The number of transgender persons getting gender affirmation surgeries is going up, and 2017 saw multiple thousands of these kinds of procedures.
There were 3,200 gender affirmation surgeries in the U.S. in 2017, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The procedures can include anything from breast reduction or augmentation, facial feminization procedures, body contouring and genital reassignment surgeries.
Transgender surgeries rose roughly 20 percent between 2015 and 2016, an ASPS survey of 703 doctors also shows.
Less than 0.5 percent of those surgeries were genital, according to the survey released in May, NBC News reported.
The 2016 survey included reports from 3,256 transgender surgeries, with the percentage of men transitioning to women and vice versa split roughly down the middle.
The rising number of requests for gender affirmation surgeries has encouraged more doctors to train so they are able to perform the procedures, benefiting transgender individuals seeking medical sex changes.
A New Jersey woman who identifies as a man received the first penis operation in New Jersey in February, according to NorthJersey.com.
The 14-hour surgery was paid for by the state’s Medicaid program, and doctors from Rutgers Center For Transgender Health performed the operation.
The surgery wasn’t easy, according to lead surgeon Dr. Jonathan Keith, but he is happy with the results.
“There’s no textbook written on this,” Keith said.
Keith is an assistant professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the co-founder of the Rutgers Center For Transgender Health.
“Honestly, I almost think it’s a public health emergency right now [in] transgender health,” Keith also told Health Line Thursday.
“A lot of these patients are ignored or marginalized or people just don’t know how to take care of them.”
California has two medical training centers where doctors who want to learn how to perform sex-reassignment surgery for transgender individuals can go to receive training.
The Pentagon paid for the first U.S. soldier to get a sex-change operation on Nov. 15, 2017.
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