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New gender-affirming surgery clinic now accepting patients

 
Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Cormier

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Cormier has dedicated nearly his entire career to caring for trans and non-binary patients.

The Ottawa Hospital understands that trans and non-binary people often face barriers accessing gender-affirming care. Faced with long wait times or even lack of access in the communities where they live, they may struggle to achieve their gender-affirming goals.

We are very pleased to announce that The Ottawa Hospital’s new gender-affirming surgery clinic is here to help. Launched in September 2023, it is the only clinic in Ontario and the second in Canada to offer all three of the following gender-affirming procedures:

  • Facial surgery to make facial features more masculine or feminine
  • Top surgery to remove breast tissue for a more masculine appearance or enhance breast size for a more feminine appearance
  • Bottom surgery to transform the genitalia

The clinic’s lead and co-founder, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Cormier, has some more wonderful news to share: “We’re currently accepting patient referrals from physicians,” he announces with a smile. “We’re ready to service Ottawa and the surrounding communities.” 

A truly collaborative effort

Before our clinic, patients seeking gender-affirming surgery in Ottawa could only access top surgery but not bottom or facial. Previously, a clinic in Montreal was the only location in Canada offering all three procedures.

“There’s just a massive gap in our health-care system for the treatment of the transgender population and people seeking gender-affirming care,” says Dr. Cormier. “What’s so groundbreaking about this new clinic is that everyone is coming together to address this shortcoming in our system.”

These partners include different surgical divisions at the hospital—plastic surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynecology—as well as trans health programs out in the community, such as the Centretown Community Health Centre’s Trans Health Program, which provides patients with a referral to our clinic, and CHEO’s Gender Diversity Clinic, which provided Dr. Cormier and his team with advice on setting up the clinic and also refers patients who have reached the age of 18.

These community programs are also important for the overall health and wellbeing of Ottawa’s trans and non-binary population. “Accessing gender-affirming surgery is just one small component of gender-affirming care,” says Dr. Cormier. “That’s where these community partners really come into play.”

Years in the making

For Dr. Cormier, the clinic is the culmination of many years of caring for the gender-diverse community.

“In my residency, I was always interested in gender-affirming care, and that led me to seek out a fellowship in San Francisco, where I was able to train with world-renowned experts in gender-affirming care,” he recalls. “And I’m really excited about bringing that to my hometown of Ottawa.”

And Ottawa’s gender-diverse community is (literally) in good hands, says Dr. Daniel Peters, Division Head of Plastic Surgery at The Ottawa Hospital. “Dr. Cormier has dedicated nearly his entire career to caring for this often underserved patient population. He has learned from the best of the best in this field and has the compassion to match his expertise. He joined The Ottawa Hospital’s Division of Plastic Surgery not long ago, and yet he has already shown tremendous leadership by getting this clinic up and running. That’s really a testament to his passion for helping people on their gender-affirmation journeys.”

 
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