Gender-affirming care is essential for transgender people to help their physical bodies align with their gender identity. Whether a transgender individual seeks affirmation surgery depends on their personal journey and comfort, and this decision also relies heavily on access to care and insurance coverage. Dr. Ravinder Jarial offers gender-affirming procedures at our West Palm Beach, Florida, office, including female-to-male (FTM) and male-to-female (MTF) top and bottom surgeries and facial feminization surgery.
Gender-Affirming Surgery Statistics
A 2015 United States Transgender Study found that of over 27,000 Americans who identified as gender-nonconforming or transgender, just 25% chose to have one or more gender-affirming surgeries. The average age of patients who underwent surgery was 29.5, but it varied by procedure. MTF top surgery patients were an average of 42 years old, while transgender men who had FTM surgery were about 18 years old.
Research suggests that genital surgery is not as high a priority for transgender individuals as procedures that adjust visible features, such as the chest and face. Some transgender patients are satisfied with facial changes, while others wish to alter their upper half with top surgery and/or lower half with bottom surgery.
These statistics were based on patient demographics of transgender people who sought gender-related surgical care under their insurance plans. There are likely more transgender individuals who desire affirmation surgery but can’t pursue the procedure because they can’t afford it without insurance. A person’s income rate, insurance policy, employment status, and other factors affect who chooses to have gender-affirming surgery.
New laws that require insurers to provide coverage for transgender patients have helped more people gain access to gender-affirming care. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a 15% rise in breast or chest procedures in transgender men from 2019 to 2020.
Mental Health Benefits of Gender-Affirming Surgery for Transgender Individuals
Transgender patients report an increased quality of life after hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery. They experience increased confidence and self-esteem and have a positive body image when their body matches their gender identity. A 2016 study of transgender men found that patients had poor body image and low self-esteem compared to cisgender men, but these concerns changed dramatically after mastectomy. Transgender men had an improved sense of self-worth and body image with decreased symptoms of gender dysphoria.
Additional research has found that gender-affirming care and surgery decrease the rate of depression, suicide attempts, and substance abuse among transgender individuals. A 2015 study found:
- 42% of patients experienced a decrease in psychological distress after their procedure.
- 44% of transgender patients reported less suicidal ideation after gender-affirmation surgery.
- Patients required less mental health treatment after gender transition surgery, which decreased by 8% each year after the procedure.
Having gender-affirming surgery is a major decision that offers many benefits, but that does not mean all transgender patients desire surgical changes. Each path for a transitioning person is unique, and how YOU transition is entirely up to you. June is Pride Month for LGBTQ individuals, and Dr. Jarial is proud to offer life-changing procedures to transgender patients.
Dr. Jarial regularly performs gender-affirming surgery to help transgender people live their authentic lives and feel more confident and at home in their bodies. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jarial at Ultra Aesthetics in West Palm Beach, Florida, at (561) 249-0390.