2023 Conference Wrap-Up

It’s been an exciting year in the gender-affirming care and surgery space! With all the conferences we’ve attended, here are some quick takeaways from the team:

The Align team out to dinner after a successful day at the 2023 USPATH Scientific Symposium!


Dr. Satterwhite:

There are so many of us fighting for the well-being of our patients and community, which is imperative right now as transgender healthcare rights are being restricted in various areas of the country. Many of the conferences I’ve attended recently have shed light on the importance of interdisciplinary care to improve patient outcomes. Healthcare providers must consider and include gender-diverse and trans individuals’ experience in patient care, research endeavors and advocacy.

Dr. Jedrzejewski:

What I’ve learned at recent conferences is that despite the currently hostile sociopolitical landscape, there is a growing number of trainees in multidisciplinary fields who are interested in pursuing gender-affirming care along with continued innovation. As a healthcare provider focused on gender-affirming surgery, I’m heartened by this, especially as the field faces many obstacles barring gender-diverse and transgender individuals from receiving life-saving care. More providers and innovation will propel us forward despite the obstacles ahead.

Dr. Safir:

There has been so much valuable research, information and knowledge shared this past year at the conferences I’ve attended, but what stood out to me are:

  • The long-term care of gender-affirming surgical patients often occurs remotely, and access to knowledgeable care can be quite variable.
  • Body Mass Index, also known as BMI, may exclude otherwise suitable surgery candidates. The gender-affirming surgery field needs a more comprehensive and accurate model for weight-related preoperative evaluation.
  • There is the development and introduction of additional procedures, such as robotic peritoneal vaginoplasty, that offer more options for surgical care.  And as new procedures evolve, providers will diligently monitor safety, efficacy, outcomes, and patient satisfaction.

Debby:

At this year’s conferences, there has been a particular focus on the need for healthcare for trans youth, especially in states that have banned gender-affirming care. It will be interesting to see how the field will navigate providing care to these patients in these states. Everyone deserves to access necessary healthcare and specialized healthcare professionals who can address individuals’ specific needs.

And that’s a wrap on 2023! We look forward to what 2024 will bring to the field of gender-affirming healthcare, including opportunities for collaboration, research and innovation.

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