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Meet Christopher Salgado of Constructive Surgery in Brickell and Coral Gables

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Salgado.

Christopher, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am of Puerto Rican descent, however, have lived the majority of my adult life within the continental United States. I desired to pursue a career path in medicine, following in the footsteps of my uncle from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He was an OB/GYN and my only family member in the healthcare field. After finishing high school in Tampa, Florida, I moved to Massachusetts and graduated from Boston University, where I obtained a Bachelor’s in Anatomy and Physiology. I later went on to medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where I remained for my General Surgery training.

In 2000, I moved on to the University of Rochester in New York for Plastic Surgery training. I then spent a year in Taiwan for a fellowship in Microsurgery. This allowed me to better aid our wounded soldiers as I entered the United States Army. I served as a major for four years, caring for fellow soldiers as a reconstructive surgeon. For the next 15 years, I worked in a variety of University hospitals across the country, eventually obtaining an academic rank of Full Professor at the University of Miami.

I have published over 125 papers in peer-reviewed literature, edited three books, and have written multiple chapters within books. This has allowed me to not only serve as a physician for my patients but to also contribute to the scientific quest for solutions to many unsolved problems. Over the past twenty years, I have been on nearly 20 Humanitarian Missions across the world through the military, the Central American Medical Outreach humanitarian organization, and the TransAtlantic Educational Foundation. This has brought satisfaction to many patients around the world and more meaning to what I do. I have dedicated the last ten years of my life to the study of post-oncologic reconstruction, limb salvage, and genital surgery; more specifically, transgender surgery.

Gender surgery has become my primary focus as it is one of the most challenging and complex surgical fields in all of surgery. In my opinion, it is the most gratifying surgery to perform. Within this field, I have found even more purpose to my life and I truly enjoy the relationships I develop with my patients. I am currently in private practice in Miami and pray daily with thanks for the blessings allowing me to care for this awesome group of strong individuals.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I believe that if things are going too smooth for an individual, then this person has not been on that road for long enough. Struggles can be beneficial in that they build dedication to that purpose or spur a change in one’s purpose.

Moving from Puerto Rico in the seventh grade and formally learning English was my first struggle. Getting into a plastic surgery residency was another. The more constant struggle is the same that anyone who encounters any form of success deals with. Unfortunately as one becomes more known for any particular craft and gains any form of praise, there are more and more people that put them in their crosshairs. I wish this was not true but this was taught to me twenty years ago and remains true to this day. This is certainly why you need to be nice, respectful and caring to everyone you can, regardless of their position in life. I aim to embody this daily.  

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Constructive Surgery story. Tell us more your practice.
What sets Constructive Surgery Associates apart from others as a Plastic, Reconstructive, and Gender Surgery practice is our ability to perform successful and individualized Transgender and Genital surgeries. I focused my practice on transgender surgery at a time when transgender surgery was in it’s infancy in the United States. This allowed for rapid publication of many articles in the field and even a book on the topic (Gender Affirmation: Medical and Surgical Perspectives). In addition, it was at a time when insurance coverage for such surgery was not in existence. We were at the forefront of getting healthcare companies to cover these medically necessary procedures under the medical diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria. This newfound coverage has increased the popularity of transgender surgeries,  allowing me utilize my knowledge from my training in Asia. 

Over the past 10 years I have been building a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary team for these procedures, involving colorectal surgery, reconstructive urology, and craniofacial surgery. We also train the hospitals where we perform these gender operations (Palmetto General Hospital and Coral Gables Hospital) in order to provide them with a level of competency that enables them to successfully handle these very complex surgical procedures. We feel our surgical results are the best from a aesthetic and functional standpoint and would challenge them against any other results in the world right now. Ten years ago, American patients seeking gender surgery would flee to Europe and Asia for these necessary procedures. thankfully for these patients this is no longer necessary. In fact, we now get international patients from these continents coming to Miami for their gender surgery!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel that I was lucky that I had such strong supportive parents to rear me. They cared for me as loving parents should. I was taught to respect, care for, and accept people for who they are and who they aspire to be.  My father served in the military and later ran several businesses, even driving a cab toward the end of his working life. My mother took great care of me and my three siblings; we never missed a meal. Unfortunately, not everyone gets this in life. I feel that when one has a beginning such as this, they have been dealt a good set of cards. Although my parents are no longer with me, their teachings always will be.  The bad luck I have encountered is probably more of a reflection of past decisions that I have made in life and have had to overcome. More recently, I have been lucky enough to have two awesome children, with a third on the way. Hopefully this good luck will continue to carry over into my business. As we all know, along with beautiful kids comes more re$pon$ibilitie$.  

I also feel lucky that I have developed a very open mind and a “think out of the box mentality” over my years as this is absolutely essential to the field of gender surgery which psychologically expanding every day and it is therefore important for surgeons to have this mindset in order for it to move forward. 

Contact Info:

  • Address: Constructive Surgery Associates
    1330 Coral Way Suite 306
    Miami, Florida 33145
  • Website: www.constructivesurgery.org
  • Phone: (786) 627-4601
  • Email: constructivesurgery@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @constructivesurgery
  • Other: snapchat constructmd

Image Credit:
“Deivy” and “Imagen Magazine”

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