Gender Affirmation Surgery - FAQ's
Discover Our Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility may vary depending on the treatment, but to be eligible for any Gender Reassignment surgery, patients need to have RLE (Real Life Experience) for 12 months continuously. Patients will need to have taken hormones for at least 12 months. 2 referral letters from their Gender Identity Clinic are required OR 1 referral letter and Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
How does a surgery referral work?
Once consensus has been reached between you and two of your clinicians, they will refer you to a surgeon for chest or genital surgery. Surgery is provided by services external to the Gender Identity Clinic. Waiting times for surgery after you have been referred by the GIC will depend on the waiting lists of individual surgical service providers. It is important to understand that two assessments for any desired surgery are required before a referral can be made by your clinicians.
How long are the waiting lists?
Once the patient is ready for surgery the waiting list isn’t too long. Most patients are seen within 18 weeks. However there are clinical reasons which could extend this waiting time, the pathway from referral from the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) can take from six months to a year. There are a number of factors which need to be considered ahead of the surgery, while a patient may be psychologically prepared there are certain physical elements, such as hair removal or weight loss that can enhance the outcomes of the surgery.
What happens once I receive my referral?
Upon receiving the referral for surgery from your Gender Identity Clinic, an initial meeting will be set up with the specialist nursing team. Your consultant will go through details of the surgery including complications, recovery (and if hair removal is required). Your consultant will be able to advise of an approximate wait time. You will see local GP for pre-operative tests.
How do I prepare for surgery?
As well as being mentally prepared, you will need to be as physically fit as you can and stop smoking and taking recreational drugs for at least 8 weeks prior for surgery. On the day remove all make up, nail varnish, jewellery and dentures must be removed, as well as body piercings which must be replaced with a plastic piercing. One of the nurses will then come and prepare you for the operating theatre.
What is the recovery time for Gender Reassignment Surgery?
Recovery time will vary by treatment, but your surgeon will go through your recovery in detail during your consultation and you will receive lots of information. Patients will be given a list to prepare for discharge, including a robust plan for recovery. Patients are seen at 12 weeks after surgery for a post-operative follow up. For further details, visit the specific treatment page you’re after.
Are there any risk of complications during and after surgery?
As with any operation, there are risks associated with having a general anaesthetic. These include chest infections, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (blood clots), as well as cardiac problems. To find out more specific treatment risks, visit the treatment page for the surgery you’re considering.
How do I pay for my surgery?
At Nuffield Health, there are a number of payment options available. You can pay for yourself with our affordable and transparent costs, take out an interest free personal medical loan or use your private medical insurance. To find out more about payment options Click here.
What do I do if I have a complaint?
We strive to make sure that you’re completely satisfied with the treatment and care you receive. If you do have any complaints post-surgery, you can send them to us via our clinical complaints form.
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