On the topic of surgery related to gender transition there are many options these days. Each person will have different desires and resources so this blog is very general. Be sure to discuss more specific concerns with your gender therapist or contact me. I am happy to answer questions.
Gender Dysphoria is the medical term assigned to transgender and transsexual individuals who are uncomfortable with their birth sex. The issue is the gender identity and the physical sex are non-congruent (do not match). Thus the new medical term of Gender Incongruency used now.
The treatment for this has evolved over the years and it has been found that while the genitalia are important other areas of the body are even more important in successful gender transition. The face and breasts are key attributes of being female or male! So it makes sense to alter these first and foremost to alleviate the dysphoria.
It is also important to remember the reason for any gender surgery is to alleviate the dysphoria and align the individual with their perceived gender identity. Everyone deserves to be comfortable in their own skin! Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) and Breast Augmentation Surgery are two methods of treating Gender Incongruency which may be more important than even the GRS, although some individuals have it all.
Some of the other more minor surgeries being done are trachea shave, liposuction, buttocks enhancement, rhinoplasty, hair implants, botox, and lip enhancement. The list is only limited by your imagination!
For the Female to Male transition breast reduction and hysterectomy are the important surgeries. FtoM transgender transition well with CHT and some only have the “top” surgery (breast reduction) depending on the level of dysphoria. Removing the ovaries is important to CHT making treatment more effective.
Another option of treatment for the MtoF is Orchiectomy. This is the surgical removal of the testis without any cosmetic changes. This procedure is inexpensive comparatively speaking at around $3,000-4,000 USD, it may be available for less depending on the surgeon and geographical location. The purpose of this surgery is to remove the production of testosterone and thus eliminate the need for anti-androgens in the transition thus avoiding the cost and side effects. Estrogen is still used in varying amounts depending on the timeline of transition. The first three years are critical for a successful transition, so it is vital to remain on estrogen continuously for that period. Those who are on and off CHT do not feminize well. They are left requiring surgery for all their feminizing. (The patient is taken off all CHT several weeks before surgery and then resume afterwards depending on doctors orders, this is unavoidable and has minimal long term effects, i.e. the benefits outweigh the costs/risks)
The CHT when used properly and as early as possible will preclude the need for FFS and Breast Augmentation in most cases. So these surgeries are mostly for individuals who transition later in life. Great care must be exercised in deciding the need for surgery! It is a trap that many are falling prey to now days with the explosion of cosmetic surgeries being done. The addictive qualities of almost instant gratification are not to be underestimated. Proceed with caution.
The transition journey is about learning to love yourself for who you are. Drastic surgeries are helpful in some cases; however it is easy to abuse technology! It is recommended that gender therapy be sought out first before any thoughts of surgery are seriously considered. Once you are sure surgery is right for you do the research to find a surgeon that can deliver the results you desire.
The number of qualified surgeons specializing in gender surgeries is growing all the time, so look locally and consider all your options. Just as in any surgery consider your motives, the consequences and the costs (not just money).
Imagine the results you desire and stay focused on this. You can also use your imagination to decide what exactly you desire, although actual experience has no substitute. If you feel like being with the same (birth) sex then do so and then decide if you desire GRS or other surgery. Be as clear as you can because there is no turning back! (Even though some have tried). When you are intimate with your partner how do you feel? Is this different than other times?
Blessings on your Journey of Love!