Transgender reconstructive surgery, also known as gender-affirming or gender confirmation surgery, refers to surgical procedures that aim to align an individual’s physical appearance with their gender identity. These surgeries are an important component of comprehensive transgender healthcare and can help alleviate gender dysphoria, improve quality of life, and enhance well-being.
The specific surgical procedures involved in transgender reconstructive surgery vary depending on the individual’s gender identity (male to female or female to male) and their personal goals and preferences. Here are some common types of transgender reconstructive surgeries:
- Male-to-Female (MTF) Surgeries:
- Vaginoplasty: This surgical procedure constructs a neovagina using existing genital tissue or a graft from another part of the body. It typically involves the creation of a vaginal canal, labia, and clitoral hood.
- Breast Augmentation: Many MTF individuals opt for breast augmentation surgery to enhance breast size and shape using implants.
- Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS): FFS procedures aim to feminize facial features and may include procedures such as brow contouring, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), cheek augmentation, and chin contouring.
- Female-to-Male (FTM) Surgeries:
- Top Surgery: FTM top surgery involves the removal of breast tissue to create a more masculine chest appearance. Different techniques, such as double incision mastectomy or periareolar mastectomy, may be used.
- Metoidioplasty: This procedure enhances the growth of the clitoris (if enlarged from hormone therapy) and releases the ligaments restricting clitoral growth to create a more prominent phallus.
- Phalloplasty: Phalloplasty involves constructing a neophallus using grafts or tissue from other parts of the body, such as the forearm, thigh, or abdomen. This procedure aims to create a phallus that is cosmetically and functionally similar to a cisgender male’s penis.
It’s important to note that transgender reconstructive surgeries are major procedures that require careful consideration, evaluation, and consultation with experienced surgeons and healthcare professionals specializing in transgender healthcare. The decision to pursue surgery should be made in collaboration with healthcare providers and based on an individual’s unique circumstances, goals, and overall well-being.
Additionally, not all transgender individuals choose to undergo reconstructive surgery, as each person’s transition journey is unique. Some may opt for other forms of gender-affirming care, such as hormone therapy, social transition, voice training, or counseling.