Sex Change Operation Treatment Abroad
A sex change operation is known by a few names, most commonly a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) or genital reconstruction surgery. Patients who want to change their physical appearance and sexual characteristics to match those of the opposite sex complete this type of procedure.
The different procedures a patient undergoes greatly depends on whether it is a trans-female (meaning male to female) or a trans-male (indicating female to male), and with each respective patient, a vagina or penis is reconstructed with either a vaginectomy or a phalloplasty.
Sex change transitions may also include procedures that are non-genital surgeries, meaning a trans-male will undergo a mastectomy to remove breasts or a trans-female will obtain a breast augmentation to complete their desired transformation.
For female-to-male gender reassignment, the following changes take place during a sex change operation:
• Metoidioplasty – The vaginal area is reconstructed to create a penis. After a patient takes testosterone, the clitoris becomes enlarged and resembles a small penis. With surgery, surgeons are able to maximize the look of the penis through urethra extension.
• Penile Implantation – A penile prosthesis is inserted to create the look of a penis, which is often the desired result of many surgery recipients in order to engage in sexual intimacy with their partners.
• Testicular Implants – Implants are placed into the labia majora to create the appearance of a scrotum. Prior to this surgery, a tissue expander may be used in the months prior to the surgery to prepare the area for implants.
With female to male transformation, the reproductive organs are removed – including the uterus and ovaries. Breasts are removed as well, and through male hormone therapy, the patient develops facial hair and in some cases, chest hair.
A male-to-female procedure includes:
• Removal of the scrotum, testes and penis
• The penis skin is constructed and sewn into a tube and then inserted into the body to create the appearance of basic function of a vagina
• An implant device is used prior to vaginal reconstruction in order to keep the cavity open for full reconstruction purposes
Fat is removed from other parts of the body and transplanted over the pectoral muscles to create the look of breasts, and eventually implants may be used to enhance the appearance of these breasts.
Before undergoing a sex change operation, therapy sessions are suggested and even required in many cases, to ensure the patient is fully prepared and aware of the coming physical and emotional changes. Counseling sessions will educate the physician on wants and desires of the patient prior to surgery.
Hormone therapy is essential in sex reassignment surgery. During the genital reconstruction, reproductive parts are removed and as a result, males and females no longer have hormones that belong to the gender. Men receive progesterone and estrogen, and females receive androgens. The following hormones are responsible for the various changes:
Estrogen and Progesterone:
Benefits of Sex Change Operations
Many transsexuals explain that they feel they were born in the wrong body and know from birth whether they were to be male or female. A sex change operation helps a patient to feel more confident in his or her own skin, and as though they finally become what they feel inside or the gender they believe they are despite outward appearances.
Cost of Sex Change Operations
Sex change operations are costly, and in the United States they may range in cost around $24,000 USD for a male-to-female procedure or more than $50,000 USD for a female-to-male surgery. In Thailand, a sex reassignment surgery ranges between $6,000 USD and $8,500 USD, with a breast augmentation cost of $2,600 USD.
Choose Your Doctor
Choosing a qualified plastic surgeon is of vital importance. The surgeon you choose should be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or a Society of Plastic Surgeons in the country of origin. In addition, the American Board of Plastic Surgery should also certify a plastic cosmetic or reconstructive surgeon. Surgeries should be performed in an accredited facility.
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