How a Plastic Surgeon Prepares to Perform Gender Reassignment Surgery

by Beth Ortiz

Posted on Thursday 9th of October 2008

The old saying is true: "No two people are exactly alike". Everyone has different likes and dislikes, as well as different preferences. Generally, when people are born into this world, they take on the definitive traits of their gender. However, there are some people who feel that they were born the wrong gender, and want to have that situation fixed.

This is, of course, where a plastic surgeon comes in – of course, one that specializes in gender reassignment surgery. As this kind of plastic surgeon, it is important to make sure that the subject really wants this life-changing surgery, and as such, certain precautions must be taken first.

The most prevalent form of gender reassignment surgery is when a man wishes to become a female. In order for this extreme transformation to take place, the plastic surgeon who has been selected to perform the procedure must start what will ultimately be a process that will take years to complete. That being said, a reputable surgeon will have had to first have proven his or her success within the medical community via certification.

A plastic surgeon in this particular field will have to have an understanding of not just anatomy, but also the hormonal changes that must take place. A man cannot successful become a woman without first undergoing two years of hormone injections – specifically estrogen injections. These injections are absolutely necessary in order to cancel out the effects of the natural testosterone.

What these estrogen injections will do is stimulate breast growth, make the voice higher, and the features softer. It will also stop facial hair growth. During this time, the subject must also undergo therapy sessions, in which any underlying gender issues must be fully discussed. Some patients become more secure with their gender over time, and thus end up not really wanting the surgery.

But for some men, this is a definite course of action, and they are ready for this change. Nevertheless, the surgeon cannot proceed with the actual gender reassignment surgery without letters of recommendation by licensed psychiatric personnel. Once all of the necessary components have been obtained, the actual reconstructive surgery can begin.

Most men have definitively masculine features, such as a wide jaw. That is one of the first things that the surgeon will have to work on – softening the facial features. This usually involves rounding out the jaw, and sometimes even getting a nose job and lip implants. All of these additions will be carefully planned out and discussed over various consultation sessions.

Next, the Adam's apple will obviously need to be removed. Then, the breast will need to be enhanced. Because of the hormone therapy, sometimes very little work needs to be done in this area. Nevertheless, most men require at least B cup implants. All of these changes need to be done gradually, leading up to the actual gender change. This is something that takes precision, a significant amount of time on the part of the surgeon, and a significant amount of money on the part of the patient.

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