Sex reassignment surgery (SRS), also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and several other names, is a surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person’s physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that socially associated with their identified gender. It is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people.
Professional medical organizations have established Standards of Care that apply before someone can apply for and receive reassignment surgery, including psychological evaluation, and a period of real-life experience living in the desired gender.
Feminization surgeries are surgeries that result in anatomy that is typically gendered female. These surgeries include vaginoplasty, feminizing augmentation mammoplasty, orchiectomy, facial feminization surgery, reduction thyrochondroplasty (tracheal shave), and voice feminization surgery among others.
Masculinization surgeries are surgeries that result in anatomy that is typically gendered male. These surgeries include chest masculinization surgery (top surgery), metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, scrotoplasty, and hysterectomy.
In addition to SRS, patients may need to follow a lifelong course of masculinizing or feminizing hormone replacement therapy.
People who have male-to-female gender-reassignment surgery retain a prostate. Following surgery, estrogen (a female hormone) will stimulate breast development, widen the hips, inhibit the growth of facial hair and slightly increase voice pitch.
Female-to-male surgery has achieved lesser success due to the difficulty of creating a functioning penis from the much smaller clitoral tissue available in the female genitals.
The uterus and the ovaries are removed. Genital reconstructive procedures (GRT) use either the clitoris, which is enlarged by hormones, or rely on free tissue grafts from the arm, the thigh or belly and an erectile prosthetic (phalloplasty).
Breasts need to be surgically altered if they are to look less feminine. This process involves removing breast tissue and excess skin, and reducing and properly positioning the nipples and areolae. Androgens (male hormones) will stimulate the development of facial and chest hair, and cause the voice to deepen.
Reliable statistics are extremely difficult to obtain. Many sexual-reassignment procedures are conducted in private facilities that are not subject to reporting requirements.
The cost for female-to-male reassignment can be more than $50,000. The cost for male-to-female reassignment can be $7,000 to $24,000.
Between 100 to 500 gender-reassignment procedures are conducted in the United States each year.