Sex Reassignment Surgery
Sex Reassignment Surgery also known by the name of Gender Reassignment Surgery is performed to change the sex of an individual. These are carried out in people who suffer from gender Dysphoria. This is a psychological disorder in which there is a conflict between the physical gender of an individual and the gender to which they identify themselves with. As an example, an individual who is born male in gender dysphoria identifies himself to be more of a female. He may like to dress, walk, and even talk like a female and vice versa. This may be evident in early childhood itself.
These individuals later on in their life opt to physically change their sex. This is where sex reassignment surgery comes to the fore. Physicians generally recommend surgery as the last resort when other forms of treatment are proved ineffective. Once an individual is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, he or she will undergo a psychological counseling to identify whether they are really up for the sex change operation. This is because this surgery is permanent in nature.
To begin with, these individuals undergo hormonal therapy where a male desiring to be a female is given either injectable hormones or hormonal medications in the form of Antiandrogen and estrogen medications. Similarly, a female wanting to become a male will be given antiestrogen and androgen medications.
These medications in most cases are quite effective in suppressing the sex characteristics of the individual and make them appear like their desired sex. Only when these treatments do not give the desired results, do physicians recommend a Sex Reassignment Surgery.
How Is A Sex Reassignment Surgery Done?
A Surgical Reassignment Surgery is quite complex and includes several procedures. These have been described in detail below.
Male to Female
For males wanting to become females will first have their testicles and penis removed. The prostate gland is also removed in its entirety. The tissue from the penis is then used to construct the vagina and clitoris. The skin from the scrotum is used to create the labia or the lips that surround the vagina. The urethra is shortened and connected to the newly made vagina for urination.
Additionally, surgeries will also be done to change the appearance of the face, lips, neck, and even the vocal cords to change the voice of the individual to sound more feminine. Postsurgery, vaginal dilators are used the keep the vagina flexible and open.
Female to Male
Transitioning from female to male is far more complex. The breasts, ovaries, and the uterus are removed in their entirety and the vagina is closed. Tissues are then used to construct a penis and scrotum. In some cases, penile implant is also used. The urethra is then extended so that the patient can urinate in a standing position.