If you only rely on news stories about well-known people who have had transvestite surgery, you might think that the process is quick and easy. However, the physical transformation that takes place at the end of the surgery is the result of more than a year of treatments. People who undergo this type of surgery have to go through a considerable screening process before the steps to changing their bodies begin.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has set some standards of care in place to govern the ethics and procedures of transvestite surgery. According to their guidelines, anyone who thinks that he or she might want to undergo transvestite surgery has to start by talking to a mental health professional. After several months of therapy, or even as long as a year, the therapist determines whether the patient has gender dysphoria — the medical term for a disconnect in sexual identity between one’s inner state and one’s physical reality. When the therapist makes that diagnosis, he or she gives the patient a letter attesting to that condition, and then the patient can start hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
For trans men (biological women who identify as men), androgens help them start to grow body hair and a beard, as well as other secondary sex characteristics. Trans women (biological men who identify as women) take estrogen and anti-androgens to help them alter their musculature and the way their fat and skin are distributed. Over time, body hair will decrease and they will develop a more feminine appearance.
Hormone replacement therapy also helps people suffer less and less from gender dysphoria — if they are genuine candidates for transvestite surgery. The hormone therapy helps the patients’ brains and bodies align more and more closely. If gender dysphoria isn’t the case, of course, hormone replacement therapy will not ease the issue. In some cases, people with undiagnosed bipolar disorder or schizophrenia believe that they are transgender, and the difficulty of differentiating between the two is one reason why the screening process takes so long.
In addition to hormone replacement therapy, candidates for transvestite surgery also spend at least a year living as a member of the sex with which they identify. This includes changing their name, dressing as a member of that gender and either continuing to go to school or remaining in the workforce as a member of their identified gender.
After going through this time of living in their new gender (also known as the Real-Life Test or Real-Life Experience), patients are ready for transvestite surgery. There are many different procedures that patients have to choose from as they consider how they want to appear and function. Sexchangeoperation.net has helped many people find mental health and surgical professionals that have facilitated successful transformation. The information on our website includes doctor listings and reviews as well as articles about the whole transvestite surgery process. The more research people do, the less stress they generally feel about going through with their own transition.