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Meet the Doctors

Dr. Curtis CraneCurtis N. Crane, M.D. graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, one of the nation’s most rigorous engineering programs. He co-oped at DePuy Orthopedics making hip implants and became very interested in medicine. He chose to continue his education at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Upon completion, he was accepted to the prestigious Dartmouth Hitchcock Urology program in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he completed a six year residency.

Because of his interest in complicated urologic surgery, Dr. Crane pursued a fellowship in trauma and reconstructive urology at Detroit Receiving Hospital with the distinguished Dr. Richard Santucci. This was followed by a full three year residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Being dually trained in urologic and plastic surgery lends itself to being proficient in a broad variety of procedures. This allows Dr. Crane to treat a large number of patients with a multitude of surgical needs, including those seeking gender reassignment surgery. His patients have often noted that he greatly enjoys connecting with them on a personal level.
“After initially meeting some members of the trans community, I was immediately drawn to them. Gender dysphoria challenges the basic pretenses that the medical community assumes to understand about chromosomal influence on gender. It takes a courageous group of individuals to tell the world that XX does not always result in a female and XY male. It is yet another example that the world cannot compartmentalize its citizens.” — Dr. Curtis Crane

Thomas Satterwhite, MD Thomas Satterwhite, M.D., a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, obtained his Bachelor’s Degree (Human Biology with Honors) and Medical Degree at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. He remained at Stanford Hospital to complete his residency in Plastic Surgery, a highly regarded training program. His expertise in facial surgery was further refined with the completion of a craniofacial fellowship in Miami, FL under the tutelage of Dr. S. Anthony Wolfe, a world-renowned craniofacial surgeon. During this fellowship, he was fortunate, grateful, and humbled by the opportunity to treat children and adults from all over the world with disfiguring and devastating facial anomalies and injuries. This allowed him to gain a true appreciation, a deep respect, and a keen eye for natural facial form, function, and aesthetics. Dr. Satterwhite’s expertise is in all aspects of gender confirmation surgery for transwomen:  facial feminizing surgery, body feminization, vaginoplasty, and breast augmentation.  For transmen, he performs top surgery and body masculinization procedures.  For all patients, he is well versed in providing the full spectrum of cosmetic procedures (surgical and non-surgical) for the face and body.

Dr. Satterwhite has extensively published and presented nationally and internationally in plastic, reconstructive, and aesthetic surgery. He has won multiple awards (including the highly competitive Plastic Surgery Foundation award through the American Society of Plastic Surgeons) for his research in plastic surgery and for his oral presentations at regional and national conferences.

Dr. Satterwhite has recently joined forces with Dr. Curtis Crane, and together their San Francisco practice is dedicated to providing excellent, personal, and comprehensive care to the world-wide transgender community and the LGBT community at large. Dr. Satterwhite has remained actively involved in the LGBT family, and he has been truly dedicated to serving the community. For close to 20 years, the San Francisco Bay Area has been the home for Dr. Satterwhite and his husband, Harald and their son, Alexander.

Dr. Satterwhite in the Media:

  • Bay Area hospital steps in to help transgender patients: ABC News
  • Mill Valley doctor begins performing gender reassignment surgeries at Marin General Hospital: Marin News
  • How Transgender Surgery and Hormones Affect the Body: Yahoo
“Dr. Satterwhite is an integral part of this practice. He melds impeccable technique with aesthetic perfection and provides top notch surgical care to all of his patients. “– Curtis N. Crane, M.D.

Wittenberg Business Photo 2015Heidi Wittenberg, M.D. obtained her Bachelors in Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley. Fascinated by the effects of genes, the effects of their alterations, as well as, interactions of chemical and electrical messengers, she pursued a Masters Degree in Applied Physiology from the Chicago Medical School and remained there for her Medical Degree. Starting her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbus-Cabrini Northwestern Affiliate, she studied and was inspired by one of the early experts in pelvic reconstructive surgery Dr. Peter Sands. Recruited by one of the most prestigious Obstetrics and Gynecology programs in the country, she completed her residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. There she trained under another expert in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff who became her mentor. In 1999, Dr. Wittenberg moved to her dream city of San Francisco, and continued to pursue urogynecologic advances. In 2000, she developed and directed the Comprehensive Pelvic Medicine and Continence Center for the California Pacific Medical Center. She went on to develop and direct the pelvic medicine center at Urogynecology Center of San Francisco, and chairs the Multispecialty Pelvic Physiology Conference at California Pacific Medical Center. She is one of the few San Francisco experts in neurourology. As a result, she received special dispensation from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to perform bladder/bowel neuromodulation on male patients, as well as female. She is one of the most experienced advanced laparoscopic and benign gynecological robot surgeons in Northern California. In 2013, she was in the vanguard of the first board certified specialists in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery specialists.San Francisco has been home to Dr. Wittenberg, her husband and their beloved rescue dogs. Dr. Wittenberg travels on surgical missions to Guatemala and does surgical missions in San Francisco for the underserved. For this latter work, she received the Congressional Operations Access Unsung Hero Award in 2011. She also donated one of her kidneys to her husband, a surgical mission that can only be done once.Dr. Wittenberg and Dr. Crane have been working in collaboration, where she performed laparascopic hysterectomies, removal of ovaries, and then Dr. Crane would immediately perform metoidioplasties. She became fascinated with this area of pelvic reconstruction and over time and training with Dr. Crane, became an addition to Dr. Crane’s team.

Click to view Dr. Wittenberg’s CV

Click to view Dr. Wittenberg’s videos


Michael H. Safir, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. He graduated from Northwestern University in the Honors Program in Medical Education where he received his Bachelors and Medical Degrees. Dr. Safir completed his urology residency at Northwestern University and was awarded the Dr. Susan Perlman Award as the senior resident, among all specialties at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital, “who best exemplified academic excellence, special leadership skills and compassion for patients.” He was selected to complete two separate year-long fellowships in Male (UCSF) and Female (UCLA) Genito-urinary Reconstructive Surgery. His mentors were Dr. Jack McAninch and Dr. Shlomo Raz at these institutions. Dr. Safir has served as Section Chief of Reconstructive Urology at New York Medical College and as a Clinical Instructor in Urology at both UCLA and UCSF. He is one of a handful of urologists in the world with individual fellowship training and experience in both male and female genital reconstruction. Prior to relocating to San Francisco, Dr. Safir practiced urology in Los Angeles, where he served as President of the Los Angeles Urological Society. Dr. Safir will perform all aspects of bottom surgery for the trans community after his intensive fellowship training at Brownstein & Crane Surgical Services.

Click to view Dr. Safir’s CV

deleonDr. DeLeon started her education at the University of Kansas for her undergraduate and subsequent Doctor of Pharmacy degrees. She was inducted into the Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Honor Society and graduated with Honors. She then received a national scholarship to attend The University of Texas at Austin Department of Graduate Studies to do post-doctorate work in outcomes research while teaching at both The University of Texas at Austin School of Pharmacy and School of Nursing. She practiced as a clinical pharmacist in Bone Marrow Transplant and Oncology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas for two years. She then returned to the Austin area to attend Medical School at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.  Dr. DeLeon graduated with Honors in the top 10% of her class and received the award for Excellence in Surgery for the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.  After receiving her medical degree, she completed her five-year surgical residency at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.  During this time she authored several papers and continued teaching medical students, appeared in an educational documentary on Breast Cancer for the University of Texas system, and was a certified instructor for physicians in Advanced Trauma Life Support. She also worked in motorsports medicine at the Circuit of the Americas Formula One track in Austin providing specialty trauma surgery coverage for the drivers and continues to do so.  She also continues to teach and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the medical students at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a Clinical Assistant Professor for surgery residents at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.  Dr. DeLeon is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and a member of the American College of Surgeons, Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society.  She practices general surgery in Austin, Texas including advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgeries, comprehensive abdominal and pelvic procedures, breast and endocrine surgeries, and trauma surgery.  Dr. DeLeon takes a special interest, however, in gender reassignment surgery and with her expertise in pelvic anatomy and vast experience in breast surgery she has been working with Dr. Crane performing both female to male and male to female procedures.  She finds working in gender reassignment both fascinating and rewarding and has become a valuable member of Dr. Crane’s team.  Although she grew up as an Army brat, Dr. DeLeon has now lived in the Austin area for over 10 years and calls Austin home. She enjoys traveling, tennis, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and bowling. She spends her free time with her husband and 2 young children and all are sports fanatics.

036DrLeeCharles K. Lee, MD, FACS, is a Board Certified (American Board of Plastic Surgery)  plastic and reconstructive surgeon with expertise in reconstructive microsurgery and aesthetic surgery. He graduated from Washington University in St.Louis with honors and as a Scholar in the Program in Medicine. He completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Chicago and then went on to a fellowship in microsurgery and hand surgery at the Buncke Clinic, San Francisco. He has been on staff as an attending surgeon at the Buncke Clinic, clinical faculty at Stanford University, and currently serves on the clinical faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he teaches both residents and fellows in reconstructive microsurgery.  Dr. Lee is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at UCSF and is the Chief of Plastic Surgery & Reconstructive Microsurgery at St.Mary’s Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Lee has been serving the San Francisco bay area as a reconstructive microsurgeon since 2003, performing high volume free tissue transfer and designer free flap operations for all areas of the body; additionally, he is skilled in super-microsurgery techniques. He has lectured and published internationally on plastic surgery topics. He is the recipient of multiple local and national awards and most recently, was featured in the media having performed the world’s first elbow-to-elbow autologous free tissue transplantation at UCSF. Dr. Lee enjoys taking care of the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team as the consultant team reconstructive surgeon and consults for WebMD and several major surgical technology companies.  Dr. Lee has dedicated his career to providing compassionate care and surgical excellence.

webdavidchang_IMG_7424Dr. David S. Chang graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and received his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Chang completed his training in general surgery and plastic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Chang was recruited to work on the full time faculty at UCSF where he was active in teaching medical students and residents the art of plastic surgery. He has authored textbook chapters and articles on plastic surgery and has extensive experience in reconstructive microsurgery. Dr. Chang has been practicing plastic surgery in San Francisco since 2006. In 2009 he joined Dr. Gabriel Kind in private practice. Dr. Chang is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery.


Gabriel M. Kind, M.D. graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, and received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.  He then completed a residency in General Surgery at Rush – Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, after which he returned to Northwestern University – McGaw Medical Center for a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  During his Plastic Surgery residency he was Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery.  After completing his plastic surgery training, Dr. Kind was awarded a one-year fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery at the Davies Medical Center in San Francisco.  Dr. Kind has had a long interest in microsurgical breast reconstruction, and was among the first surgeons to perform the DIEP flap for breast reconstruction on the West Coast.  He presents at local and national meetings on breast cancer reconstruction.  He specializes in aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.  Dr. Kind is an Associate Clinical Professor in Plastic Surgery at the University of California – San Francisco, and a Clinical Instructor in surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  He is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and received Subspecialty Certification in Surgery of the Hand from the American Board of Surgery.

parrettDr. Brian Parrett graduated with honors from Columbia University and received his medical degree at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He then completed residency at the prestigious Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency Program followed by a fellowship in microsurgery and hand surgery at the Buncke Clinic in San Francisco. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with additional Subspecialty Certification in Hand Surgery. Dr. Parrett has extensive experience in reconstructive microsurgery. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters and has presented and lectured on plastic surgery and microsurgery across the world. Dr. Parrett is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Plastic Surgery at the University of California – San Francisco. Dr. Parrett was recently recruited to lead the plastic surgery division at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco and Marin County.

Click to view Dr. Parrett’s CV

Dr. Michael Brownstein

Michael Brownstein, M.D. retired in January 2013, after 35 years of serving the transgender community. During this time he performed thousands of FTM chest surgeries, perfecting his surgical technique and ultimately, passed this knowledge on to Dr. Curtis Crane, the only surgeon he has ever trained specifically in this technique. Dr. Brownstein now resides in Sedona, AZ with his wife, Denise, and his beloved dog, Fritz. He enjoys the beautiful desert climate where he hikes and swims daily. He is also fond of horseback riding and is the resident deputy sheriff. Thank you for your commitment to the transgender community.


Male to Female Surgery | Female to Male Surgery