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Meet Toby Mayer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toby Mayer.

Toby, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
About 43 years ago when I was a young plastic surgeon a patient came to me requesting facial feminization with a rhinoplasty, forehead lift, orbital bony contouring and hairline lowering. This procedure had excellent results and she asked me if there was something she could do with her voice. She wanted it raised to a higher pitch. I told her I had been thinking of an operation that might work for this but currently, there was none. She said she was willing to try anything and I explained to her the few risks involved and we proceeded.

The results were outstanding and beyond my expectations. She began referring patients to me. There was only one other plastic surgeon at the time doing facial feminization surgery in the United States and very quickly he and I essentially did all of the facial feminization for the country. I also was codeveloped of the flap procedure – to correct male pattern baldness. This procedure had outstanding advantages over transplants; far greater and natural density, and unchanged natural hair texture.

Instant hair without waiting a year or more for the hair to grow, no scar and no cornrows. This procedure was well suited for facial feminization surgery since most of the males had significant hair loss and the flap procedure could be done with the forehead lifting and orbital bony contouring. I’ve developed many procedures over the years for enhancing facial feminization surgery as well as procedures for cisgender patients including natural rhinoplasty, chin reduction and contouring, thyroid cartilage shave and Mayer voice feminization, lip lift and concentrated fat augmentation of the lips, etc.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For the majority of the 43 years of transgender surgery, the patients were “in the closet” as they were not understood and it often resulted in losing their job. In the last 10 years however thanks to the LGBT movement and acceptance by society this has changed for the better.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I mainly do facial feminization for transgender and cisgender females as well as aging surgery for cisgender male, female and transgender patients. I’m most proud of being able to give my transgender patients a feminine face so that “the outside matches the inside” and this forever changes their struggle to do this and their lives. These are my happiest patients

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood and was lucky to have no difficulty academically. I always loved math and science and worked as a child packing potatoes and then in a drugstore. When I turned 18 I got a job as a laborer at the Inland Steel Company in East Chicago. I worked my senior year from 4 – 12 after school, which I enjoyed and earned enough money to go to college for the first year. Along with waiting tables in a fraternity and working in the summer, I was able to pay for the next year.

Work never bothered me and I was focused on succeeding. No hobbies then because I was always working or in school. Once practicing I discovered another passion – POLO and I have been a player for 40 years. I play now or workhorses four days a week

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