How to do transgender surgery

Undergoing transgender surgery, also known as gender confirmation surgery or sex reassignment surgery, is a complex and highly individualized process that should be undertaken with careful consideration and consultation with healthcare professionals specializing in transgender healthcare. The specific steps and procedures involved can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s desired outcome, overall health, and recommendations from healthcare providers. However, here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Self-Reflection and Exploration: Before pursuing transgender surgery, it is important to engage in self-reflection and explore your gender identity. This may involve seeking therapy or counseling to better understand your feelings and goals.
  2. Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional who specializes in transgender healthcare. They will evaluate your overall health, discuss your goals and expectations, and provide guidance on the various surgical options available.
  3. Hormone Therapy: Many individuals undergo hormone therapy as part of their transition process. Hormone therapy typically involves taking hormones such as estrogen or testosterone blockers to induce changes in secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast development or facial hair reduction.
  4. Real-Life Experience (RLE): Some healthcare providers may require a real-life experience period, also known as RLE, where you live full-time in your identified gender role for a certain duration before undergoing surgery. This is done to ensure that you are comfortable with your gender identity and have made a well-informed decision.
  5. Pre-Operative Evaluations: Before surgery, you may need to undergo various pre-operative evaluations, which may include psychological assessments, medical examinations, and laboratory tests to assess your suitability for surgery and identify any potential risks.
  6. Surgical Procedures: The specific surgical procedures will depend on the desired outcome and the individual’s assigned sex at birth. For individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB) transitioning to female, procedures may include vaginoplasty (creation of a neovagina), breast augmentation, and facial feminization surgery. For individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) transitioning to male, procedures may include mastectomy (removal of breasts), phalloplasty (construction of a neophallus), and facial masculinization surgery.
  7. Post-Operative Care and Recovery: After surgery, you will need to follow post-operative care instructions provided by your healthcare team. This may include wound care, pain management, and restrictions on physical activities. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your healing and address any concerns.

It is essential to note that transgender surgery is a highly individualized process, and the specific steps and procedures involved will be determined by your healthcare provider based on your unique circumstances. It is crucial to consult with experienced healthcare professionals who specialize in transgender healthcare to receive personalized guidance and support throughout your surgical journey. They will provide detailed information about the surgical options, risks, expected outcomes, and post-operative care specific to your situation.

Transgender surgery is a complex and individualized process that typically involves a number of different procedures. The specific procedures that are performed will vary depending on the individual’s needs and goals.

Some of the most common transgender surgeries include:

  • Top surgery: This surgery can be performed on transgender men or women to remove or create breast tissue. For transgender men, this is typically called mastectomy. For transgender women, this is typically called breast augmentation.
  • Bottom surgery: This surgery can be performed on transgender men or women to create genitalia that matches their gender identity. For transgender men, this is typically called phalloplasty or metoidioplasty. For transgender women, this is typically called vaginoplasty.
  • Facial feminization surgery (FFS): This surgery can be performed on transgender women to make their faces appear more feminine. Some of the procedures that may be performed include brow lift, nose reshaping, chin and jawline contouring, and lip lift.
  • Voice surgery: This surgery can be performed to change the pitch and resonance of the voice. This can be done by removing or reshaping the vocal cords, or by inserting implants into the vocal cords.

Transgender surgery is a major medical procedure and should only be performed by a qualified surgeon who has experience in performing gender confirmation surgery. The surgery can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance. It is important to do your research and talk to a qualified surgeon to discuss your options and the costs involved before making a decision about whether or not to have transgender surgery.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

  • The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH):
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS):
  • The Trevor Project:
  • Trans Lifeline: