Dr. Russell Sassani, board-certified plastic surgeon, was born in Pennsylvania and raised in New Jersey. After completing his general surgery and plastic surgery training at Penn in Philadelphia he came to Florida in 1994 to do further fellowship training in Craniofacial surgery at the University of Miami as well as an Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship. He fell in love with Florida and joined a practice here.

In addition to facial aesthetics, a large part of his practice has historically been breast surgery. At the encouragement of the late Bishop Makalani, he started to provide gender confirming top surgery services. “It was a natural and comfortable extension of the breast reconstruction surgery I was already doing,” he said. When he started working with transgender clients, he was often shocked hearing about the quality of work they had previously experienced and knew these patients deserved better. Since starting slowly 4 years ago, his transgender patient business has now grown to the point that 75 percent of his work comes from gender reassignment top surgery and draws from a national and international patient base. “It is very emotional and personally gratifying to watch the patient’s transformations especially when they see themselves in the mirror for the first time in the body they have always wanted and could only dream about,” he said.

Sassani is married to Michael Schneider, who is the office manager for the practice called Take Shape Plastic Surgery P.A., and the administrator of Take Shape Surgery Center, LLC where Sassani does his surgeries. The men met on “[email protected]” and have been together for 19 years.  They were married in 2014 in San Francisco and have a 4-year-old daughter, Lauren.

Sassani and Schneider are also very active within the LGBT community and are philanthropic with several national and state and local LGBT organizations, notably the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Equality Florida and the Pride Center. Dr. Sassani has also endowed a scholarship for LGBT students through the Broward College Foundation as well as an endowed scholarship in perpetuity for LGBT students at his alma mater Rutgers College of Pharmacy.



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