The number of transgender surgeries significantly increases in the United States based on a new study, wherein researchers also find transgender surgery as a safe procedure.
A group of researchers from Harvard University and John Hopkins University analyzed more than 20 years worth of information from the National Inpatient Sample. It is viewed as one of the largest inpatient care databases in the United States.
Transgender Surgeries Are Increasing In The US
Brandyn D. Lau, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, gathered a large amount of data on transgender surgery. The researchers compared information from patients who underwent transgender surgery from 2000-2005, 2006-2011, in addition to 2012-2014.
Overall, Lau said the data showed a total of 37,827 medical encounters identified by a diagnosis code for transsexualism or gender identity disorder between 2000 and 2014. About 11 percent of these encounters involved gender-affirming surgery. Around 57 percent of the patients were white, and they had a median age of 38.
The data further indicated that the number of transgender surgeries had increased in 2000-2005, with at least 72 percent of patients undergoing genital surgery. From 2006 to 2011, 83.9 percent of patients underwent genital surgery. Although the data found more people with gender identity disorder, there were 4,118 patients who underwent transgender surgery.
Moreover, most of the patients who had transgender surgery didn't have any insurance coverage. Those who did have insurance were specifically covered by private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare.
Lau further shared what inspired him and his team to conduct the study.
"Every part of medicine has areas where we can do better. Without data specific to transgender patients, we can't tell what we're doing right and what we need to improve. This study was an attempt to address that problem with the best data we have available now," said Lau.
Transgender Surgery In The Past
In the past, people who live in the United States traveled abroad to get help with transitioning. However, since then, doctors and surgeons have become more aware how important it is for people to go through a transgender surgery.
Times have certainly changed as there are a lot more transgender people in the United States. An estimated 1.4 million transgender adults in the country have been looking to get facial contouring, hormone therapy, and transgender surgery, according to the researchers from John Hopkins University.
Patients used to travel all the way to Thailand, which has been considered as one of the best destinations to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. A woman who transitions to a male spends $75,000 or more while a male who transitions to a female likely pays about $50,000.