Female to Male Surgery for Trans Men

As a transgender male, your goal for female to male surgery (FTM) for gender-confirmation can involve top surgery, bottom surgery, or both. You may or may not want facial procedures. It’s up to you.

Female to Male Surgery at UVA

We’re here to offer consultations, second opinions, and information to help you choose and plan. Come to us with your questions and concerns. We’ll explain:

  • Procedure options and details
  • Recovery and healing
  • What to expect of your results

We want you to feel confident about the direction and quality of your care.

Charley's Gender-Confirmation Surgery

From a young age, Charley Burton knew that his body did not match his gender identity – a struggle he kept inside for 50 years. With the help of family nurse practitioner Reagan Thompson, FNP, MSN, RN, and a whole team of caring providers, Charley found a safe place to become his true self. View Charley's story transcript.

FTM Top Surgery

To give you a flatter chest, we’ll have to remove breast tissue. We might also need to move and shrink your areolas.

If you have smaller breasts, we can sometimes use liposuction, which doesn’t involve many incisions.

Larger breasts may require the “double incision” technique. This method saves the pectoralis major muscle, the most defining characteristic of a male chest.

Whatever your breast size, we will use the techniques that optimize the results.

FTM Bottom Surgery

We can give you male genitalia in two different ways:

  • Phalloplasty creates a penis and urethra (to stand while urinating). We use tissue from your forearm or thigh. We do this in 2 stages.
  • Metoidioplasty takes your existing genital tissue and makes it longer, turning it into a defined phallus. This needs only one surgery.

You may or may not want to also have an operation to remove your internal reproductive organs. A hysterectomy takes out your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Facial Masculinization

Through a combination of procedures, we can sculpt your chin, jaw, and cheeks to appear more masculine. We can also reshape your nose and make your Adam’s apple look bigger. We can use synthetic implants for this work.

Questions? See our  transgender surgery FAQs .

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Gender Confirmation Surgery

The University of Michigan Health System offers procedures for surgical gender transition.  Working together, the surgical team of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program, which includes specialists in plastic surgery, urology and gynecology, bring expertise, experience and safety to procedures for our transgender patients.

Access to gender-related surgical procedures for patients is made through the University of Michigan Health System Comprehensive Gender Services Program .

The Comprehensive Gender Services Program adheres to the WPATH Standards of Care , including the requirement for a second-opinion prior to genital sex reassignment.

Available surgeries:

Male-to-Female:  Tracheal Shave  Breast Augmentation  Facial Feminization  Male-to-Female genital sex reassignment

Female-to-Male:  Hysterectomy, oophorectomy, vaginectomy Chest Reconstruction  Female-to-male genital sex reassignment

Sex Reassignment Surgeries (SRS)

At the University of Michigan Health System, we are dedicated to offering the safest proven surgical options for sex reassignment (SRS.)   Because sex reassignment surgery is just one step for transitioning people, the Comprehensive Gender Services Program has access to providers for mental health services, hormone therapy, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and speech therapy.  Surgical procedures are done by a team that includes, as appropriate, gynecologists, urologists, pelvic pain specialists and a reconstructive plastic surgeon. A multi-disciplinary team helps to best protect the health of the patient.

For patients receiving mental health and medical services within the University of Michigan Health System, the UMHS-CGSP will coordinate all care including surgical referrals.  For patients who have prepared for surgery elsewhere, the UMHS-CGSP will help organize the needed records, meet WPATH standards, and coordinate surgical referrals.  Surgical referrals are made through Sara Wiener the Comprehensive Gender Services Program Director.

Male-to-female sex reassignment surgery

At the University of Michigan, participants of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program who are ready for a male-to-female sex reassignment surgery will be offered a penile inversion vaginoplasty with a neurovascular neoclitoris.

During this procedure, a surgeon makes “like become like,” using parts of the original penis to create a sensate neo-vagina. The testicles are removed, a procedure called orchiectomy. The skin from the scrotum is used to make the labia. The erectile tissue of the penis is used to make the neoclitoris. The urethra is preserved and functional.

This procedure provides for aesthetic and functional female genitalia in one 4-5 hour operation.  The details of the procedure, the course of recovery, the expected outcomes, and the possible complications will be covered in detail during your surgical consultation. What to Expect: Vaginoplasty at Michigan Medicine .

Female-to-male sex reassignment

At the University of Michigan, participants of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program who are ready for a female-to-male sex reassignment surgery will be offered a phalloplasty, generally using the radial forearm flap method. 

This procedure, which can be done at the same time as a hysterectomy/vaginectomy, creates an aesthetically appropriate phallus and creates a urethera for standing urination.  Construction of a scrotum with testicular implants is done as a second stage.  The details of the procedure, the course of recovery, the expected outcomes, and the possible complications will be covered in detail during your surgical consultation.

Individuals who desire surgical procedures who have not been part of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program should contact the program office at (734) 998-2150 or email [email protected] . W e will assist you in obtaining what you need to qualify for surgery.

Mastectomy (Top Surgery)

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

Facial Masculinization Surgery

Body masculinization surgery.

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

Gender Confirmation Surgery

What do our patients say , dr.transman, let’s start your  journey from here.

Our experience, our technologically-advanced facilities and our compassionate staff are the best in the business for transgender confirmation procedures, holistic therapy and the overall patient experience.

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

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Vaginoplasty for Gender Affirmation

Featured Experts:

Fan Liang

Fan Liang, M.D.

Dr. Andrew Cohen

Andrew Jason Cohen, M.D.

Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure for  feminizing  gender affirmation. Fan Liang, M.D. , medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender and Gender Expansive Health , and Andrew Cohen, M.D. , director of benign urology at Johns Hopkins' Brady Urological Institute , review the options for surgery.

What is vaginoplasty?

Gender affirming surgery can be used to create a vulva and vagina. It involves removing the penis, testicles and scrotum.

During a vaginoplasty procedure, tissue in the genital area is rearranged to create a vaginal canal (or opening) and vulva (external genitalia), including the labia. A version of vaginoplasty called vulvoplasty can create a feminine-appearing outer genital area with a shallow vaginal canal.

What are the different types of vaginoplasty?

There are two main surgical approaches for this gender affirming surgery.

Vaginoplasty with Canal

This surgery is also known as full depth vaginoplasty. Vaginoplasty with canal creates not only the outer vulva but also a complete vaginal canal that makes it possible for the person to have receptive vaginal intercourse.

Vaginoplasty with canal requires dilation as part of the recovery process in order to ensure a functioning vagina suitable for penetrative sex. There are two approaches to full depth vaginoplasty.

For penile inversion vaginoplasty , surgeons create the vaginal canal using a combination of the skin surrounding the existing penis along with the scrotal skin. Depending on how much skin is available in the genital area, the surgeon may need to use a skin graft from the abdomen or thigh to construct a full vaginal canal.

Robotic-assisted peritoneal flap vaginoplasty , also called a robotic Davydov peritoneal vaginoplasty or a robotic peritoneal gender affirming vaginoplasty, is a newer approach that creates the vaginal canal with the help of a single port robotic surgical system.

The robotic system enables surgeons to reach deep into the body through a small incision by the belly button. It helps surgeons visualize the inside of the person’s pelvis more clearly and, for this procedure, creates a vaginal canal.

There are several advantages to this surgical technique. Because using the robotic system makes the surgery shorter and more precise, with a smaller incision, it can lower risk of complications. Also, the robotic vaginoplasty approach can create a full-depth vaginal canal regardless of how much preexisting (natal) tissue the person has for the surgeon to use in making the canal.

Not every surgical center has access to a single port robotic system, and getting this procedure may involve travel.


This procedure may be called shallow depth vaginoplasty, zero depth vaginoplasty or vaginoplasty without canal. The surgeons create feminine external genitalia (vulva) with a very shallow canal. The procedure includes the creation of the labia (outer and inner lips), clitoris and vaginal opening (introitus).

The main drawback to this approach is the person cannot have receptive vaginal intercourse because no canal is created.

There are advantages, however. Because this is a much less complicated approach than vaginoplasty with canal, vulvoplasty can mean a much shorter operation, with less time in the hospital and a faster recovery. Vulvoplasty also involves less risk of complications, and does not require hair removal or postoperative dilation.

Do I need to have hair removal before vaginoplasty? When should I start?

Permanent hair removal (to remove the hair follicles to prevent regrowth) before surgery is recommended for optimal results. Patients are advised to start hair removal as soon as possible in advance of vaginoplasty, since it can take three to six months to complete the process. The hair removal process readies the tissue that will be used to create the internal vaginal canal. For people who are not able to complete the hair removal in advance, there may be residual hair in the canal after surgery.

How long is vaginoplasty surgery?

Most vaginoplasty surgeries last between four and six hours. Recovery in the hospital takes three to five days.

Illustrated Vaginoplasty Surgery


1 of 4 in series. Enlarged image .

Hillary Wilson's illustrations of gender affirming surgery detail the first slide of male to female vaginoplasty.

2 of 4 in series. Enlarged image .

Hillary Wilson's illustrations of gender affirming surgery detail the second slide of male to female vaginoplasty.

3 of 4 in series. Enlarged image .

Hillary Wilson's illustrations of gender affirming surgery detail the third slide of male to female vaginoplasty.

4 of 4 in series. Enlarged image .

Hillary Wilson's illustrations of gender affirming surgery detail the final slide of male to female vaginoplasty.

Recovery After Vaginoplasty

After surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital for one to five days. You will spend most of this time in bed recovering. Your care team will monitor your pain, and make sure you are healing appropriately and are able to go to the bathroom and walk.

On average, it can take six to eight weeks to recover from a vaginoplasty. Every person’s recovery is different, but proper home hygiene and postoperative care will give you the best chance for a faster recovery. Patients who have had vaginoplasties need to stay within a 90-minute drive of the hospital for four weeks after surgery so doctors can follow up and address any issues.

Consistent daily dilation for the first three months is essential for best outcome. Before you go home, you will be taught how to dilate if you have a vaginoplasty with canal. You will be given dilators before discharge to use at home.

What is dilation after vaginoplasty?

Part of the healing process after vaginoplasty involves dilation — inserting a medical grade dilator into the vagina to keep your vaginal canal open as it heals. The hospital may provide you with a set of different sized dilators to use.

A doctor or therapist from your care team will show you how to dilate. This can be difficult at first, but professionals will work with you and your comfort level to help you get accustomed to this aspect of your healing process. You will begin dilating with the smallest dilator in the dilator pack. You continue to use this dilator until cleared to advance to the next size by your care team.

During the first few weeks after surgery, you must dilate three times a day for at least 20 minutes. It is very important that you continue dilating, especially during your immediate postoperative period, to prevent losing vaginal depth and width. Patients continue to use a dilator for as long as the care team recommends. Some patients may need to dilate their whole lives.

Is dilation after vaginoplasty painful?

Dilation should not be a painful process. At first, you may feel discomfort as you learn the easiest angles and techniques for your body. If you feel severe pain at any time during dilation, it is important to stop, adjust the dilator, and reposition your body so you are more comfortable. It is also important to use lubricant when you dilate. A pelvic floor therapist can work with you to help you get used to this aspect of recovery.

Will I have a catheter?

Yes. While you are in the hospital, you will have a Foley catheter in the urethra that will be taken out before you go home.

Will I have surgical drains?

Yes, your surgeon will place a drain while you are in the operating room, which will be removed before you leave.

Can I shower after vaginoplasty surgery?

Yes. It is very important to clean the area to prevent infections. You can gently wash the area with soap and water. Never scrub or allow water to be sprayed directly at the surgical site.

Is going to the bathroom different?

It is important to remember for the rest of your life that when wiping with toilet paper or washing the genital area, always wipe front to back. This helps keep your vagina clean and prevents infection from the anal region.

You may notice some spraying when you urinate. This is common, and can be addressed with physical therapy to help strengthen the pelvic floor. A physical therapist can help you with exercises, which may help improve urination over time.

Is the vagina created by vaginoplasty sexually functional?

Yes. After vaginoplasty that includes creation of a vaginal canal, a person can have receptive, penetrative sex.

You must avoid any form of sexual activity for 12 weeks after surgery to allow your body to recover and avoid complications. After 12 weeks, the vagina is healed enough for receptive intercourse.

What will my vagina look like?

Vulvas and vaginas are as unique as a fingerprint, and there are many anatomic variations from person to person. Surgical results vary, also. You can expect that the surgery will recreate the labia minora and majora, a clitoral hood and the clitoris will be under the hood. Make sure you discuss your concerns with your surgeon, who can help you understand what to expect from your individual surgical results.

What is the average depth of a vagina after vaginoplasty?

The depth of a fully constructed vaginal canal depends on patient preferences and anatomy. On average, the constructed vaginal canal is between 5 and 7 inches deep. Vaginal depth may depend on the amount of skin available in the genital area before your vaginoplasty. This varies among individuals, and some patients may need skin grafts.

Newer robotic techniques may be able to increase the vaginal depth for those people with less existing tissue for the surgeon to work with.

Will I need any additional surgery after vaginoplasty?

You may need additional surgical procedures to revise the appearance of the new vagina and vulva. Later revisions can improve aesthetic appearance, but these are not typically covered by insurance.

Vaginoplasty Complications

Vaginoplasty is safe, overall, and newer techniques are reducing the risks of problems even further. But sometimes, patients experience complications related to the procedure. These can include:

  • Slow wound healing
  • Narrowing of the vaginal canal (regular dilating as prescribed can lower this risk)

Some rare complications may require further surgery to repair:

  • A fistula (an abnormal connection between the new vagina and the rectum or bladder)
  • Injury to the urethra, which may require surgery or a suprapubic catheter
  • Rectal injury (very rare) may require a low-fiber diet, a colostomy or additional surgery.

Be sure to discuss your concerns with your surgeon, who will work with you for optimal results.

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What Is Gender Affirmation Surgery?

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

A gender affirmation surgery allows individuals, such as those who identify as transgender or nonbinary, to change one or more of their sex characteristics. This type of procedure offers a person the opportunity to have features that align with their gender identity.

For example, this type of surgery may be a transgender surgery like a male-to-female or female-to-male surgery. Read on to learn more about what masculinizing, feminizing, and gender-nullification surgeries may involve, including potential risks and complications.

Why Is Gender Affirmation Surgery Performed?

A person may have gender affirmation surgery for different reasons. They may choose to have the surgery so their physical features and functional ability align more closely with their gender identity.

For example, one study found that 48,019 people underwent gender affirmation surgeries between 2016 and 2020. Most procedures were breast- and chest-related, while the remaining procedures concerned genital reconstruction or facial and cosmetic procedures.

In some cases, surgery may be medically necessary to treat dysphoria. Dysphoria refers to the distress that transgender people may experience when their gender identity doesn't match their sex assigned at birth. One study found that people with gender dysphoria who had gender affirmation surgeries experienced:

  • Decreased antidepressant use
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation
  • Decreased alcohol and drug abuse

However, these surgeries are only performed if appropriate for a person's case. The appropriateness comes about as a result of consultations with mental health professionals and healthcare providers.

Transgender vs Nonbinary

Transgender and nonbinary people can get gender affirmation surgeries. However, there are some key ways that these gender identities differ.

Transgender is a term that refers to people who have gender identities that aren't the same as their assigned sex at birth. Identifying as nonbinary means that a person doesn't identify only as a man or a woman. A nonbinary individual may consider themselves to be:

  • Both a man and a woman
  • Neither a man nor a woman
  • An identity between or beyond a man or a woman

Hormone Therapy

Gender-affirming hormone therapy uses sex hormones and hormone blockers to help align the person's physical appearance with their gender identity. For example, some people may take masculinizing hormones.

"They start growing hair, their voice deepens, they get more muscle mass," Heidi Wittenberg, MD , medical director of the Gender Institute at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco and director of MoZaic Care Inc., which specializes in gender-related genital, urinary, and pelvic surgeries, told Health .

Types of hormone therapy include:

  • Masculinizing hormone therapy uses testosterone. This helps to suppress the menstrual cycle, grow facial and body hair, increase muscle mass, and promote other male secondary sex characteristics.
  • Feminizing hormone therapy includes estrogens and testosterone blockers. These medications promote breast growth, slow the growth of body and facial hair, increase body fat, shrink the testicles, and decrease erectile function.
  • Non-binary hormone therapy is typically tailored to the individual and may include female or male sex hormones and/or hormone blockers.

It can include oral or topical medications, injections, a patch you wear on your skin, or a drug implant. The therapy is also typically recommended before gender affirmation surgery unless hormone therapy is medically contraindicated or not desired by the individual.

Masculinizing Surgeries

Masculinizing surgeries can include top surgery, bottom surgery, or both. Common trans male surgeries include:

  • Chest masculinization (breast tissue removal and areola and nipple repositioning/reshaping)
  • Hysterectomy (uterus removal)
  • Metoidioplasty (lengthening the clitoris and possibly extending the urethra)
  • Oophorectomy (ovary removal)
  • Phalloplasty (surgery to create a penis)
  • Scrotoplasty (surgery to create a scrotum)

Top Surgery

Chest masculinization surgery, or top surgery, often involves removing breast tissue and reshaping the areola and nipple. There are two main types of chest masculinization surgeries:

  • Double-incision approach : Used to remove moderate to large amounts of breast tissue, this surgery involves two horizontal incisions below the breast to remove breast tissue and accentuate the contours of pectoral muscles. The nipples and areolas are removed and, in many cases, resized, reshaped, and replaced.
  • Short scar top surgery : For people with smaller breasts and firm skin, the procedure involves a small incision along the lower half of the areola to remove breast tissue. The nipple and areola may be resized before closing the incision.


Some trans men elect to do metoidioplasty, also called a meta, which involves lengthening the clitoris to create a small penis. Both a penis and a clitoris are made of the same type of tissue and experience similar sensations.

Before metoidioplasty, testosterone therapy may be used to enlarge the clitoris. The procedure can be completed in one surgery, which may also include:

  • Constructing a glans (head) to look more like a penis
  • Extending the urethra (the tube urine passes through), which allows the person to urinate while standing
  • Creating a scrotum (scrotoplasty) from labia majora tissue


Other trans men opt for phalloplasty to give them a phallic structure (penis) with sensation. Phalloplasty typically requires several procedures but results in a larger penis than metoidioplasty.

The first and most challenging step is to harvest tissue from another part of the body, often the forearm or back, along with an artery and vein or two, to create the phallus, Nicholas Kim, MD, assistant professor in the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery in the department of surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, told Health .

Those structures are reconnected under an operative microscope using very fine sutures—"thinner than our hair," said Dr. Kim. That surgery alone can take six to eight hours, he added.

In a separate operation, called urethral reconstruction, the surgeons connect the urinary system to the new structure so that urine can pass through it, said Dr. Kim. Urethral reconstruction, however, has a high rate of complications, which include fistulas or strictures.

According to Dr. Kim, some trans men prefer to skip that step, especially if standing to urinate is not a priority. People who want to have penetrative sex will also need prosthesis implant surgery.

Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy

Masculinizing surgery often includes the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy). People may want a hysterectomy to address their dysphoria, said Dr. Wittenberg, and it may be necessary if their gender-affirming surgery involves removing the vagina.

Many also opt for an oophorectomy to remove the ovaries, almond-shaped organs on either side of the uterus that contain eggs and produce female sex hormones. In this case, oocytes (eggs) can be extracted and stored for a future surrogate pregnancy, if desired. However, this is a highly personal decision, and some trans men choose to keep their uterus to preserve fertility.

Feminizing Surgeries

Surgeries are often used to feminize facial features, enhance breast size and shape, reduce the size of an Adam’s apple , and reconstruct genitals.  Feminizing surgeries can include: 

  • Breast augmentation
  • Facial feminization surgery
  • Penis removal (penectomy)
  • Scrotum removal (scrotectomy)
  • Testicle removal (orchiectomy)
  • Tracheal shave (chondrolaryngoplasty) to reduce an Adam's apple
  • Vaginoplasty
  • Voice feminization

Breast Augmentation

Top surgery, also known as breast augmentation or breast mammoplasty, is often used to increase breast size for a more feminine appearance. The procedure can involve placing breast implants, tissue expanders, or fat from other parts of the body under the chest tissue.

Breast augmentation can significantly improve gender dysphoria. Studies show most people who undergo top surgery are happier, more satisfied with their chest, and would undergo the surgery again.

Most surgeons recommend 12 months of feminizing hormone therapy before breast augmentation. Since hormone therapy itself can lead to breast tissue development, transgender women may or may not decide to have surgical breast augmentation.

Facial Feminization and Adam's Apple Removal

Facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a series of plastic surgery procedures that reshape the forehead, hairline, eyebrows, nose, cheeks, and jawline. Nonsurgical treatments like cosmetic fillers, botox, fat grafting, and liposuction may also be used to create a more feminine appearance.  

Some trans women opt for chondrolaryngoplasty, also known as a tracheal shave. The procedure reduces the size of the Adam's apple, an area of cartilage around the larynx (voice box) that tends to be larger in people assigned male at birth.

Vulvoplasty and Vaginoplasty

As for bottom surgery, there are various feminizing procedures from which to choose. Vulvoplasty (to create external genitalia without a vagina) or vaginoplasty (to create a vulva and vaginal canal) are two of the most common procedures.

Dr. Wittenberg noted that people might undergo six to 12 months of electrolysis or laser hair removal before surgery to remove pubic hair from the skin that will be used for the vaginal lining.

Surgeons have different techniques for creating a vaginal canal. A common one is a penile inversion, where the masculine structures are emptied and inverted into a created cavity, explained Dr. Kim. Vaginoplasty may be done in one or two stages, said Dr. Wittenberg, and the initial recovery is three months—but it will be a full year until people see results.

Surgical removal of the penis or penectomy is sometimes used in feminization treatment. This can be performed along with an orchiectomy and scrotectomy.

However, a total penectomy is not commonly used in feminizing surgeries . Instead, many people opt for penile-inversion surgery, a technique that hollows out the penis and repurposes the tissue to create a vagina during vaginoplasty.

Orchiectomy and Scrotectomy

An orchiectomy is a surgery to remove the testicles —male reproductive organs that produce sperm. Scrotectomy is surgery to remove the scrotum, that sac just below the penis that holds the testicles.

However, some people opt to retain the scrotum. Scrotum skin can be used in vulvoplasty or vaginoplasty, surgeries to construct a vulva or vagina.

Other Surgical Options

Some gender non-conforming people opt for other types of surgeries. This can include:

  • Gender nullification procedures
  • Penile preservation vaginoplasty
  • Vaginal preservation phalloplasty

Gender Nullification

People who are agender or asexual may opt for gender nullification, sometimes called nullo. This involves the removal of all sex organs. The external genitalia is removed, leaving an opening for urine to pass and creating a smooth transition from the abdomen to the groin.

Depending on the person's sex assigned at birth, nullification surgeries can include:

  • Breast tissue removal
  • Nipple and areola augmentation or removal

Penile Preservation Vaginoplasty

Some gender non-conforming people assigned male at birth want a vagina but also want to preserve their penis, said Dr. Wittenberg. Often, that involves taking skin from the lining of the abdomen to create a vagina with full depth.

Vaginal Preservation Phalloplasty

Alternatively, a patient assigned female at birth can undergo phalloplasty (surgery to create a penis) and retain the vaginal opening. Known as vaginal preservation phalloplasty, it is often used as a way to resolve gender dysphoria while retaining fertility.

The recovery time for a gender affirmation surgery will depend on the type of surgery performed. For example, healing for facial surgeries may last for weeks, while transmasculine bottom surgery healing may take months.

Your recovery process may also include additional treatments or therapies. Mental health support and pelvic floor physiotherapy are a few options that may be needed or desired during recovery.

Risks and Complications

The risk and complications of gender affirmation surgeries will vary depending on which surgeries you have. Common risks across procedures could include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Hematoma, which is bad bruising
  • Poor incision healing

Complications from these procedures may be:

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Blood transfusion
  • Deep vein thrombosis, which is blood clot formation
  • Pulmonary embolism, blood vessel blockage for vessels going to the lung
  • Rectovaginal fistula, which is a connection between two body parts—in this case, the rectum and vagina
  • Surgical site infection
  • Urethral stricture or stenosis, which is when the urethra narrows
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Wound disruption

What To Consider

It's important to note that an individual does not need surgery to transition. If the person has surgery, it is usually only one part of the transition process.

There's also psychotherapy . People may find it helpful to work through the negative mental health effects of dysphoria. Typically, people seeking gender affirmation surgery must be evaluated by a qualified mental health professional to obtain a referral.

Some people may find that living in their preferred gender is all that's needed to ease their dysphoria. Doing so for one full year prior is a prerequisite for many surgeries.

All in all, the entire transition process—living as your identified gender, obtaining mental health referrals, getting insurance approvals, taking hormones, going through hair removal, and having various surgeries—can take years, healthcare providers explained.

A Quick Review

Whether you're in the process of transitioning or supporting someone who is, it's important to be informed about gender affirmation surgeries. Gender affirmation procedures often involve multiple surgeries, which can be masculinizing, feminizing, or gender-nullifying in nature.

It is a highly personalized process that looks different for each person and can often take several months or years. The procedures also vary regarding risks and complications, so consultations with healthcare providers and mental health professionals are essential before having these procedures.

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Djordjevic ML, Stojanovic B, Bizic M. Metoidioplasty: techniques and outcomes . Transl Androl Urol . 2019;8(3):248–53. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.06.12

Bordas N, Stojanovic B, Bizic M, Szanto A, Djordjevic ML. Metoidioplasty: surgical options and outcomes in 813 cases .  Front Endocrinol . 2021;12:760284. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.760284

Al-Tamimi M, Pigot GL, van der Sluis WB, et al. The surgical techniques and outcomes of secondary phalloplasty after metoidioplasty in transgender men: an international, multi-center case series .  The Journal of Sexual Medicine . 2019;16(11):1849-1859. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.07.027

Waterschoot M, Hoebeke P, Verla W, et al. Urethral complications after metoidioplasty for genital gender affirming surgery . J Sex Med . 2021;18(7):1271–9. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.06.023

Nikolavsky D, Hughes M, Zhao LC. Urologic complications after phalloplasty or metoidioplasty . Clin Plast Surg . 2018;45(3):425–35. doi:10.1016/j.cps.2018.03.013

Nota NM, den Heijer M, Gooren LJ. Evaluation and treatment of gender-dysphoric/gender incongruent adults . In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., eds.  Endotext . MDText.com, Inc.; 2000.

Carbonnel M, Karpel L, Cordier B, Pirtea P, Ayoubi JM. The uterus in transgender men . Fertil Steril . 2021;116(4):931–5. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.07.005

Miller TJ, Wilson SC, Massie JP, Morrison SD, Satterwhite T. Breast augmentation in male-to-female transgender patients: Technical considerations and outcomes . JPRAS Open . 2019;21:63-74. doi:10.1016/j.jpra.2019.03.003

Claes KEY, D'Arpa S, Monstrey SJ. Chest surgery for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals . Clin Plast Surg . 2018;45(3):369–80. doi:10.1016/j.cps.2018.03.010

De Boulle K, Furuyama N, Heydenrych I, et al. Considerations for the use of minimally invasive aesthetic procedures for facial remodeling in transgender individuals .  Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol . 2021;14:513-525. doi:10.2147/CCID.S304032

Asokan A, Sudheendran MK. Gender affirming body contouring and physical transformation in transgender individuals .  Indian J Plast Surg . 2022;55(2):179-187. doi:10.1055/s-0042-1749099

Sturm A, Chaiet SR. Chondrolaryngoplasty-thyroid cartilage reduction . Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am . 2019;27(2):267–72. doi:10.1016/j.fsc.2019.01.005

Chen ML, Reyblat P, Poh MM, Chi AC. Overview of surgical techniques in gender-affirming genital surgery . Transl Androl Urol . 2019;8(3):191-208. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.06.19

Wangjiraniran B, Selvaggi G, Chokrungvaranont P, Jindarak S, Khobunsongserm S, Tiewtranon P. Male-to-female vaginoplasty: Preecha's surgical technique . J Plast Surg Hand Surg . 2015;49(3):153-9. doi:10.3109/2000656X.2014.967253

Okoye E, Saikali SW. Orchiectomy . In: StatPearls [Internet] . Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022.

Salgado CJ, Yu K, Lalama MJ. Vaginal and reproductive organ preservation in trans men undergoing gender-affirming phalloplasty: technical considerations . J Surg Case Rep . 2021;2021(12):rjab553. doi:10.1093/jscr/rjab553

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What should I expect during my recovery after facial feminization surgery?

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What should I expect during my recovery after transmasculine bottom surgery?

de Brouwer IJ, Elaut E, Becker-Hebly I, et al. Aftercare needs following gender-affirming surgeries: findings from the ENIGI multicenter European follow-up study .  The Journal of Sexual Medicine . 2021;18(11):1921-1932. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2021.08.005

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the risks of transfeminine bottom surgery?

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the risks of transmasculine top surgery?

Khusid E, Sturgis MR, Dorafshar AH, et al. Association between mental health conditions and postoperative complications after gender-affirming surgery .  JAMA Surg . 2022;157(12):1159-1162. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2022.3917

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Preparation and Procedures Involved in Gender Affirmation Surgeries

If you or a loved one are considering gender affirmation surgery , you are probably wondering what steps you must go through before the surgery can be done. Let's look at what is required to be a candidate for these surgeries, the potential positive effects and side effects of hormonal therapy, and the types of surgeries that are available.

Gender affirmation surgery, also known as gender confirmation surgery, is performed to align or transition individuals with gender dysphoria to their true gender.

A transgender woman, man, or non-binary person may choose to undergo gender affirmation surgery.

The term "transexual" was previously used by the medical community to describe people who undergo gender affirmation surgery. The term is no longer accepted by many members of the trans community as it is often weaponized as a slur. While some trans people do identify as "transexual", it is best to use the term "transgender" to describe members of this community.


Transitioning may involve:

  • Social transitioning : going by different pronouns, changing one’s style, adopting a new name, etc., to affirm one’s gender
  • Medical transitioning : taking hormones and/or surgically removing or modifying genitals and reproductive organs

Transgender individuals do not need to undergo medical intervention to have valid identities.  

Reasons for Undergoing Surgery

Many transgender people experience a marked incongruence between their gender and their assigned sex at birth.   The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has identified this as gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is the distress some trans people feel when their appearance does not reflect their gender. Dysphoria can be the cause of poor mental health or trigger mental illness in transgender people.

For these individuals, social transitioning, hormone therapy, and gender confirmation surgery permit their outside appearance to match their true gender.  

Steps Required Before Surgery

In addition to a comprehensive understanding of the procedures, hormones, and other risks involved in gender-affirming surgery, there are other steps that must be accomplished before surgery is performed. These steps are one way the medical community and insurance companies limit access to gender affirmative procedures.

Steps may include:

  • Mental health evaluation : A mental health evaluation is required to look for any mental health concerns that could influence an individual’s mental state, and to assess a person’s readiness to undergo the physical and emotional stresses of the transition.  
  • Clear and consistent documentation of gender dysphoria
  • A "real life" test :   The individual must take on the role of their gender in everyday activities, both socially and professionally (known as “real-life experience” or “real-life test”).

Firstly, not all transgender experience physical body dysphoria. The “real life” test is also very dangerous to execute, as trans people have to make themselves vulnerable in public to be considered for affirmative procedures. When a trans person does not pass (easily identified as their gender), they can be clocked (found out to be transgender), putting them at risk for violence and discrimination.

Requiring trans people to conduct a “real-life” test despite the ongoing violence out transgender people face is extremely dangerous, especially because some transgender people only want surgery to lower their risk of experiencing transphobic violence.

Hormone Therapy & Transitioning

Hormone therapy involves taking progesterone, estrogen, or testosterone. An individual has to have undergone hormone therapy for a year before having gender affirmation surgery.  

The purpose of hormone therapy is to change the physical appearance to reflect gender identity.

Effects of Testosterone

When a trans person begins taking testosterone , changes include both a reduction in assigned female sexual characteristics and an increase in assigned male sexual characteristics.

Bodily changes can include:

  • Beard and mustache growth  
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Enlargement of the clitoris  
  • Increased growth of body hair
  • Increased muscle mass and strength  
  • Increase in the number of red blood cells
  • Redistribution of fat from the breasts, hips, and thighs to the abdominal area  
  • Development of acne, similar to male puberty
  • Baldness or localized hair loss, especially at the temples and crown of the head  
  • Atrophy of the uterus and ovaries, resulting in an inability to have children

Behavioral changes include:

  • Aggression  
  • Increased sex drive

Effects of Estrogen

When a trans person begins taking estrogen , changes include both a reduction in assigned male sexual characteristics and an increase in assigned female characteristics.

Changes to the body can include:

  • Breast development  
  • Loss of erection
  • Shrinkage of testicles  
  • Decreased acne
  • Decreased facial and body hair
  • Decreased muscle mass and strength  
  • Softer and smoother skin
  • Slowing of balding
  • Redistribution of fat from abdomen to the hips, thighs, and buttocks  
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Mood swings  

When Are the Hormonal Therapy Effects Noticed?

The feminizing effects of estrogen and the masculinizing effects of testosterone may appear after the first couple of doses, although it may be several years before a person is satisfied with their transition.   This is especially true for breast development.

Timeline of Surgical Process

Surgery is delayed until at least one year after the start of hormone therapy and at least two years after a mental health evaluation. Once the surgical procedures begin, the amount of time until completion is variable depending on the number of procedures desired, recovery time, and more.

Transfeminine Surgeries

Transfeminine is an umbrella term inclusive of trans women and non-binary trans people who were assigned male at birth.

Most often, surgeries involved in gender affirmation surgery are broken down into those that occur above the belt (top surgery) and those below the belt (bottom surgery). Not everyone undergoes all of these surgeries, but procedures that may be considered for transfeminine individuals are listed below.

Top surgery includes:

  • Breast augmentation  
  • Facial feminization
  • Nose surgery: Rhinoplasty may be done to narrow the nose and refine the tip.
  • Eyebrows: A brow lift may be done to feminize the curvature and position of the eyebrows.  
  • Jaw surgery: The jaw bone may be shaved down.
  • Chin reduction: Chin reduction may be performed to soften the chin's angles.
  • Cheekbones: Cheekbones may be enhanced, often via collagen injections as well as other plastic surgery techniques.  
  • Lips: A lip lift may be done.
  • Alteration to hairline  
  • Male pattern hair removal
  • Reduction of Adam’s apple  
  • Voice change surgery

Bottom surgery includes:

  • Removal of the penis (penectomy) and scrotum (orchiectomy)  
  • Creation of a vagina and labia

Transmasculine Surgeries

Transmasculine is an umbrella term inclusive of trans men and non-binary trans people who were assigned female at birth.

Surgery for this group involves top surgery and bottom surgery as well.

Top surgery includes :

  • Subcutaneous mastectomy/breast reduction surgery.
  • Removal of the uterus and ovaries
  • Creation of a penis and scrotum either through metoidioplasty and/or phalloplasty

Complications and Side Effects

Surgery is not without potential risks and complications. Estrogen therapy has been associated with an elevated risk of blood clots ( deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli ) for transfeminine people.   There is also the potential of increased risk of breast cancer (even without hormones, breast cancer may develop).

Testosterone use in transmasculine people has been associated with an increase in blood pressure, insulin resistance, and lipid abnormalities, though it's not certain exactly what role these changes play in the development of heart disease.  

With surgery, there are surgical risks such as bleeding and infection, as well as side effects of anesthesia . Those who are considering these treatments should have a careful discussion with their doctor about potential risks related to hormone therapy as well as the surgeries.  

Cost of Gender Confirmation Surgery

Surgery can be prohibitively expensive for many transgender individuals. Costs including counseling, hormones, electrolysis, and operations can amount to well over $100,000. Transfeminine procedures tend to be more expensive than transmasculine ones. Health insurance sometimes covers a portion of the expenses.

Quality of Life After Surgery

Quality of life appears to improve after gender-affirming surgery for all trans people who medically transition. One 2017 study found that surgical satisfaction ranged from 94% to 100%.  

Since there are many steps and sometimes uncomfortable surgeries involved, this number supports the benefits of surgery for those who feel it is their best choice.

A Word From Verywell

Gender affirmation surgery is a lengthy process that begins with counseling and a mental health evaluation to determine if a person can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

After this is complete, hormonal treatment is begun with testosterone for transmasculine individuals and estrogen for transfeminine people. Some of the physical and behavioral changes associated with hormonal treatment are listed above.

After hormone therapy has been continued for at least one year, a number of surgical procedures may be considered. These are broken down into "top" procedures and "bottom" procedures.

Surgery is costly, but precise estimates are difficult due to many variables. Finding a surgeon who focuses solely on gender confirmation surgery and has performed many of these procedures is a plus.   Speaking to a surgeon's past patients can be a helpful way to gain insight on the physician's practices as well.

For those who follow through with these preparation steps, hormone treatment, and surgeries, studies show quality of life appears to improve. Many people who undergo these procedures express satisfaction with their results.

Bizic MR, Jeftovic M, Pusica S, et al. Gender dysphoria: Bioethical aspects of medical treatment . Biomed Res Int . 2018;2018:9652305. doi:10.1155/2018/9652305

American Psychiatric Association. What is gender dysphoria? . 2016.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Standards of care for the health of transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people . 2012.

Tomlins L. Prescribing for transgender patients . Aust Prescr . 2019;42(1): 10–13.  doi:10.18773/austprescr.2019.003

T'sjoen G, Arcelus J, Gooren L, Klink DT, Tangpricha V. Endocrinology of transgender medicine . Endocr Rev . 2019;40(1):97-117. doi:10.1210/er.2018-00011

Unger CA. Hormone therapy for transgender patients . Transl Androl Urol . 2016;5(6):877-884.  doi:10.21037/tau.2016.09.04

Seal LJ. A review of the physical and metabolic effects of cross-sex hormonal therapy in the treatment of gender dysphoria . Ann Clin Biochem . 2016;53(Pt 1):10-20.  doi:10.1177/0004563215587763

Schechter LS. Gender confirmation surgery: An update for the primary care provider . Transgend Health . 2016;1(1):32-40. doi:10.1089/trgh.2015.0006

Altman K. Facial feminization surgery: current state of the art . Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg . 2012;41(8):885-94.  doi:10.1016/j.ijom.2012.04.024

Therattil PJ, Hazim NY, Cohen WA, Keith JD. Esthetic reduction of the thyroid cartilage: A systematic review of chondrolaryngoplasty . JPRAS Open. 2019;22:27-32. doi:10.1016/j.jpra.2019.07.002

Top H, Balta S. Transsexual mastectomy: Selection of appropriate technique according to breast characteristics . Balkan Med J . 2017;34(2):147-155. doi:10.4274/balkanmedj.2016.0093

Chan W, Drummond A, Kelly M. Deep vein thrombosis in a transgender woman . CMAJ . 2017;189(13):E502-E504.  doi:10.1503/cmaj.160408

Streed CG, Harfouch O, Marvel F, Blumenthal RS, Martin SS, Mukherjee M. Cardiovascular disease among transgender adults receiving hormone therapy: A narrative review . Ann Intern Med . 2017;167(4):256-267. doi:10.7326/M17-0577

Hashemi L, Weinreb J, Weimer AK, Weiss RL. Transgender care in the primary care setting: A review of guidelines and literature . Fed Pract . 2018;35(7):30-37.

Van de grift TC, Elaut E, Cerwenka SC, Cohen-kettenis PT, Kreukels BPC. Surgical satisfaction, quality of life, and their association after gender-affirming aurgery: A follow-up atudy . J Sex Marital Ther . 2018;44(2):138-148. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2017.1326190

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Gender confirmation surgeries .

American Psychological Association. Transgender people, gender identity, and gender expression .

Colebunders B, Brondeel S, D'Arpa S, Hoebeke P, Monstrey S. An update on the surgical treatment for transgender patients . Sex Med Rev . 2017 Jan;5(1):103-109. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2016.08.001

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This topic will review surgeries that are commonly performed as part of feminizing transition. Other topics related to the care of transgender persons include:

● (See "Transgender men: Evaluation and management" .)

● (See "Transgender women: Evaluation and management" .)

● (See "Primary care of transgender individuals" .)


Medindia » Articles » Procedure » FAQs on Gender-Reassignment Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

Gender-Reassignment Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

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gender reassignment surgery female to male process

  • Male to Female Gender Reassignment Surgery

There are many goals in sex reassignment surgery (SRS). In male to female gender reassignment surgery our goal is to create the most functional and cosmetically appealing vagina possible. This includes providing maximal clitoral and vaginal sensation with minimal scarring. To accomplish these goals, sometimes multiple procedures are needed which require time and expertise. We always pay maximum attention to detail to achieve the best possible result.

gender reassignment surgery female to male process




The penile skin inversion technique is an extensive procedure and involves many steps.

Part of the head of the penis, with its blood and nerve supply, is moved to become the clitoris. This neo-clitoris allows sensation which can allow patients to have an orgasm. Skin is sometimes used to create a clitoral hood. During the penile skin inversion technique the testicles are also removed. The penile skin is inverted to create a vagina. Typically the amount of skin available from the penile shaft will determine the depth of the vagina. For patients with short penile shafts, the vaginal depth can be increased with skin grafts from extra scrotal skin. This skin should be hairless to prevent growth of hair inside the vagina. To make sure this skin is hairless, the hair is removed first with laser hair removal or by multiple electrolysis treatments. We perform laser hair removal on as much scrotal skin as possible to allow maximal usage for skin grafting. Our goal is to prevent hair growth in the vagina which can cause dysfunction. Other sources of skin graft can include the abdomen and the flank. The scrotum utilized to contour and make the labia majora. The labia minora are created using other specialized techniques.

Though our aim is to achieve the best possible result in one procedure, there may be a need for touch up or secondary surgeries.


The vaginoplasty using the rectosigmoid colon is a specialized technique. This procedure combines penile inversion with the creation of an anstamosis (connection) to a portion of the rectosigmoid colon along with skin grafts to construct the vaginal canal. The benefits of this technique is the neo-vagina has more depth and lubrication as compared to the penile inversion technique. This procedure, however, is more invasive and does require an abdominal entry point to access the colon.

The procedure that best suits your specific needs will be discussed with your surgeon during your consultation.


At the Transgender Surgery Institute of Southern California, it is our goal to give our patients the best possible results. However in order to achieve this, sometimes secondary procedures are needed to obtain better appearance and or function. These procedures may include:

1. Labia minora augmentation 2. Clitoral hood augmentation 3. Labia major augmentation 4. Augmentation or recontouring of the mons pubis 5. Urethral set back 6. Removal of scar tissue or excessive urethral tissue 7. Vaginal canal augmentation with skin grafting

These procedures can be difficult and have to be performed in a surgery center or in a hospital in order to monitor the patient post-operatively for up to a week (at times) if there is a risk of tissue loss or infection. You will always be closely monitored by your surgeon and cared for by our amazing, dedicated surgical staff. Your safety is our priority.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Transgender Surgery Institute Of Southern California.


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Procedure: Male to Female Gender Reassignment Surgery (MTF GRS)

Male-to-female gender reassignment surgery (MTF GRS) is a complex and irreversible genital surgery for male transsexual who is diagnosed with gender identity disorder and has a strong desire to live as female. The procedure is to remove all male genital organs including the penis and testes with the construction of female genitalia composed of labia major/minor, clitoris and neovagina simultaneously.   

The patient who is fit for this surgery must strictly follow the standard of care set by the World Professional Association of Transgender Healthcare (WPATH) or equivalent criteria; Express desire or live in another gender role (Male gender) long enough, under hormonal replacement therapy, evaluated and approved by a psychiatrist or other qualified professional gender therapist.  

Apart from genital surgery, the patient would seek other procedures to allow them to live as female smoothly such as breast aesthetic surgery, facial feminization surgery, body contouring, hair removal, voice change surgery, etc.

Interested in having this procedure?

Useful Information

Ensure you consider all aspects of a procedure. You can speak to your surgeon about these areas of the surgery in more detail during a consultation.

The surgery is quite complicated and only a handful of surgeons are able to perform this procedure. It can be completed in one stage or more stages depending on techniques and surgeons. The average surgical time ranges between 5-8 hours. There are several options of neovaginal construction depending on the type of tissue, single or in combination, such as penile skin, scrotal skin, large intestine, small intestine, or peritoneum.   

The procedure is done under general anesthesia and might be combined with spinal anesthesia for faster recovery by reducing the usage of anesthetic gas.  


The patient will be hospitalized as an in-patient for between 5-14 days depending on the technique and surgeon. The patient will have a urinary catheter at all times in the hospital.  

Additional Information

What is the recovery process.

During hospitalization, the patient must be restricted in bed continuously or intermittently for several days between 3-5 days. After release from the hospital, the patient can return to their normal lives but not have to do physical exercise during the first 2 months after surgery. The patient has to do vaginal dilation continuously for 6 months to maintain the neovagina canal until completely healed and is ready for sexual intimacy.  

What are the results?

With the good surgical technique, the result is very satisfying with an improved quality of life. The patient is able to live in a female role completely and happily either on their own or with their male or female partners.  

What are the risks?

The most frequent complication of MTF GRS is bleeding, wound infection, skin flap or graft necrosis, urinary stenosis, neovaginal contracture, unsightly scar or deformed genitalia,  vaginal fistula, etc. The revision procedures to improve external appearance are composed of secondary labiaplasty/ urethroplasty/ perineoplasty/ and vulvaplasty. The other revision procedure is secondary vaginoplasty to help the patient able to have sexual intimacy with the partner.  

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What can i expect from male-to-female gender reassignment surgery.

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

If you strongly believe that the sex you were born with is not the same one you identify as, a gender reassignment surgery may be the best solution for you.

There are so many questions that come to mind when you think of gender reassignment. It is obvious that anatomically, a male-to-female transition will involve restructuring the genitalia, but most people do not know exactly what the entire process entails. Here is a complete guide on what to expect from gender reassignment surgery.

There is specific course laid out for those who wish to embark on the journey of gender transition. According to the standard set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the first step is to consult with a mental health professional for psychotherapy and diagnosis. Hormone therapy can only start when the therapist issues a recommendation letter. Hormone therapy marks the beginning of living life as the female sex.

Gender Reassignment Surgery

When the male genitalia are changed to female, the anatomical parts are removed and repositioned to fit the mould of the latter sex. Here, the testicles are completely removed and the penis (including the foreskin) is inverted to create a flap preserving the nerve and blood supply. This technique creates a vagina that is highly sensitive.

From the glans of the penis, the clitoris is formed. In cases where the structuring of the labia requires more skin, the follicles of the pubic hair are excised from the scrotum region and inserted into the vagina. The remaining scrotal tissue goes into the formation of the labia majora.

Sometimes, the inner layer of the vagina is created through a skin graft. Many surgeons believe that a region of the colon is better suited for a graft, because this tissue is already mucoid.

What to Expect from Gender Reassignment

It takes time to fully process the fact that your penis is now a completely operational vagina. Some who have had a successful transition remember feeling like they still had a penis even after it was inverted and cut.

Soon after the transition surgery, there is redness and slight swelling. Some complain of intense pain, but this temporary sensation is mostly psychological. Excretion of yellow mucoid secretion is common. Since the entire vagina is reconstructed using the penis, few may notice a portion of the labia falling off and growing back; don’t be alarmed, it is natural. A part of the prostate may be retained initially and shrinks with hormonal therapy.

You will fit into the gender of choice easily now that you have the body parts that complete the look. For a year before the surgery, you are encouraged to live like a woman in the public eye. This means that you will need to change your name and gender preference at school, work, and socially. Additional treatments that improve the aesthetics of the transition include breast augmentation, a tracheal shave, face feminization, and buttocks augmentation.

Schedule a Consultation

Speak with one of the skilled medical professionals at London Bridge Plastic Surgery to learn more about gender reassignment surgery. There, you will be able to ask any questions you may have. To set up your consultation, contact our office today.

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Mr. Christopher Inglefield BSc, MBBS, FRCS(Plast) was born in Trinidad, West Indies, and obtained his Medical Degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1985.

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Appeals Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Gender Reassignment Surgery

gender reassignment surgery female to male process

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is truly a magical amendment. It was used to justify attempts to kick Donald Trump off the 2024 ballot. Through the decades, judges who want to play at social engineering have used it frequently to justify questionable law. 

It's even been invoked to bypass Congress to raise the debt limit.

Now, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the amendment's "equal protection" clause means that state Medicaid programs have to cover gender reassignment surgeries.

The appeals court ruled that West Virginia's Medicaid rules on mastectomies are unconstitutional because they violate the "equal protection standard" by not covering mastectomies for gender dysphoria.

Yes, really.

The ruling also includes a North Carolina Medicaid case that the state government won't cover "sex changes." The Fourth Circuit nullified the state ban on gender change surgeries, citing the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.”

This was a court looking for an excuse to make law.

Judge Roger Gregory who wrote the majority opinion in Kadel v. Folwell (8-6) asked, “Is removing a patient’s breasts to treat cancer the same procedure as removing a patient’s breasts to treat gender dysphoria?” He continued, “There is no case law to ground this discussion nor obvious first principles.”

Wall Street Journal:

He is undeterred, and he concludes that gender dysphoria and transgender status are intertwined, so that such insurance exclusions are nothing more than a proxy for discriminating against gender identity. Then he goes further, finding that West Virginia’s and North Carolina’s policies also unconstitutionally discriminate based on sex. How so? Imagine, Judge Gregory says, an unidentified patient seeking a vaginoplasty. Is this a biological female with a rare birth defect? Is it a transgender patient? “By virtue of the fact that they are seeking a vaginoplasty, we know that they were born without a vagina,” he writes. “But we do not know what sex they were assigned at birth. Without that information, we cannot say whether the Plan or Program will cover the surgery.” Ergo, sex discrimination.

Gregory gets even nuttier.

The differences in coverage "is rooted in a gender stereotype: the assumption that people who have been assigned female at birth are supposed to have breasts, and that people assigned male at birth are not."

It's not a "gender stereotype." It's a biological fact. 

"No doubt, the majority of those assigned female at birth have breasts, and the majority of those assigned male at birth do not. But we cannot mistake what is for what must be.”

Not just a "majority." It's a universal biological fact with a tiny number of exceptions.

Treating different things differently doesn’t violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and jurists aren’t supposed to ignore the obvious. Writing in dissent at the Fourth Circuit, Judge Julius Richardson struggles to contain his exasperation. “The states,” he says, “have chosen to cover alterations of a person’s breasts or genitalia only if the person experiences physical injury, disease, or (in West Virginia) congenital absence of genitalia.” That determination does not turn on the patient’s sex or gender. “Christopher Fain—one of the plaintiffs below—received coverage for a hysterectomy based on a diagnosis unrelated to Fain’s transgender status,” the dissent says. Likewise, males with gynecomastia qualify for surgery coverage in West Virginia only “if they have physical symptoms, like breast pain,” meaning that isn’t a procedure done merely “to affirm a patient’s biological sex.”

The ruling that opened this can of worms was Bostock v. Clayton County, a case that "held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination because of  sexuality or gender identity." Now, as a dissenting judge in Kadel v. Folwell,  Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III is saying that this ruling could be a Roe v Wade  ruling for the transgender community.

“This is imperial judging at its least defensible,” he says, “What plaintiffs propose is nothing less than to use the Constitution to establish a nationwide mandate that States pay for emerging gender dysphoria treatments.”

He's not wrong. But getting the ruling past this Supreme Court would be a stretch. 

Rick Moran

Rick Moran has been writing for PJ Media for 18 years. His work has appeared in dozens of media outlets including the Washington Times  and ABC News. He was an editor at American Thinker for 14 years. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House . For media inquiries, please contact [email protected] .


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  1. How Gender Reassignment Surgery Works (Infographic)

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  6. Transgender surgery: How does female to male work?

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  1. How does female-to-male surgery work?

    This procedure involves changing the clitoris into a penis. A person will receive hormone therapy before the surgery to enlarge the clitoris for this purpose. During the procedure, the surgeon ...

  2. Gender-affirming surgery (female-to-male)

    Gender-affirming surgery for female-to-male transgender people includes a variety of surgical procedures that alter anatomical traits to provide physical traits more comfortable to the trans man's male identity and functioning. Often used to refer to phalloplasty, metoidoplasty, or vaginectomy, sex reassignment surgery can also more broadly ...

  3. Gender Confirmation Surgery

    The cost of transitioning can often exceed $100,000 in the United States, depending upon the procedures needed. A typical genitoplasty alone averages about $18,000. Rhinoplasty, or a nose job, averaged $5,409 in 2019. Insurance Coverage for Sex Reassignment Surgery.

  4. Sex Reassignment Surgery in the Female-to-Male Transsexual

    The authors provide a state-of-the-art overview of the different gender reassignment surgery procedures that can be performed in a female-to-male transsexual. ... which enables the patient to void while standing and have sexual intercourse like a natural male, in a one-stage procedure. 17 ... Weyers S, Selvaggi G, Monstrey S, et al. Two-stage ...

  5. Gender Affirmation Surgery: What Happens, Benefits & Recovery

    Research consistently shows that people who choose gender affirmation surgery experience reduced gender incongruence and improved quality of life. Depending on the procedure, 94% to 100% of people report satisfaction with their surgery results. Gender-affirming surgery provides long-term mental health benefits, too.

  6. Female to Male Surgery for Trans Men

    FTM Bottom Surgery. We can give you male genitalia in two different ways: Phalloplasty creates a penis and urethra (to stand while urinating). We use tissue from your forearm or thigh. We do this in 2 stages. Metoidioplasty takes your existing genital tissue and makes it longer, turning it into a defined phallus.

  7. Phalloplasty for Gender Affirmation

    Featured Expert: Fan Liang, M.D. Phalloplasty is surgery for masculinizing gender affirmation. Phalloplasty is a multistaged process that may include a variety of procedures, including: Creating the penis. Lengthening the urethra so you are able to stand to urinate. Creating the tip (glans) of the penis. Creating the scrotum.

  8. Metoidioplasty: Transcare, Post-Op Results, Healing

    Metoidioplasty is a gender-affirming (sex-reassignment) surgery for transgender men assigned female at birth. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, about 4% of trans men have undergone the procedure, while another 53% expressed a desire to undergo metoidioplasty in the future.

  9. Gender Confirmation Surgery

    During this procedure, a surgeon makes "like become like," using parts of the original penis to create a sensate neo-vagina. The testicles are removed, a procedure called orchiectomy. ... At the University of Michigan, participants of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program who are ready for a female-to-male sex reassignment surgery will ...

  10. Transgender Surgery Female To Male

    We are proud to offer all of our services in a respectful, welcoming environment at our world-class surgical center in Dallas, Texas. We look forward to assisting you in achieving the very best possible results for all of your gender transition procedures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (972) 543-2477.

  11. A Pioneering Approach to Gender Affirming Surgery From a World Leader

    A Pioneering Approach to Gender Affirming Surgery From a World Leader in the Field. Miroslav Djordjevic, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned surgeon and a leading authority on surgery for transgender individuals, is developing a procedure to match two patients undergoing transgender surgery—one male-to-female, the other female-to-male—and ...

  12. Female to Male Gender Reassignment Surgery (FTM GRS)

    Female-to-male gender reassignment surgery (FTM GRS) is a complex and irreversible genital surgery for female transsexual who is diagnosed with gender identity disorder and has a strong desire to live as male. The procedure is to remove all female genital organs including the uterus, ovaries, and vagina with the construction of male genitalia ...

  13. Vaginoplasty for Gender Affirmation

    Gender affirming surgery can be used to create a vulva and vagina. It involves removing the penis, testicles and scrotum. During a vaginoplasty procedure, tissue in the genital area is rearranged to create a vaginal canal (or opening) and vulva (external genitalia), including the labia. A version of vaginoplasty called vulvoplasty can create a ...

  14. Gender Affirmation Surgery: A Guide

    For example, this type of surgery may be a transgender surgery like a male-to-female or female-to-male surgery. Read on to learn more about what masculinizing, feminizing, and gender-nullification ...

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    Overview. Gender affirmation surgery, also known as gender confirmation surgery, is performed to align or transition individuals with gender dysphoria to their true gender. A transgender woman, man, or non-binary person may choose to undergo gender affirmation surgery. The term "transexual" was previously used by the medical community to ...

  16. Gender-affirming surgery (male-to-female)

    Gender-affirming surgery for male-to-female transgender women or transfeminine non-binary people describes a variety of surgical procedures that alter the body to provide physical traits more comfortable and affirming to an individual's gender identity and overall functioning.. Often used to refer to vaginoplasty, sex reassignment surgery can also more broadly refer to other gender-affirming ...

  17. Gender-affirming surgery: Male to female

    Medical treatment often includes hormones to expose sex steroid-responsive target tissues to more estrogen and block androgen action. Commonly performed surgeries include facial feminization (craniomaxillofacial procedures), chest ("top") surgery (eg, breast augmentation), and genital ("bottom") surgery (eg, orchiectomy and vaginoplasty).

  18. Gender-Reassignment Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

    Female-to-Male Genital Sex Reassignment (Phalloplasty): Phalloplasty is a surgical procedure to construct a phallus for FtM individuals seeking male genitalia. The radial forearm flap method is ...

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    It's essential to carefully consider all options and potential outcomes before undergoing surgery. 5. How long does it take to complete gender reassignment surgery? The duration of surgery varies ...

  20. Male to Female Gender Reassignment Surgery

    In male to female gender reassignment surgery our goal is to create the most functional and cosmetically appealing vagina possible. This includes providing maximal clitoral and vaginal sensation with minimal scarring. To accomplish these goals, sometimes multiple procedures are needed which require time and expertise. We always pay maximum ...

  21. Male to Female Gender Reassignment Surgery (MTF GRS)

    Male-to-female gender reassignment surgery (MTF GRS) is a complex and irreversible genital surgery for male transsexual who is diagnosed with gender identity disorder and has a strong desire to live as female. The procedure is to remove all male genital organs including the penis and testes with the construction of female genitalia composed of ...

  22. What Can I Expect from Male-to-Female Gender Reassignment Surgery?

    Gender Reassignment Surgery. When the male genitalia are changed to female, the anatomical parts are removed and repositioned to fit the mould of the latter sex. Here, the testicles are completely removed and the penis (including the foreskin) is inverted to create a flap preserving the nerve and blood supply.

  23. Appeals Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Gender Reassignment Surgery

    The differences in coverage "is rooted in a gender stereotype: the assumption that people who have been assigned female at birth are supposed to have breasts, and that people assigned male at ...

  24. 2023-2024 Bill 4624 Text of Previous Version (May. 07, 2024)

    (3) "Gender" means the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female. (4) "Gender reassignment surgery" means any surgical service that seeks to surgically alter or remove healthy physical or anatomical characteristics or features that are typical for the individual's sex, in order to instill or create ...

  25. Ohio Rev. Code § 3129.01

    Section 3129.01 - Definitions. As used in this chapter: (A) "Biological sex," "birth sex," and "sex" mean the biological indication of male and female, including sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads, and nonambiguous internal and external genitalia present at birth, without regard to an individual's psychological, chosen, or subjective experience of gender.