100 signatures reached
To: Denver Health and UCHealth
Update the outdated BMI policy for Top Surgery
I write this petition to urge Denver Health and UCHealth to reconsider their outdated BMI limits. Fat trans people deserve gender affirming care and the science is behind us on this issue. Forcing someone to lose weight for gender affirming care when the research shows it’s not necessary for a safe procedure is not acceptable and puts trans peoples lives at risk as dysphoria is extremely distressing and can lead to suicidal ideation. Please take these things into consideration and stop using BMI to deny gender affirming top surgery!
Why is this important?
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender and Gender Expansive Health released a study in the journal Annals of Plastic Surgery on November 1. They reviewed over 2,300 cases of chest masculinization surgery (top surgery) performed in the U.S. between 2012 and 2020. The researchers found no correlation between a patient’s BMI and whether the person develops severe post-surgical complications, even though that measurement is frequently used to determine whether a surgery will be approved or denied. The authors of the study recommend “re-evaluation of BMI cutoffs” and say “When you look at the data and you look at complications resulting from top surgery, BMI really doesn’t factor into it much at all,”
Despite this Both major providers of chest masculinization surgery in Denver, CO Denver Health and UCHealth will often not even take referrals for people with a BMI over 40. My primary care doctor told me that there was no point in her ever referring me because they will just deny the referral. These two hospitals are the only places in the entire state of Colorado that I could find who take Medicaid for chest masculinization surgery as well which leads to more denials for poor and disabled trans people.
Please consider signing and sharing this petition so that more trans people of Denver have access to the gender affirming care they need!