Gender reassignment surgery: an overview


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Abstract

Gender reassignment (which includes psychotherapy, hormonal therapy and surgery) has been demonstrated as the most effective treatment for patients affected by gender dysphoria (or gender identity disorder), in which patients do not recognize their gender (sexual identity) as matching their genetic and sexual characteristics. Gender reassignment surgery is a series of complex surgical procedures (genital and nongenital) performed for the treatment of gender dysphoria. Genital procedures performed for gender dysphoria, such as vaginoplasty, clitorolabioplasty, penectomy and orchidectomy in male-to-female transsexuals, and penile and scrotal reconstruction in female-to-male transsexuals, are the core procedures in gender reassignment surgery. Nongenital procedures, such as breast enlargement, mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, voice surgery, and other masculinization and feminization procedures complete the surgical treatment available. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health currently publishes and reviews guidelines and standards of care for patients affected by gender dysphoria, such as eligibility criteria for surgery. This article presents an overview of the genital and nongenital procedures available for both male-to-female and female-to-male gender reassignment.

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