Surgeons report nearly 20 percent increase in number of transgender surgeries

The world’s largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons has for the first time released the number of gender confirmation surgeries performed in a single year: 3,256 male to female and female to male operations in 2016.

That’s an almost 20 percent rise from the prior year, said the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in a report released Monday. A publicist for the ASPS could not disclose geographic information about where the majority of these operations were performed in 2016, as it is still being compiled.

LGBTQ Nation has learned exclusively that the majority of the GCS operations last year were performed on transgender women: 1,759, to 1,497 surgeries for trans men. That’s a 27 percent increase year over year for trans women and a modest ten percent boost for operations on trans men.

There’s more than one reason for the uptick in surgeries related to transgender transition, said Randi Kaufman, a clinical psychologist for the Gender and Family Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She told USA Today that the surge could be a result of greater representation of transgender men and women in entertainment media combined with increased insurance coverage.

“While there is still a lot of discrimination and violence and hate crimes that continue against transgender people, there are a lot of positive role models out there now and it’s becoming more accepted and normalized to know someone or have a family member or friend who is trans,” Kaufman said in a phone interview with the paper.

Michael Hendricks, a clinical psychologist also interviewed by USA Today, suggested a law which requires any insurance policy based in Washington, D.C. to cover these types of surgeries may increasingly become the norm.

“People have limited resources and insurance is now covering the basic surgery,” Hendricks said, “so they may have funds to do other surgeries or types of procedures they wouldn’t have had money for previously.”

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