CLEVELAND -- It's a day Zack Pichler has been dreaming about nearly a decade.

"It's just really exciting. There are no words. I can't wait," said Zack.

Zack was born Amanda, but at a young age the reflection he saw in the mirror didn't match how he saw himself.

"Living as a girl wasn't an option anymore. If I didn't start living as who I was, I was going to die. Through my own means. Maybe suicide," said Zack.

To hide his figure, Zack would bind his chest and layer his shirts.

Read more | Local doctor known globally for transgender surgeries

But with the help of Dr. Daniel Medalie at MetroHealth Medical Center, Zack is about to undergo a double mastectomy.

"OK, OK. Let's do this," said Medalie.

Medalie is so well known around the world for sculpting a masculine chest, he operates on as many as eight patients a week.

Each one goes through extensive screening and counseling for a surgery that's irreversible.

"So far, knock on wood, I've never had a patient say 'You made a mistake and you shouldn't have done that operation,' " said Medalie.

Zack doesn't have any doubts about his surgery.

After a few hours in the OR and six weeks of recovery, Zack has the chest he's always wanted.

"Now, I can smile in the mirror and this is totally me! I look great," said Zack.

For Zach, shopping is now fun.

Instead of hiding his chest, he gets to wear shirts that show it off.

"It is a huge, huge weight gone," said Zack.

Zack is a psychology major at Cleveland State University.

He's planning to get a master's degree in counseling and stay right here in Cleveland so he can help others in the transgender community.

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