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Dr. Charles Lee

Microsurgeon Experienced With Phalloplasty and Aesthetic Chest/Breast Surgery

Dr. Charles K. Lee, MD is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has deep expertise in microsurgery and breast surgery. In practice since 2003, Dr. Lee performs Phalloplasty Reconstructive Microsurgery, Top Surgery and Breast Augmentation at Crane Center for Transgender Surgery in San Francisco.

Dr. Lee graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Chicago. He was subsequently fellowship-trained in microsurgery and hand surgery at the Buncke Clinic, a world renowned center for microsurgery.

Dr. Lee is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He currently serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and is the Chief of Plastic Surgery and Director of Reconstructive Microsurgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. Dr. Lee’s work in the fields of microsurgery and aesthetic surgery has made him the recipient of numerous local and national awards.

Microsurgical Phalloplasty
Microsurgery is a type of surgery that requires an operating microscope to connect very small blood vessels and nerves, allowing tissue transfer from one part of the body to another. The advent of microsurgical Phalloplasty enabled the use of free flaps and pedicled flaps which offer improved urinary functionality, sensation and safer use of erectile implants for penetrative sex compared to older techniques that use insensate flaps. Radial forearm flap and anterolateral flap Phalloplasty are the most commonly performed microsurgical Phalloplasty techniques. For these types of Phalloplasty, it is imperative that the surgical team is multidisciplinary and includes an experienced microsurgeon. When performing Phalloplasty, Dr. Lee works alongside Reconstructive Urologist Dr. Kenan Celtik.

Top Surgery and Breast Augmentation
Dr. Lee is also very experienced with reconstructive and aesthetic chest/breast surgery, making him highly qualified to perform gender-affirming Top Surgery and Breast Augmentation.

Dr. Lee operates at California Pacific Medical Center – Davies Campus and St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, and Greenbrae Surgery Center and Bon Air Surgery Center in Greenbrae.

Surgery Requirements
Dr. Lee follows WPATH guidelines for surgery:

  • You will need to provide two referrals from qualified mental health professionals for Phalloplasty; one referral for chest/breast procedures unless otherwise specified by insurance.
  • A letter from your hormone specialist stating you have been on 12 months of continuous hormones for Phalloplasty, unless clinically contraindicated.
  • Patients must be 18+ years of age for Phalloplasty.

Financing & Insurance
Credit/debit cards, cashier’s check, money order, wire transfer and medical financing via CareCredit are accepted. Crane Center in San Francisco also accepts insurance and is in-network with Cigna PPO, Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Blue Shield of California PPO, Western Health Advantage, Sutter Select, San Francisco Health Plan/Healthy SF and Employer Health Network (Whole Foods). The Crane Center has also had success billing out-of-network with Aetna, Group Health, Harvard Pilgrim, Health Net, HealthPartners, Medica, most managed Medi-Cal plans, Pacific Source, Sharp Health Plan and United Healthcare.

Dr. Lee does not work with the following insurance providers: Medicare, Tri-Care, Kaiser, Ambetter and Oscar Health.

Booking a Consultation
Crane Center in San Francisco offers virtual and in-person consultations for a fee of $200. An in-person consultation is not required for booking a surgery date. To book a consult, contact Dr. Lee’s office by clicking the Send Inquiry button and you’ll hear back with more details about how to prepare for your consultation.

Current wait list: 4-6 weeks for a consultation, 5-6 weeks for a surgery date (after all requirements, such as letters and hair removal, are met.)