Transgender surgical procedures ‘rise by nearly 20 percent’
Gender confirmation procedures reportedly rose by 20 per cent in the US in 2016.
A survey released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) found that more than 3,200 transfeminine and transmasculine surgeries were performed last year, a staggering increase of 20 percent on 2015’s figures.
The report marks the first time the ASPS has collected data into this type surgery, with the data covering only the past two years.
“In the past several years, the number of transgender patients I’ve seen has grown exponentially,” Loren Schechter, a plastic surgeon based in Chicago said.
“Access to care has allowed more people to explore their options, and more doctors understand the needs of transgender patients.”
There has been some controversy about the some of the findings from ASPS, with its survey not being large enough to reach statistical significance in some of its findings.
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ASPS reports that very few of the procedures logged involved genital surgery, with the vast majority relating to the chest or face.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to gender confirmation,” Schechter said.
“There’s a wide spectrum of surgeries that someone may choose to treat gender dysphoria, which is a disconnect between how an individual feels and what that person’s anatomic characteristics are.”
Gender reassignment surgery is often defined as the reshaping of genitalia, which contrasts with gender confirmation surgery, which embraces all the procedures designed to help trans people feel more comfortable with their bodies.
The year-on-year increase in surgeries has been attributed to better insurance coverage and to the growing acceptance of transgender people in society.
Debra Johnson, President of the ASPS, said: “As plastic surgeons, it is our goal to help patients to get to a place where they want to be as far as their body is concerned.”
However, there are still many cases in which hospitals refuse to perform gender reassignment procedures on transgender people.
Last month a man sued a Californian hospital for refusing to operate on him.