Turns out, transgender patients don't opt for gender-affirming surgeries as much as many people believe.
The researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) conducted the first study in the U.S. to determine the prevalence of gender-affirming surgeries among a defined group of transgender patients and found that most patients did not elect to have surgery. The study looked at 99 transgender patients who were undergoing hormone therapy at BMC, the majority transwomen.
Data was collected from years prior to 2015, before Massachusetts required all insurers to cover medically necessary care related to gender transition, like gender affirming surgeries. Only 35 percent of patients chose to undergo any form of gender affirming surgery, with only 15 percent undergoing genital surgery. Transmen were twice as likely to have surgery as transwomen, with more than half of transmen choosing to have chest surgery and far fewer choosing genital surgery. Transwomen were equally or less likely to undergo genital surgery than facial feminization or chest surgery.
The study is published online in Endocrine Practice.