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Stanley Biber
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Doctor
    (May 4, 1923-January 16, 2006)
    Born in Des Moines, Iowa
    Physician/surgeon at Mount San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado
    Pioneer in sex reassignment surgery
    Performed 5,800 sex change operations (1969-2003)
    When his first prospective sex-change patient told him 'I'm a transexual,' he replied 'What's that?'
    He agreed to perform the sex-change operation not out of interest in transgender issues but because he was intrigued by the technical challenge of it.
    His assessment of the aesthetic results of his first sex-change: 'It looked like hell.' (Although he noted that it was functional and therefore the patient was satisfied.)
    He initially kept his first sex-change operations secret, since he worked for a Roman Catholic hospital and worried the administrators would object.
    He was forced into retirement when advancing age caused his malpractice insurance rates to rise to a level he could not afford (2003).
    During the Korean War, he was the head surgeon of a MASH unit and once performed 37 consecutive operations until he collapsed from exhaustion.
    He was also a competitve bodybuilder as well as a doctor.
    When it became clear he could not keep the operations secret, he gave a series of lectures to the hospital staff and local residents about sex-change surgery and the psychological needs of the patients and noted, 'Much to my amazement, there was no opposition. They were very understanding and accepting.'
    His sex change surgery improved until, as he told the New York Times, one of his patients married a gynecologist who never suspected his wife had once been a man.
    In addition to being 'the dean of sex-change surgeons,' he was a small-town doc, who did everything from tonsilectomies to setting broken bones to delivering babies.

Credit: C. Fishel


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