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Dr. Loren Schechter

Gender Confirmation Surgery in Chicago

Dr. Loren Schechter, MD is one of the country’s foremost experts on transgender surgery. Dr. Schechter is the Medical Director of the Center for Gender Confirmation Surgery at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he also directs the hospital’s transgender surgery fellowship program.

Dr. Schechter has been performing Gender Confirming surgeries for 20 years. Since 2013, he has performed approximately 100-150 Gender Confirming procedures every year. Currently, approximately 85-90% of his patients are transgender individuals seeking Gender Confirmation surgeries. He offers the full spectrum of Gender Confirmation procedures, including Vaginoplasty, FFS, Metoidioplasty and Phalloplasty. Dr. Schechter’s outstanding surgical skills and extensive experience have made him a popular choice for those seeking Gender Confirmation Surgery.

Dr. Schechter is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is also a member of:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
  • American Society of Maxillofacial Surgery
  • American Society of Gender Surgeons (ASGS), President Elect
  • Midwest Association of Plastic Surgeons
  • Illinois Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Chicago Surgical Society
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
  • Global Education Committee WPATH, Board of Directors

Dr. Schechter earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Schechter completed his residency in general surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals, and completed a fellowship in reconstructive microsurgery at the University of Chicago, where he currently holds an associate teaching position. Dr. Schechter is an associate professor of surgery, and chief of the division of plastic surgery at Chicago Medical School and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

Academic honors include:

  • Doctor of Medicine with Honors
  • Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society
  • Recipient of the University of Chicago department of surgery award for outstanding performance in the field of surgery
  • University of Chicago National Institutes of Health research award

Dr. Schechter was the local host for the 2007 meeting of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In addition, he helped to author the 7th Edition of the Standards of Care, and serves on the editorial board for two transgender medical journals. Dr. Schechter is also the author of the first surgical atlas concerning Surgical Management of the Transgender Patient.

Dr. Schechter is a highly sought-after and frequent speaker at transgender surgical conferences, surgical meetings, universities, and community groups. He received the Illinois State Bar Association Community Leadership Award for advocacy in support of LGBT issues.

Dr. Schechter’s private practice is located in Morton Grove, 30 minutes north of Chicago. He performs gender confirmation surgeries in his clinic and at other certified medical facilities in the area:

  • Weiss Memorial Hospital
  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • Thorek Memorial Hospital

Dr. Schechter has 20 years of experience performing Gender Confirmation procedures. Whether it’s a single-stage technique for Vaginoplasty, Breast Augmentation, or Facial Feminization, or a similarly advanced Phalloplasty or Metoidioplasty, each surgical method is utilized and tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Dr. Schechter offers the following procedures:

  • Top Surgery: Double incision with nipple grafts, short scar peri-areolar, keyhole
  • Hysterectomy (performed by GYN)
  • Vaginectomy (performed w/ GYN)
  • Metoidioplasty: Simple Release, Ring Meta
  • Phalloplasty: RFF, ALT, MLD
  • Urethroplasty
  • Penile Implant (performed by URO): Semi-rigid, 2- and 3-piece inflatable
    Scrotoplasty & Testicular Implants (w/ or w/o expanders)
  • Body Sculpting
  • Facial Masculinization
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Orchiectomy
  • Single-stage Vaginoplasty, with Clitoroplasty, Labiaplasty
  • Facial Feminization
  • Tracheal Shave
  • Body Sculpting
  • Buttock Augmentation

“If I can use my surgical skills and advanced microsurgical training to help people with an often lifelong struggle to find peace of mind and comfort with their bodies, why wouldn’t I?” – Dr. Loren Schechter, ‘Gender Confirmation Surgery’: What’s in a Name?

FTM Top Surgery

Dr. Schechter specializes in multiple methods of FTM Top Surgery. This includes everything from a limited “keyhole” incision in the areola, to the short scar periareolar technique and Double Incision with free nipple grafts. Dr. Schechter will offer his professional recommendation as to which method should be used based on your chest size and skin elasticity. Dr. Schechter does not have a BMI limit for Top Surgery.

FTM Bottom Surgery

Dr. Schechter offers multiple methods of both Metoidioplasty and Phalloplasty. Associated procedures such as Hysterectomy and Vaginectomy (performed with Gynecologist), Scrotoplasty with Testicular Implants (with or without tissue expanders), Urethroplasty, Glansplasty and Penile Implant Surgery are also offered.

  • Metoidioplasty: Simple Meta, and Ring Metoidioplasty (with full Vaginectomy performed with Gynecologist.)
  • Phalloplasty: Radial Forearm Flap (RFF), Anterolateral Thigh Flap (ALT) and Musculocutaneous Latissimus Dorsi (MLD) Flap, with Urethroplasty, Scrotoplasty and Glansplasty. (Phalloplasty can also be performed without urethral lengthening.) For penile implant, 2- and 3-piece inflatable implants are used. Penile implant surgery is performed with a Urologist.

In 2016, Dr. Schechter introduced the very first trans-male genital surgery course for surgeons that combined hands-on cadaver training and classroom learning. Surgeons from around the world attended the groundbreaking course.

MTF Surgery

With Dr. Schechter’s Vaginoplasty technique, he is able to avoid skin grafts in approximately 50-60% of individuals, resulting in better lubrication and less risk of stenosis.  He also offers Peritoneal Vaginoplasty as well as intestinal Vaginoplasty, with multiple options: sigmoid, right colon, and small intestine. (Often done as a revision procedure.)

Other procedures available for transgender women:

  • Vulvoplasty
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Facial Feminization
  • Buttock Augmentation

Body Contouring

Men and women have different body shapes, defined by skeletal structure as well as muscle and fat distribution. If you would like to further feminize or masculinize your body shape, Dr. Schechter can help with procedures such as Liposuction, Abdominoplasty, Circumferential Lift and Lipofilling.

Consultations with Dr. Schechter
Dr. Schechter often does a free initial consultation by phone. An in-person consultation is required prior to proceeding with surgery. If paying out-of-pocket, the consultation fee of $100 will be applied towards your procedure.

Traveling to See Dr. Schechter
Patients coming from out of town can inquire with Dr. Schechter about reduced pricing for area hotels and ground transportation within Chicago (i.e. from hotel to hospital and/or office.)

Wait List
Wait time for surgery dates depends upon procedure. There is a slightly longer wait for genital procedures but patients can typically be scheduled for a surgery date within 3-6 months of consultation.

Financing and Insurance
Dr. Schechter accepts CareCredit, and will also work with insurance and Medicare for some procedures. His insurance specialist can assist in precert/predetermination, etc.  Dr. Schechter has also reviewed insurance criteria coverage for insurers and worked with patient advocates to assist in insurance coverage. (He does not accept Medicaid at this time.)

Surgery Requirements
Dr. Schechter follows WPATH guidelines for surgery.

  • Medical evaluation by primary MD or MD providing hormones*
  • Letter of recommendation from a psychologist or other mental health professional*

* If needed, Dr. Schechter has a multi-disciplinary team (primary care physician and psychologist) that can provide assistance with medical issues (or confirmatory mental health consultations) prior to surgery or during their stay in Chicago.

Have questions for Dr. Schechter? Contact his office by clicking the Send Inquiry button.

Notable Publications

Surgery for gender identity disorder. Plastic Surgery, 3rd Edition, Volume 4: Trunk and Lower Extremity. Loren S. Schechter. (Series Editor Peter C. Neligan, MD)

Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People, Version 7
E. Coleman, W. Bockting, M. Botzer, P. Cohen-Kettenis, G. DeCuypere, J. Feldman, L. Fraser, J. Green, G. Knudson, W. J. Meyer, S. Monstrey, R. K. Adler, G. R. Brown, A. H. Devor, R. Ehrbar, R. Ettner, E. Eyler, R. Garofalo, D. H. Karasic, A. I. Lev, G. Mayer, H. Meyer-Bahlburg, B. P. Hall, F. Pfaefflin, K. Rachlin, B. Robinson, L. S. Schechter, V. Tangpricha, M. van Trotsenburg, A. Vitale, S. Winter, S. Whittle, K. R. Wylie & K. Zucker
International Journal of Transgenderism, Volume 13, Issue 4, August 2012, pages 165-232.

The Surgeon’s Relationship with the Physician Prescribing Hormones and the Mental Health Professional: Review for Version 7 of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care
Loren S. Schechter
International Journal of Transgenderism, Volume 11, Issue 4, November 2009, pages 222-225
Published online: 19 Dec 2009