‘Nipples Literally Peeling Off’: Texas Detransitioner Sues Doctors for $1 Million Over Botched Surgery

Soren Aldaco, a young woman who attempted a gender transition at age 17, is suing the doctors who operated on her, accusing them of ignoring her plethora of mental health conditions and pushing her down a destructive path.

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on July 25, 2023

WARNING GRAPHIC: Some content in this story may be disturbing for readers.

Another detransitioner who attempted a gender transition at age 17 is suing the doctors who operated on her, accusing them of ignoring her plethora of mental health conditions and pushing her down a destructive path.

Soren Aldaco, who is now 21 years old, filed her lawsuit Friday in the Tarrant County District Court of Texas. She alleges that her doctors behaved more like “ideologues” than medical professionals and that they did not properly take her autism, depression, anxiety, and other comorbidities into account when they evaluated her for an attempted gender transition.

The detransitioner’s complaint names Del Scott Perry, Sreenath Nekkalapu, Barbara Rose Wood, Richard Santucci, Ashley DeLeon, Crane Clinic LLC, Texas Health Physicians Group, Three Oaks Counseling Group LLC, and Mesa Springs LLC. Each of these defendants were involved in a pursuit of “experimental ‘gender affirming’ medical therapies” on Aldaco, “a vulnerable teenager struggling with a slew of mental health issues,” her lawsuit says. None immediately responded to requests for comment.

 

“The repercussions of these interventions have led to Soren’s permanent disfigurement and profound psychological scarring,” the suit alleges. “The Defendants’ breaches of their fiduciary duties are only underscored by the fact that each Defendant met Soren and facilitated these ‘therapies’ at a pivotal juncture in Soren’s life—when she was grappling not only with the universal challenges of adolescence and body image but also with a complex amalgamation of diagnosed mental health comorbidities and other psychological and social disorders.”

“Despite these telltale signs demanding caution and therapeutic resolution,” the suit emphasizes, Aldaco’s physicians “deliberately and recklessly propelled” her “down a path of permanent physical disfigurement and worsening psychological distress.”

Aldaco is one of a growing number of young detransitioners, particularly women, who have begun filing lawsuits against the medical establishment for facilitating their attempted gender transitions. A detransitioner is someone who sought to change his or her gender through hormonal or surgical interventions and ultimately regretted this attempt and returned to living as his or her biological sex.

This month, Prisha Mosley filed a lawsuit accusing her doctors and therapists of rushing her down a dangerous and life-altering path (both Mosley and Aldaco are represented by Campbell Miller Payne, PLLC). Detransitioners Chloe Cole and Layla Jane, represented by the Center for American Liberty, have also recently announced high-profile lawsuits against medical practitioners at Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Permanente Medical Group.

WATCH: [Stream editor’s note: This video contains multiple graphic images of Aldaco’s chest after her surgery.]

Aldaco, as a struggling teenager, began taking “outrageously large, off-label” amounts of testosterone on the advice of Del Scott Perry, a nurse practitioner with Texas Health Physicians Group, with whom she was connected through a transgender “support group” called Trans-Cendence International.

Perry, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, had built a “list of clientele” from the group by attending its meetings for the past six to nine months, the lawsuit said.

The suit accuses Perry of not only failing to discuss her mental health issues properly, but also failing to discuss the risks that testosterone poses to biological women with Aldaco—despite the fact that she was a mere 17 years old.

“Perry never sought or obtained any written parental consent from Soren’s parents to guide her down this path,” the suit adds.

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Aldaco’s relationship therapist, Barbara Wood, allegedly authored a recommendation letter qualifying her for a double mastectomy soon after she turned 19. All of Aldaco’s appointments with Wood were telehealth visits, the lawsuit said, and the sessions “never focused on or attempted to fully assess or resolve the question of Soren’s gender identity.”

Crane Clinic in Austin, Texas, “a notorious surgical center recently relocated from California to Texas” that performs “gender affirming” surgeries, allegedly helped Aldaco with a template for the letter necessary for her to obtain a double mastectomy, the lawsuit said.

Wood allegedly signed the letter, which Aldaco maintains included many falshoods about her lifestyle and mental state, and she submitted it to Crane Clinic. After an “initial consultation” with Crane Clinic, which lasted only a few minutes, according to the lawsuit, the surgeons at Crane Clinic scheduled her for a double mastectomy on June 11, 2021.

The lawsuit graphically describes how Dr. Ashley DeLeon and Dr. Richard Santucci botched Aldaco’s double mastectomy, leaving the young woman in incredible pain, grappling with a bloody and bewildering recovery process.

DeLeon “negligently performed the double mastectomy,” and Santucci “negligently supervised Soren’s problematic recovery, leaving Soren with horrible post-surgical complications and resulting disfigurement that continue to affect Soren to this day,” the lawsuit alleges.

When her emergency post-surgical complications arose, Soren immediately reached out to Dr. Santucci, who downplayed her horrible complications and insisted to her that the complications were ‘normal.’ Despite Soren sending graphic pictures of the pools of blood forming subcutaneously within her torso, her nipples literally peeling off of her chest, and explaining the immense pain she was experiencing, Dr. Santucci seemed as though he could not be bothered to see her and did not even advise her to seek emergency care. The most Soren managed to get from Dr. Santucci was a reluctant agreement that he would check to see if he could get her in the following day.

Dr. DeLeon’s and Dr. Santucci’s combined breaches forced Soren to seek out emergency treatment at the University of Texas Southwestern hospital in Dallas, Texas. There, the emergency surgeons diagnosed Soren with “massive bilateral hematomas” (16cm on the left flank, and 17cm on the right), re-opened the Crane Clinic incisions, and stitched in drains (which should have been included in the original surgery) and drained significant amounts of accrued blood and other bodily fluids.

In addition to undergoing the pain and suffering this caused, Soren was then forced to continue draining blood and fluids from her chest cavity for the following week. These complications were never disclosed to Soren as a possibility, and indeed, when Dr. DeLeon informed Soren of the details of the surgery, she provided materials showing surgeries that included drains and was shown videos and pictures of other patients who had the surgery with drains. Soren was unaware that the “drainless” surgery actually performed was a risky procedure rarely used by competent practitioners.

This traumatic process ultimately left Aldaco with time to realize that neither the testosterone nor her surgery had helped her to feel comfortable in her body. As she began practicing meditation and mindfulness, she “learned that her body was not the problem at all; the problem was with her perception and expectation of her body that society and social media had all but forced upon her.”

“Ultimately,” the complaint says, “what Soren realized is that over the rocky course of her adolescence, what she needed was an unbiased doctor, not an ideologue. And upon these realizations, she immediately felt and understood the wrongs she had suffered at the hands of the Defendants. With this lawsuit, Soren now seeks redress for those wrongs.”

WATCH:

 

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