Does gender-affirming surgery have positive mental health outcomes for recipients?

Thursday, April 14, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

Research indicates that gender-affirming surgeries benefit recipients and are rarely regretted.

A systematic review of peer-reviewed articles on gender-affirming surgery encompassing 53 different studies found that the practice "reduced rates of suicide attempts, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of gender dysphoria along with higher levels of life satisfaction, happiness, and quality of life." Authors note that while some studies reported that these benefits "were not always enduring," the review's overall findings support the need to expand access to gender-affirming surgery as a means of improving the lives of transgender individuals.

A separate systematic review of articles on regret after gender-affirming surgery found that 1% of transfeminine patients and less than 1% of transmasculine patients, respectively, experienced regret among 7,928 recipients spanning 27 studies. For comparison, the regret rate for surgeries in general is 1 in 7, or about 14%.

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