There are few groups more marginalized and misunderstood than the transgender community, especially the younger demographic. If you or someone you know is seeking support as a part of this community, here's a brief guide about gender dysphoria, gender transitions, and gender reassignment surgery:
Gender Dysphoria in Teens
It is not unheard of for teenagers and even young adults to experience gender dysphoria, which can emerge as a feeling of dissatisfaction with the gender that they were assigned based on physical attributes, particularly developments during puberty. Individuals with gender dysphoria may allow themselves to express their true selves and may openly want to be affirmed in their gender identity.
Gender Transitions Occur at Many Levels
The word 'transition' has become synonymous with getting surgery to change your gender, but the truth is the change can occur at different levels depending on the individual.
Some individuals choose to simply change their names. Others change the way they dress or the pronoun they use for self-identification (he, she, they, etc). Some opt for gender affirming hormone therapy to change the level of estrogen or testosterone in their bodies. Finally, there is the group that elects to undergo gender reassignment surgery, such as top surgery, to change one or multiple aspects of their body in an effort to harmonize their physical self with their true self.
Choosing Gender Affirming Surgery
More and more individuals who experience gender dysphoria are choosing surgical gender transformations to their true physical form and self. Especially in the case of teens and young adults, gender dysphoria and gender affirming surgery is best addressed with the help of a supportive environment that extends from their home and school to the entire surrounding community. Even for adults seeking gender transformation surgery, a careful evaluation of their emotional and psychological state is carried out before performing a life-changing procedure.
Is Gender Affirming Surgery Necessary?
This is a question that must ultimately be answered at the individual level. To undergo this surgery, there are a few requirements you must follow, such as having a letter from your psychiatrist or therapist stating that you are of sound mind to make this decision.
Has Anyone Regretted Gender Affirmation Surgery?
The best gender reassignment surgeon in Maryland, Dr. Beverly Fischer, surveyed 700 of her past top surgery patients. She got a 38% response to the survey – huge! One important question on the survey that she asked her patients was, "do you have any regret having your gender re-assignment surgery?" A miraculous 0% had regret.
Related Blog: Gender Reassignment Surgery Before & Afters
Gender Affirmation Resources
There are many gender affirmation resources available to support you and help you better understand gender dysphoria, gender identity, the transition process, and the complexities of what you or your loved one is going through. If you are a parent, here is additional information to help support you through your transgender teen's journey.
At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery, we care about the physical and emotional needs of all of our patients and we understand that it takes time to explore these life-changing decisions. We are here to help. Contact us today at 410.308.4700 to schedule a consultation or simply ask for more information.