A young Texas woman has filed a lawsuit for more than $1 million in damages, claiming that doctors pressured her into gender-reassignment procedures, resulting in a “botched” double mastectomy and irrevocable harm.
Soren Aldaco, 21, filed the medical negligence and malpractice lawsuit (pdf) on July 21 in Tarrant County, Fort Worth, against five medical providers and their employees.
The lawsuit named Del Scott Perry with Texas Health Physicians Group, Sreenath Nekkalapu with Mesa Springs, Barbara Rose Wood with Three Oaks Counseling Group, and Richard Santucci and Ashley DeLeon with Crane Clinic as defendants.
The medical providers allegedly pressured or encouraged Ms. Aldaco to receive “treatments” that included cross-sex hormones when she was 17 years old in 2020 and the removal of both of her breasts in 2021, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Aldaco claimed that doctors “recklessly, if not intentionally, overlooked or ignored” her history of depression, anxiety, and autism.
“This lawsuit details a chronology of wrongful acts committed by a collective of medical providers who, in their pursuit of experimental ‘gender-affirming’ medical therapies, administered a series of ruinous procedures and treatments to Plaintiff Soren Aldaco, who was then a vulnerable teenager struggling with a slew of mental health issues,” the filing stated.
Her lawsuit is one of the latest being filed by detransitioners who feel they were wronged by doctors and therapists who allowed them to medically alter their bodies resulting in permanent and irreparable changes to their bodies that could leave them infertile and in pain.
Ms. Aldaco’s attorney, Ron Miller, told The Epoch Times that his client was “fast-tracked” into what could be likened to a transitioning conveyor belt.
“There’s really no stopping it,” he said. “Once you’re on, you’re going to the end.”
Mr. Miller said there were plenty of opportunities for doctors to ask questions and potentially stop the alleged harm done to his client. Instead, their actions pushed an ideology.
Mr. Miller said he and his partners started a Dallas law firm, Campbell Miller Payne, this year to help detransitioners.
“We’ve kind of got a dual objective,” Mr. Miller said. “First and foremost, help and get justice, but also get the word out there so that it does spark awareness.”
In Ms. Aldaco’s case, the procedures allegedly led to “permanent disfigurement and profound psychological scarring.” She was not warned that cross-sex hormones could cause infertility, vaginal atrophy, loss of bone density, and growth complications, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit explained that Ms. Aldaco had been struggling with mental health and body image issues as a teen, prompting her to consider the possibility being advertised on social media and her medical professionals that altering her physical appearance would allow her to feel comfortable in her body.
“Because of this dislike for her female physical appearance, coupled with her general propensity to enjoy activities usually enjoyed by boys and the influence from some transgender online friends, Soren began wondering if maybe she was transgender too,” the lawsuit said.
Easy Road to Double Mastectomy
In 2018, at age 15, Ms. Aldaco had been admitted to Mesa Springs, a psychiatric hospital in Fort Worth, as she was suffering from crippling depression and anxiety, according to the lawsuit.
While at the hospital, the lawsuit said she was placed under the psychiatric care of Dr. Nekkalapu, who allegedly “coerced” Ms. Aldaco to pursue a transgender male identity.
The doctor “relentlessly pressed her on the topic by prompting her with trans-related questions and affirmations,” according to the lawsuit.
Eventually, Ms. Aldaco felt that the only way to cease the discussion was to agree with Dr. Nekkalapu and tell him that she identified as transgender, the lawsuit alleges.
“Notably, Dr. Nekkalapu did not do any meaningful or comprehensive psychobehavioral examination, did not explore Soren’s existing mental and psychological issues, and did not discuss or attempt to address her glaring comorbidities. Instead, he appeared to simply jump to—and indeed encourage—the conclusion that the sole explanation for Soren’s psychotic break was her needing to embrace a transgender identity after only knowing her for mere minutes,” the filing stated.
The following year, Ms. Aldaco began attending Trans-Cendence International, a transgender support group in Fort Worth.
She met defendant Del Scott Perry at the meetings, though he was not transgender. Ms. Aldeco learned that Mr. Perry, who was a nurse practitioner, prescribed testosterone “upon request,” according to the lawsuit.
In January 2020, Ms. Aldaco said Mr. Perry prescribed her an estrogen blocker and testosterone after a 30-minute appointment, according to the lawsuit. She continued to take the prescribed hormones for a year, which allegedly led to health complications.
The lawsuit accuses Mr. Perry of failing to discuss the “irreversible consequences that use of the cross-sex hormones would cause.” He also failed to talk about any potential alternative treatments than the cross-sex hormones, the filing stated.
Ms. Aldaco began exploring options for chest or “top” surgery in February of 2021, contacting Crane Clinic in Austin. The clinic specializes in transgender procedures.
She found out she would need a letter of recommendation to get the surgery, and the clinic allegedly provided a template for what the letter needed to say.
Ms. Aldaco went to her therapist, Ms. Wood, to ask for the signed letter she needed, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Aldaco’s lawsuit claims the letter contains “false or otherwise misleading prerequisite statements” to satisfy the clinic’s requirements.
In June 2021, Dr. DeLeon, a surgeon for the Crane Clinic, performed a double mastectomy on Ms. Aldaco, who allegedly experienced complications soon afterward.
She immediately contacted Dr. Santucci, who also worked at the Crane Clinic, when complications arose from the surgery, the filing stated. The doctor allegedly downplayed the problems.
“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,” according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Aldaco, who was in “immense pain” after the surgery, received emergency treatment at a University of Texas hospital in Dallas, according to the lawsuit. Doctors found “massive bilateral hematomas,” bruises caused by blood pooling under the skin.
Doctors at the Dallas hospital then inserted drains allowing fluids and blood to make their way out of her chest cavity, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Aldaco asked the Crane Clinic to reimburse her for the emergency surgery at the Dallas hospital caused by the “botched” double mastectomy, the filing stated.
The clinic’s CEO agreed to pay Ms. Aldaco $421.31 for her out-of-pocket expenses if she signed an agreement that included a “punitive non-disparagement clause and other complicated legal provisions, including a forfeiture of all her possible claims against the Crane Clinic,” according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Aldaco refused to sign the document and began questioning her gender transition, eventually filing suit.
“Following her problematic recovery from the Crane Clinic surgery, Soren began to realize that neither the testosterone nor the double mastectomy had helped her feel entirely comfortable in her body,” the suit says. “Discouraged by this realization, Soren began looking for and discovered a successful alternative to resolve the issues with her gender identity through the simple practice of meditation and mindfulness. Through this practice, Soren 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.”
Texas Health Physicians Group said they could not comment on pending litigation. None of the other practitioners or medical entities named as defendants responded before publication.