Transgender surgery, also known as sex reassignment surgery, is a group of procedures done to give a patient some of the physical attributes of the sex they believe they should have been born to. Here at Boulder Plastic SUrgery, we are proud to offer this option to our patients and encourage you to learn more about it.
What is Transitioning?
Transitioning is the process of moving from one gender to the other. There are two main types: social and medical. Medical transitioning includes transgender surgery and hormone treatments, while social transitioning includes changing one’s name, coming out as transgender, and dressing or grooming in ways that fit the patient’s gender identity.
Undergoing transgender surgery is generally a later step of the transitioning process. The patient needs to be very certain that they want to undergo the surgery, for many of the procedures are irreversible. For example, a male-to-female transgender – or transwoman – may undergo an orchiectomy in which the doctor removes their testicles. Similarly, a transgender man can undergo a procedure that gives him a penis. Doctors typically require a transgender to have lived as a member of their preferred gender for a certain length to make certain they are truly committed to the process.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria, which used to be called gender identity disorder, describes the anxiety, restlessness, and other unpleasant feelings that accompany the conviction that one was born the wrong gender. Gender dysphoria can affect children, who may display such symptoms as insisting they are a boy or girl when they are physically the opposite sex, shunning the clothes or toys considered appropriate for their biological gender, and becoming extremely upset by the changes that accompany puberty.
Untreated gender dysphoria can lead to psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. The psychiatrist’s job won’t be to convince the patient to accept their biological gender but to help them sort out their emotions and recover from conditions such as depression. The psychiatrist will also help the patient with the transitioning process, especially social transitioning.
Who is a Good Candidate for Transgender Surgery?
The ideal candidate will be an adult patient who is in good physical and mental health. Doctors who perform transgender surgery typically require patients to have had treatment for gender dysphoria first. As with the requirement that a patient lives for a least a year as the opposite gender, the idea is to ensure that the patient isn’t likely to regret undergoing the surgery.
Doctors also usually recommend that patients try hormone therapy first. Hormones can both suppress the characteristics of the patient’s biological sex and give them traits that fit their gender identity. For example, a woman who takes androgens will develop a deep voice and facial hair. For some patients, hormone therapy is sufficient. Others go on to undergo transgender surgery.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
To learn more about transgender surgery, we eagerly invite you to make an appointment with Boulder Plastic Surgery. At our convenient location in Boulder, CO, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation!