Dr. Susan Lacy has worked 22 years in gynecology and reproductive health in Memphis, both in private practice and recently as a physician at the nonprofit, Choices.
In September, with the culmination of that experience, she opened the solo practice Modern Gynecology & Reproductive Health at 1407 Union. Her largest client base is women who followed her from other practices.
Her second-largest base is the growing number of transgender men and woman who so far are coming from a four-state area for hormone replacement therapy.
“Honestly, the most important thing is we are welcoming and accessible to start the process of hormone replacement therapy,” Lacy said.
“Usually, by the time they see me, they have done a whole range of soul-searching,” she said, noting it often includes therapy, physician visits and lots of time on the internet.
A significant portion of Lacy’s overall practice is helping male and female patients with hormone optimization therapy, noting it is more than just managing hot flashes and can improve stamina, libido, sleep and clear “brain fog.”
“I am 52, I understand this difficulty with sleeping,” Lacy said. “Particularly for women, it’s really significant.”
Without safe hormonal treatment, she says, patients end up on sleep aids that cause other sets of issues.
The practice will hold an open house, beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, to introduce guests to the BioTE hormone method she uses. Lacy will address questions at 6:30 p.m.
“When I started looking into (hormone optimization therapy), I didn’t really have a full grasp of how significant a problem it was for people and how much benefit we could provide. There is a lot of potential benefit above and beyond the standard estrogen- or testosterone-replacement therapy.”
Lacy, who graduated from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and came to Memphis for a residency at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is hoping the practice addresses unmet medical needs here.
“Memphis is an odd city in the way medicine is practiced,” she said. “The primary care practices tend to be in the suburbs. There are very few gynecological offices in Midtown and none in Downtown.
“I have a real philosophy that it’s important to meet people where they live in terms of location, but also in terms of who they are,” she said. “It can be a post-menopausal woman struggling to make it through the day and can’t sleep or a transgender 18-year-old trying to make that transition as you are starting your freshman year in college.”
While several Memphis internists offer hormone replacement care to the transgender community, she believes she is the first gynecologist to reach out.
“For me, it’s a real positive thing,” she said. “I have trans patients coming from Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and other parts of Tennessee.”
Martavius Hampton, senior director of health and evaluation at OUTMemphis, says physicians who specialize in the care of transgender patients is critical, noting that his LGBTQ advocacy center’s physician referral list is not very long.
“One of the big gaps for many in the trans community in Memphis is someone who provides hormone replacement therapy,” Hampton said.
“But you have to know how. In this field, even the intake is very specialized. Some may identify as males but have the biology of females. If you don’t know that up front, you will probably run into challenges.”
The other issue, Hampton says, is cultural sensitivity across the whole practice.
“Dr. Lacy has done the research and worked with the trans community in the past. This is not new to her.”
Lacy does not offer gender confirmation surgeries, but has relationships with Vanderbilt University, which does.
“I want to be a resource. Sometimes, it’s a simple name change on a license or ‘where do I go for surgery?’ We can help with the legal pieces.”
She says the key to intake is to treat all patients the same.
“We don’t make the assumption if a person comes in and looks obviously female that it is necessarily a cisgender person. We ask every single person we see their gender identity and the name they would like to go by.”
For the most part, Lacy finds her cisgender patients don’t mind and her trans patients appreciate the care.
“They are treated just like anyone else,” she said. “There is no carve-out or ‘just because we are trans, we are going to be asked another set of questions.’ ”
The practice also offers a series of aesthetic and wellness treatments, including Botox, fillers and other options that are administered by Taylor Covey, a medical aesthetician, RN and nurse practitioner.
“The first time I heard of Botox, I was in medical school. It was being used for vocal problems,” Lacy said. “Then it became common for people when they were 50-55. Now, a lot of younger people are using these aesthetic services in a preventative way. And there are a lot of men who use Botox and fillers.”
She sees the connection between aesthetics and the medical practice nearly every day.
“When they begin feeling better because they can sleep at night and have more energy, they want to feel better on the outside. They can go hand in hand.”
via Daily Memphian
by Jane Roberts
Modern Gynecology & Reproductive Health (More GYN)