Transsexual Surgery

What is Transsexual Surgery?

Transsexual surgery — also known as sex reassignment surgery (SRS), sex change surgery or gender reassignment surgery (GRS) — is the medical procedure that allows a transgender person to change both the function and the appearance of his or her sexual characteristics so that they operate like those of their identified sex. Transgender people who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria use transsexual surgery as part of their treatment protocol.

The term “transsexual surgery” is really a large spectrum within which a wide variety of procedures and techniques that help people change from their biological gender to the one with which they identify can all fit. While the most commonly known of these procedures change the shape of the genitals, these procedures do everything from change the shape of a person’s forehead to the contour of a person’s chest. Genital reassignment surgery (GRS), also known as bottom surgery (because it affects the bottom half of the body), is what most people associate with sex reassignment, though. However, any surgical treatment that is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria is considered to fall under this umbrella.

Trans women (people transitioning from male to female, or MTF) undergo a different set of surgical options than those that are available to people transitioning from female to male, or FTM — also known as trans men. If trans women choose to undergo genital reconstruction, they generally have a vagina made from the inversion of their penis or through the conversion of a part of their colon into vaginal lining. If trans men want to change their genitals, the process generally involves the use of metoidioplasty to change their clitoris into a phallus or phalloplasty to use prosthetics and skin grafts to build a phallus. Depending on the physiology of the patient, other procedures may become necessary, such as a mastectomy to remove the breasts or a vaginectomy to take out the vagina. As you can see, the number of options when it comes to a transsexual surgery protocol are multiplying to the point where no two patients will follow the same precise path in their transition.

Within the medical profession, transsexual surgery is still a fairly new practice. It dates back to the early 1930s, when Dora R. and Lili Elbe receive two of the first known vaginoplasty procedures. In modern times, tolerance for transgender rights has increased significantly. The European Court of Human Rights upheld the claim of a German woman in 2003, when her medical insurer refused to reimburse her for transsexual surgery and hormone replacement therapy. Her argument was that the insurer was discriminating against her as a trans woman. The court subsequently ordered the insurer to honor her claims.

Because every transgender person has a unique perspective about his or her sexual identity, the surgical procedures that make up each patient’s transformation can differ. Some FTM patients insist on having their ovaries removed because even having female reproductive organs in their body keeps them from feeling like a man. Testosterone therapy does stop menstruation and makes conception impossible, but many patients still want their ovaries taken out as a sign that the transition has taken place. Some MTF patients want to have a physical vagina, while others do not need it in order to feel that they have transformed, as such options as breast and buttock augmentation, along with facial feminization surgery (FFS), accomplish what they were hoping for with their reassignment.

Because so many different surgical scenarios are possible, it is important for each patient to find a practitioner whom he or she can trust and build a sense of rapport. The transsexual surgery process is a lengthy one, and it involves emotions and sexuality in addition to the physical factors. This is where using can make the difference between a rewarding experience and a frustrating one. This process changes the way the body looks and functions in a number of ways and even leads to a new identity. The site has helped many people find a doctor that makes them comfortable and also has the skill to bring about their transition more successfully than they had ever thought possible.

For more information, click here to search for a sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) doctor.