One of the most controversial areas of cosmetic surgery that has arisen in the last decade is 'Gender Reassignment Surgery'. This is both of medical and political interest. The emerging transgender movement and its position at the very forefront of 'identity politics' means that it is a very special and sensitive topic in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. It also requires a very specialised background to fully explain how the surgery works and what can be attained.

Sex reassignment surgery (SRS) is known by a variety of labels, including gender reassignment surgery (GRS), sex change surgery, sex affirmation procedures, and genital reconstruction surgery. These operations, which are known clinically as genitoplasty procedures, are done to surgically change the genitalia from one gender to another.

For the majority of patients undertaking SRS, the surgery is performed in order to match their physical gender with what they feel emotionally and intuitively is their correct gender. This syndrome, known as gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder, is infrequent but getting more widely diagnosed. You may also hear these individuals being referred to as "transgender.".

Gender identity struggles usually begin in early childhood but descriptions of feeling like a man trapped inside a woman's body, or vice versa, have been identified in and reported by people of all ages. A person living with this an internal conflict may develop anxiety and depression, and go on to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, formally known as gender identity disorder

(GID). Gender dysphoria is a mental health condition that can arise when a person lives with ongoing feelings of being physically incongruous with his or her birth sex — and medical intervention may be beneficial. Identifying as transgender, itself, is considered by scientists to be, at least in part, biological and not a mental illness
Male to Female Transition.

The procedures that change male genitalia to female genitalia include a penectomy (removal of penis) and orchiectomy (removal of the testes), which are typically followed by a vaginoplasty (creation of the vagina) or a feminizing genitoplasty (creation of female genitalia).
For those born male and transitioning to female, there may also be procedures that include breast implants, gluteoplasty to increase buttock volume, a procedure to minimize the appearance of the Adam's apple, and possibly, feminizing hormones.

Facial feminisation surgery (FFS) is often done to soften the more masculine lines of the face.2 Each patient is unique and the procedures that are done are based on the individual need and budget, but facial feminization often includes softening the brow line, rhinoplasty (nose job), smoothing the jaw and forehead, and altering the cheekbones. For some, a chondrolaryngoplasty, commonly known as a "tracheal shave," can help reduce the prominence of the Adam's apple.
Female to Male Transition.
The procedure that changes female genitalia to male genitalia is a masculinising genitoplasty (creation of male genitalia). This procedure uses the tissue of the labia to create a penis.

The procedures that change the genitalia are rarely performed without other procedures, which may be extensive. For those born female, the change to a masculine appearance may also include hormone therapy with testosterone, a mastectomy, a hysterectomy procedure, and perhaps additional cosmetic procedures intended to masculinise the appearance.

Transitioning is often two-fold: a social transition, such as new clothing, a new name and new pronouns; and a medical transition, with treatments such as hormone therapy and surgical procedures. Depending on the needs and wants of each individual, transitioning may include both social and medical transitions; just one of the two; or for those who eschew gender completely, neither.
But does GRS really work for everyone?

Medical evidence suggests that sex reassignment does not adequately address the psychosocial difficulties faced by people who identify as transgender. As Ryan Anderson points out in his book 'When Harry Became Sally' 'even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively “trans-friendly,” transitioners still face poor outcomes'.

There are strong arguments on both side of the line and this is not really the place to debate them since the argument as to whether sex can be truly reassigned is an enormous political and cultural battlefield. Experts like Dr Lawrence Meyer from Princeton is quite clear on the subject:
Cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones can’t change us into the opposite sex. They can affect appearances. But they can’t transform it. They can’t turn us from one sex into the other. “Scientifically speaking, transgender men are not biological men and transgender women are not biological women. The claims to the contrary are not supported by a scintilla of scientific evidence,” explains Mayer.

The Global GRS Market
But what is certain is that there is a substantial demand from men and women who feel that their lives can be radically improved by trans-gender surgery and the job of our site is to guide them to reliable surgeons around the world who have extensive experience in this kind of work. We are also including a list of helpful organisations that will advise and guide you in your quest for the right answers.

The market is large and is trending ever upwards. Global Market Insights, Inc. has recently added a new report on sex reassignment surgery market which estimates the global market valuation for sex reassignment surgery will exceed US$ 1.5 billion by 2026. Rise in number of sex reassignment surgeries across the globe will be a major factor driving factor. The growth of market can be attributed to the increasing patient pool with an inclination towards changing sex from male to female as well as female to male. The number of such patients has increased nearly four times in the past years.

Destinations to Transition.
Germany dominated the European market and was valued at USD 15.9 million in 2019. The growth can be attributed to the development of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Germany. Also, improving healthcare facilities and presence of doctors, surgeons and clinics specialised in sex reassignment surgery will further boost the market growth over the forecast period. For instance, HELIOS Hospital Berlin-Zehlendorf provides female to male sex reassignment surgeries.

Author's Bio: 

David Miller M.Sc, FRSA is the founder and editorial director at and writes for many publications on subjects relating to cosmetic surgery. David has a deep interest in matters of Dysmorphia and how the mirror can be the 'nemesis' in the life of a transgender person.