Florida-based surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado, who specialises in gender confirmation surgeries, was fired after being accused of publishing photos of his patients’ genitals on an Instagram account.
The since-deleted @sexsurgeon Instagram account featured the surgeon’s name and his headshot and published a number of graphic pictures related to surgical procedures using several inappropriate hashtags.
A University of Miami Health System (UHealth) spokesperson told the Miami Herald on Wednesday (March 13) that Dr. Salgado was no longer employed at the university.
Dr. Salgado denied he had been fired in a statement to PinkNews, supplying the screenshot of an email from the chair of the surgery department at UHealth accepting his resignation.
Dr. Salgado, who worked at UHealth’s LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health, no longer has a profile in the UHealth online directory.
His name however still appears in a page showing doctors specialising in plastic and reconstructive surgery, under the title Professor of Surgery and Interim Chief, Division of Plastic, Reconstructive, Transgender and Aesthetic Surgery.
News of his dismissal comes after a letter asking the American College of Surgeons and the Florida Medical Board to investigate the gender confirmation surgeon’s behaviour was published online, open for signatures.
“He is transphobic, homophobic, sexist and just nasty.”
— Anonymous review about gender confirmation surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado
“The comments, hashtags, and the photos contain sensitive patient information, and quite frankly, I must question whether or not Dr. Salgado has violated these patients’ privacy, and I must absolutely question his ethics within the context of his social media use,” the letter read.
It added: “To see a surgeon who claims to specialise in treating transgender patients using racist, homophobic, and transphobic hashtags like ‘asian d**k,’ ‘get that money,’ ‘what the fuck is that’ among many, many other horrifically inappropriate comments is beyond unacceptable.”
Account linked to Gender confirmation surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado posted graphic pictures
The @sexsurgeon account was first denounced online in mid-February, after it posted a particularly graphic picture of a patient’s dissected penis in the shape of a heart on Valentine’s Day.
“There are many ways to show your love,” read the post’s caption, along with various hashtags, including: “#whatisthat #whatislove #whatthef**kisthat”
After the picture was posted online, the surgeon—who appeared in an episode of TLC’s I Am Jazz advising the show’s star Jazz Jennings on her gender confirmation surgery—received at least two negative reviews on the website Vitals.com, which help patients find local healthcare professionals.
“He is transphobic, homophobic, sexist and just nasty. He should have his license pulled immediately” one review read.
“Salgado is a repugnant waste of human skin,” another one stated.
Screenshots of the account, which was first reported on in the transgender-focused publication TransAdvocate earlier this month, were posted on imgur and Twitter.
Another post from January showed the scan of a dildo being stuck inside a patient’s rectum.
The caption read: “This mishap during anal intercourse could have been avoided if the transman had a real phalloplasty. #megac**k #analfun #butt #rectum #rectumraiders #phalloplasty #transgender #transgendermale #gender #sexyart #penetration #gi #surgery #wpath #ftm #reald**kpleaser #reald**ksmatter”
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Other inappropriate hashtags were used as captions to other posts. One photo showing a patient’s partially reconstructed face and jaw included the hashtags “cunnilingus” and “eatingpussy101.”
Not all posts contained graphic content. One February post features a picture of Salgado at a plastic surgery conference, where he delivered the keynote lecture titled “The Vanguard of creativity in gender affirmation surgery.”
One Instagram user commented under a photo asking for information on how to contact the surgeon, and the number provided in response matches that of the UHealth department for plastic surgery.
Gender confirmation surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado apologises
In a statement to PinkNews, Dr. Salgado confirmed that the @sexsurgeon account was his, and he ran it with the help of an assistant.
He claimed he had permission to post the pictures published on Instagram, describing his account as an “educational” platform.
“I had consent for every photo prior to seeing them through the University,” he wrote, adding: “No patient identifier or hospital identifier was visible.”
As for the hashtags, Dr. Salgado claimed his account was hacked: “I was notified that someone entered my account from Europe and this may account for many hashtags I have never seen.”
He added: “I apologize to anyone hurt by this as I have dedicated the last nine years of my life to this patient population and this will not detract from my care and love for them.”
This story was updated with a statement from Dr. Salgado received after publication.