The transgender community has turned on a once revered surgeon specializing in sex change surgeries after a patient posted graphic photos of an allegedly botched operation.
Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, a Miami-based surgeon specializing in double mastectomy surgeries for transgender-identifying patients, has been heavily criticized for performing the elective surgery on minors. She has also earned the moniker “TikTok Surgeon” for her advertising methods to her large social media following. Her detractors have primarily been conservatives and liberals critical of gender ideology, but recently, after a former patient went viral with allegations of medical malpractice, the transgender community has responded with outrage toward the doctor.
“In August of 2022, I flew to Miami, Florida to get top surgery from Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher,” wrote Rylan, a 23-year-old trans-identified female, on the self-publishing platform Medium. “3 weeks later, a local surgeon had to rush me in to remove over half a foot of dead, rotting tissue. Gallagher dismissed every concern, including hollow cavities that formed on my ripped-open incision.”
Rylan came forward on November 22, describing her ordeal in detail with graphic images of severely infected wounds. She also included screenshots of the email correspondence with Dr. Gallagher.
As of December 8, Rylan’s viral video on TikTok has amassed 4.5 million views, nearly 100,000 likes, and over 14,000 comments, with a vast majority of the messages expressing their sympathy and outrage. As word spread across social media of Rylan’s story, some transgender TikTokers made their own videos warning others of Dr. Gallagher.
“If you are part of the trans community, or you’re an ally, I need you to heed this warning and beware of Dr. Gallagher,” began one TikTok user.
“If you’re considering getting top surgery done by Dr. Gallagher, who you might have noticed on TikTok — DON’T,” said another TikToker.
“This person is not to be trusted when it comes to your healthcare,” warned yet another user on the platform.
Rylan, who lives in Ohio, said she sought out the Miami-based doctor because she is willing to operate on overweight patients. “She’s one of the only gender surgeons with no BMI cap in my country,” said Rylan.
But after just four days, Rylan began to notice complications from the surgery. When she sent a photo of her oozing wound with extensive black-and-purple discoloration on her left side, Gallagher assured her it was just “bruising.”
On the day of her follow-up appointment, the incision had reopened and was “bleeding significantly.” Rylan described bleeding through her clothes and onto the exam room table as Gallagher “minimized everything.” Rylan alleges that Dr. Gallagher called the wound a “blowhole” and made a crude joke about menstruating.
“I was confused, because her TikTok page has videos where she says she’s never had an incision break,” Rylan said.
Three weeks after surgery and back home in Ohio, Rylan was in excruciating pain when she was rushed to the emergency room after giant coagulated blood clots “the size of golf balls” began sloughing off of her wounds. Her incisions had begun opening in several locations that would become “gaping abscesses.”
When Rylan emailed photos of her deteriorating condition from the hospital, Dr. Gallagher sent a reply the following morning, which Rylan claimed minimized her concerns and instructed her that there was “no need for the ER.” Throughout the ordeal, Rylan had sent Dr. Gallagher photos of her gaping wounds, to which she replied, “looking good – not infected.”
Ultimately, Rylan would have over 6 inches of infected, necrotic tissue removed from her torso.
“I went under anesthesia 3 days later and woke up to a nurse telling me I could’ve gone septic without the surgery,” said Rylan. “Over half a foot of my left side had been killed by a bacteria that has a high mortality rate.“
After the ordeal, Rylan sought the services of a medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, who informed her that Dr. Gallagher had opted out of medical malpractice insurance. Florida is one of 32 U.S. states that do not require physicians to carry medical liability insurance, which protects physicians from medical malpractice lawsuits.
“The payout would not be enough to cover the cost of the case for a law firm, so lawyers are highly unlikely to help me sue her without that insurance,” said Rylan. “I was told she likely utilizes this loophole on purpose, knowing it leaves her victims powerless.”
Since the video went viral, dozens of users had noticed that their critical comments on Dr. Gallagher’s TikTok videos had been deleted — some users were even blocked.
“You cannot spam her comments,” said one TikTok user. “She deletes all of them. But it just shows how guilty she is. She changed her [TikTok] account name as well.”
Gallagher responded to the viral outrage with a video of her own on November 29, apologizing for her “bedside manner,” but neglecting to address her purportedly ill-fated medical advice — which she explained was due to patient confidentiality.
“A lot of you guys have been asking me to comment about the recent patient story that was posted online — it’s one of my patients,” Gallagher began. “And the reason I’ve been so quiet about it is the confidentiality laws here in the United States are very strict and I cannot discuss any medical facts about the case.”
According to SocialBlade, a social media analytics website, Gallagher had approximately 273,600 TikTok followers in mid-November, and has lost at least 16,000 followers since the story went viral on November 22.
“Since posting my story on other social media platforms, I’ve had countless former patients of hers reach out to me with harrowingly similar stories,” said Rylan. “Many of them, including myself, needed an intervention from a secondary healthcare provider to avoid either death or more harm.”
Rylan still identifies as transgender and shared her story to “keep the trans community safe.”
In a September interview with The New York Times, Gallagher has said she performed between 400-500 double mastectomy surgeries in the last year, 13 of which were on minors as young as 13 years old. Gallagher told The New York Times that most of her patients find her through TikTok.
In October, five organizations led by Genspect filed a complaint against Gallagher with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly engaging in deceptive marketing to minors. Gallagher is accused of claiming that double mastectomies on healthy breasts are “proven safe, effective, and medically necessary.”
A Florida lawyer is seeking information from past patients of Dr. Gallagher in order to file a formal complaint with the Florida Attorney General. In an interview with Reduxx magazine, Kendra Parris of Parris Law in Orlando, Florida, said she is pursuing a case against Gallagher after hearing reports of “potentially unethical, improper behavior” from the surgeon.
Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, the Florida Health Department, and the Florida Surgeon General did not respond to The Daily Wire’s requests for comment in time for publication.