Surgery

Sex affirmation surgery is not just one surgery. It is a series of surgeries.

There are a number of different options for your sex affirmation surgery, as well as a growing number of techniques being performed around the world. You need to research all your options (surgeries, surgeons, costs and techniques) carefully to be sure you will get the results you want to have.

Evidence shows there is a high level of satisfaction for the outcome of sex affirmation surgery (Green and Fleming, 1990). There are a number of factors that contribute to your long term satisfaction. These include general health, success of the surgical procedures as well as family and social support.

To get started with surgery, you will need to think about paying for surgery. Medicare will cover some parts of the costs for Australian residents. If you intend to have surgery, it is recommended you get health insurance as soon as you can.

You will need a couple of appointments with the surgeon you choose and ask them what they need from you to consider you for surgery. Every surgeon you visit will require a separate referral from your GP.

Male sex-affirmation surgeries can be broken down into three broad areas:

  1. chest reconstructive surgery (also called ‘top surgery’),
  2. reproductive surgery (also called hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy) and
  3. genital reconstructive surgery (also called ‘lower surgery’).

Chest Reconstructive Surgery

Reproductive Surgery

This is removal of the female reproductive organs (hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy). Reasons for total hysterectomy include no longer having these ‘female’ organs in your body; it removes your risk of uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer; and you won’t need any pap smears or pelvic exams.

Genital Reconstructive Surgery

The surgical procedures to create male genitalia, can involve a combination of one or more of the following (also called ‘lower surgeries’): metoidioplasty, scrotoplasty, urethroplasty, testicular prostheses and phalloplasty.