The Recognized Leader in Gender Confirmation Surgery in Colorado

The Recognized Leader in Gender Confirmation Surgery in Colorado


June 12, 2019

Denver Health is proud to be the recognized leader in gender confirmation surgery (commonly known as gender reassignment surgery) in Colorado and the surrounding states. This year, Denver Health is doubling the number of gender confirmation surgeries to reduce wait times for patients, now offering both male-to-female and female-to-male surgeries.

See why Denver Health is leading the way in gender confirmation surgeries.

“We’ve worked hard to build a program that is competent and compassionate, and we’ll do everything we can to take good care of you and your family,” said gender confirmation surgeon and OB-GYN Jennifer Hyer, M.D.

Denver Health’s gender confirmation surgeons have trained under Dr. Marci Bowers, a world-renowned pioneer in the field of gender confirmation surgery.

“This is a huge surgery. It’s a huge surgery that changes a lot about your life, but it’s not the end all, be all to your transition,” Dr. Hyer pointed out.

The following gender confirmation surgeries and procedures are now offered at Denver Health:

• Bottom surgery including vaginoplasty, hysterectomy, orchiectomy
• Metoidioplasty (in development)
• Top surgery including breast augmentation and chest reconstruction
Facial feminization surgery or FFS
• Hormone replacement therapy or HRT
• Tracheal shave

Gender confirmation patient Camille Hansen explained her decision to come to Denver Health for the surgery: “For me, I wanted to go deeper with it, not just be a girl when I have women’s clothing on.”

When Hansen woke up from her surgery, one of the first things she said was, “I feel like I’m in the right body.”

Denver Health is the only hospital in Colorado that offers a continuum of health care before, during and after transgender surgeries. Care for the transgender community includes primary care (doctor’s visits), behavioral health (psychologists/psychiatrists) and follow-up health care plans.

“Denver Health is special for the LGBTQ community because we offer care throughout your lifetime,” Dr. Hyer said. “It’s a pretty special thing that I don’t think a lot of healthcare systems have.”

Hansen added, “I feel like I can help other girls go through this and be like, seriously, it’s amazing, it’s safe, you know, if you have an inkling that you want to do this, Denver Health is the place to do it.”

Gender confirmation patient Adr’yan Brown appreciated the special attention he received before and after his surgery. “The care team here is great,” he said.

For Dr. Hyer, it’s more than just another surgery. “This surgery is important to me because it really, truly changes people’s lives.”

Original Link accessed on 06/12/2019

Denver Health brings gender surgery back to Colorado

Interview with Denvers 9 New: Next With Kyle Clark 02/22/2019
Dr. Jennifer Hyer at Denver Health is one of the few physicians in the U.S. who performs vaginoplasty. “We’ve really underestimated what this surgery does for people,” she said.

DENVER — Denver Health has become a pioneering hospital in gender confirmation surgery.

Only an estimated 10 to 20 physicians in the United States perform vaginoplasty, or male to female reassignment surgery. Denver Health Medical Center now has three of those doctors.

One of their first vaginoplasty patients is a Denver native who says she felt out of place in her own body since childhood.

“I kinda forced my masculinity, and it ended up just being awkward,” Camille Hansen said. “Girls would be like, ‘What are you doing?’ And guys would be like, ‘What are you doing?’ Because I was terrible at it.”

Hansen had been on a five-year wait list for vaginoplasty at a medical facility in California. On the Denver Health wait list, she was number two.

“Everyone’s looked in the mirror and seen a reflection they don’t agree with at some time in their life,” Hansen said. “But, they’re able to correct it with like a haircut or exercise or something.  But, when you’re in the wrong body it just, it builds and it builds and it builds – and it never goes away.”

Since last year, San Francisco’s Dr. Marci Bowers has been traveling to Denver to train physicians to perform gender surgeries after her earlier work in Trinidad, where she learned from Dr. Stanley Biber, a pioneer in sex reassignment surgery.  Dr. Bowers is widely recognized for developing new techniques that have significantly improved outcomes for transgender patients.

“Gender identity is being more studied nowadays – more accepted as a medical condition,” Denver Health gender surgeon Dr. Rodrigo Da Silva said. “It’s pretty much giving them the identity that they always had, but it was hidden in a body that they didn’t belong to.”

Hansen’s vaginoplasty was performed last July.

“These patients are the happiest patients in the hospital,” Denver Health gender surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hyer said.  “After having this huge surgery they have these halos of happiness around them – almost like they’re glowing.”

Dr. Hyer says for some transgender people, the genitalia they’re born with causes extreme discomfort, and this surgery is life-changing.

“It means everything,” Dr. Hyer said.  “It’s huge, and I think we’ve really underestimated what this surgery does for people.”

Six months after her surgery, Hansen says everything is better – from work to relationships to just being with herself.

“Every morning, it’s like a brand new lease on life,” she said. “It makes you want to come out of your cocoon and engage in life.”

Denver Health is currently the only hospital in Colorado that offers this surgery.

The hospital’s gender surgery team started their work last May and performed 30 vaginoplasty surgeries in 2018.  With a long and growing wait list, they expect to do more than 80 this year.

*Copied from the original article:

“I am in the Right Body”: Gender Confirmation Surgery at Denver Health

Camille Hansen was one of the first patients to go through mtf gender confirmation surgery at Denver Health in 2018. In this video, she talks about her long journey and why Denver Health’s LGBT Center of Excellence is the place to go for her care.

Find out more about Hansen’s story and Denver Health’s LGBT services:

Original Article Link:
Camille Hansen grew up as Marc Hansen

Camille Hansen grew up as Marc Hansen before having her gender confirmation surgery at Denver Health.

1:1 with Camille: Real Talk about being Transgender. By Robin Wallace



Camille, formerly Marc, was born with male reproductive organs.  However, she had a sense as early as age four that her body did not match her gender identity.  Throughout life, she has struggled to define her desire to be female.  In Camille’s mind, the term “transgender” always represented flamboyant drag queens.  She didn’t understand the full spectrum of the transgender community, and quickly dismissed any notion that she might belong.  However, quite recently, she became aware that there were other individuals, apparently much more modest, who also suffered from a conflict between sex and gender identity.  I Am Jazz, a television show about a transgender teenage girl, hit the air, and Camille discovered a whole new definition of the word.  She gained inspiration and courage from those who went before, and decided to undergo a transition of her own.

A year ago this August, Camille began taking testosterone blockers as well as feminizing hormones.  She is in her 40s.  At first, Camille was concerned that, having already gone through puberty, her masculine physical features would be too far solidified, and that the process of transitioning to a more feminine appearance would be too much of an undertaking.  However, she accepted the challenge.  She consulted with a doctor who now
her transition process, and educated herself on changes she could expect to experience.  The chart below outlines some of these changes.


Thus far, Camille has experienced increased breast growth to a full A cup, and expects to eventually reach a B cup with ongoing hormone treatment.  Some individuals desire more growth and therefore elect to have breast augmentation.  She will likely undergo this surgery.  She has also experienced softening of the skin, some body fat redistribution (to chest and hips), thinning of body hair, and some decrease in male sexual function.  Perhaps surprisingly, testosterone blockers will not reduce facial hair, so she has begun laser hair removal as part of her feminization process.  The blockers and feminizing hormones also do not change the voice quality (unlike testosterone which lowers the voice of those hoping to masculinize).  There are, however, exercises one can do to strengthen the upper range for a more feminine quality to the voice.  The following website is useful and provides a link to an app offering additional information:

EVA: MtF Voice Training App.

While Camille is excited to see changes (albeit slowly), there are substantial risks to taking hormones.  She is at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke, and has personally experienced an increase in migraines.  Camille has also encountered difficulties interpersonally.  She was married to a heterosexual woman before coming out as transgender, and although her wife was aware of her desire to experience womanhood, the decision to undergo a transition brought up many fears and questions.  The biggest question for her wife…could she be attracted to a female?  Camille’s wife admittedly went through a grieving process, and refers to that time as the most difficult part of their marriage.  They even separated for a time.  She ultimately realized, however, that (in her words) “It was the person I married, not the body.”  Camille’s wife underwent a shift of her own, from identifying as heterosexual to pansexual, a term used by individuals for whom sex and gender are insignificant or irrelevant in determining sexual attraction.

Camille realizes there is still some distance to go, but she is encouraged by the overwhelming support she has received from friends, family, colleagues, her employer, and even strangers she encounters on the street.  Even with the purchase of her first skirt, she began to hold her head higher and greet strangers with a smile – a stark difference from the closed off and often angry version of herself she’d known for so long.  Her operations and procedures are largely covered by insurance, as they are now defined as “correctional” rather than “cosmetic,” further reaffirming her decision.

While there has been an increase in awareness and support for individuals undergoing changes in gender identification and sexual reassignment, there are still several kinks in the healthcare system that need to be addressed.  Intake forms are often binary, only offering options to select “male” or “female,” not accounting for individuals who find themselves somewhere in-between.  For this dilemma, Camille suggests healthcare providers offer a third option for “other.”  However, perhaps more concerning than binary medical forms is the availability of medical records which are often lost once a person changes gender, sex, or officially changes his/her name.  No longer does the personal information on previous records match the current ones, and matching social security numbers only send off a red flag for identity theft.

Hopefully, with further education for healthcare providers and openness from transgender individuals like Camille, we can find more ways to provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for these important members of our community.  With knowledge comes understanding, and with understanding comes unity.


Written By: Robin Wallace





Falling For Camille: By Christine Miller




When I first was developing this site, I reached out for help from a very talented writer named Christine Miller.  I explained the concept of transformation and what I wanted to accomplish from this site.  A few days later she wrote this piece putting into words the title, thoughts, and idea behind Falling For Camille.

Here is her website:


Christine’s “Falling For Camille” Text Conversation: 10/15/2015

You made a point to me a few times of noting the grieving process. As I was walking through my neighborhood today, Im noticing the leaves letting go from the trees. It looks a bit like the tears of the tree as it stands a little more raw and naked in the world. And its the natural cycle in starting over. So, fall….a season that many recognize as a time of letting go and transition. And falling….an action that we often associate with falling in love. This might be a projection, but Im most curious about your process of falling in love with yourself. There is a surrender thats called in, and letting go of life as you know it. It feels like falling in love with whoever you are might be a very relevant message for anyone moving towards a transgender change….or any life change for that matter. And it could be an anchoring point of your own journey.

Falling for Camille