. ^ a b Anderson-Minshall, Jacob (2006). "Trans Surgeon Keeps Small Town Top Destination". EXP Magazine. Archived from the original on 2017-07-28. Retrieved 2007-11-08.

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