Transgender Medical Care in Charlotte, N.C
What should I expect?
At the first visit for transgender medical care, you will see Thomas Marlowe, M.D., who will perform a complete medical history and physical exam. You will be asked about your medicines, hormones, estrogen, testosterone, past medical conditions, previous surgeries, allergies to medicines, smoking/drinking habits, and medical conditions of relatives.
Additionally, Dr. Marlowe will ask about your transgender transition history, including physical, medical, and emotional transgender milestones. If you desire transgender hormone-therapy (HRT), Dr. Marlowe will ask a focused transgender medical history making certain you do not have any undiagnosed medical conditions which need to be addressed prior to starting transgender HRT (eg. liver disease, breast cancer, thromboembolic disease, etc.).
Finally, if you have not had a complete physical exam by your family physician within one year, Dr. Marlowe will need to perform a medical examination. If you wish to decline the examination, please bring a printed copy of your annual physical/PAP from your primary care physician.
What are the requirements?
Probably the most difficult requirement for transgender medical care is to quit smoking. Hormones and tobacco do not mix. The risk of developing a lethal blood clot is too high, and Dr. Marlowe will help you quit smoking prior to starting transgender HRT. He is comfortable prescribing Chantix or Zyban or Nicotrol to help you quit smoking. Your health, safety, and success are of utmost concern to Dr. Marlowe. This is the reason for requiring one complete physical exam and blood tests at regular intervals to monitor the medicines.
You may have seen that other physicians providing transgender medical care require proof of 6-12 months transgender counseling or living in the opposite gender (transgender) role. There is no scientific evidence that this transgender counseling/living requirement is beneficial. Actually, most studies suggest that this transgender counseling/living requirement is harmful, since depression and suicide rates plummet once a transgender person begins transgender HRT. Delay of transgender HRT due to an outdated, transgender-phobic requirement may actually cause more harm.
Because of a genuine concern for your safety and mental well-being, there is no requirement of 6-12 months transgender counseling/living prior to starting transgender HRT. Counseling is beneficial to everyone, especially anyone going through such a dramatic transition in their life, so we highly encourage you to seek a well-trained transgender counselor. It is the idea of making it a standardized requirement with which we disagree, because it is not based upon science but rather transphobia.
Will it be safe?
Dr. Marlowe monitors important lab tests balancing guidelines established by WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) and Nick Gorton, M.D. Nothing in life -- even sleeping in your bed – is 100% safe, but Dr. Marlowe takes every precaution possible to keep you healthy and safe.
Why does Dr. Marlowe provide transgender care?
The biggest motivator? His friends. Click here to read his personal story.
Is it confidential?
Absolutely. Dr. Marlowe's office goes well beyond the minimal requirements of HIPAA in providing confidentiality and protection of privacy to his patients. All medical records system which are protected with five layers of security, including multiple layers of encryption, hidden networking, multiple login steps, and intentional software incompatibilities preventing backdoor access. If you desire the use of a fake name for your transgender medical record, we can accommodate.