In 1971 he performed the first transsexual operation on Waldirene Nogueira. In 1975 she applied for rectification of her entry in the São Paulo Civil Registry. Her application was denied, and the incident drew attention to her physical condition.
In 1976 João Nery was referred by Dr Cesar Nahoum and clandestinely Dr Farina performed a mastectomy and hysterectomy.
Attention to Waldirene Nogueira led to Dr Farina being charged, convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment for serious bodily injury. This interrupted Farina’s intention to perform phalloplasty on João Nery. On appeal in 1978, the judge ruled that the surgery was the only way to assuage the patient’s suffering, the board of the Hospital das Clínicas de São Paulo was in favour of the surgery, and no deception was practiced by Dr Farina. A year later, the 5th Câmara do Tribunal de Alçada Criminal de São Paulo confirmed the appeal and ruled that such surgery was not forbidden by Brazilian Law or by the Code of Medical Ethics.
- Roberto Farina. Cirurgia plastica e reparadora. Sao Paulo: Grafica Sao José, 1965.
- Roberto Farina. Transexualismo: do homem à mulher normal através dos estados de intersexualidade e das parafilias. São Paulo, Brazil: Escola Paulista de Medicina, 1982.
- “Discrepancies Surround Story About War Criminal’s Body: Plastic Surgeon Compares Photos”. The Victoria Advocate, June 10, 1985. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19850610&id=OCZSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vTUNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1167,4978469.
- Roberto Farina. Cirurgia plástica urogenital. Loja: Livraria Editora Santos, 1987.