MTF Gender Confirmation: Genital Construction

As part of a transgender individual’s transition, genital reassignment surgery alters male genitalia into female genitalia.

MTF Gender Confirmation: Genital Construction

The Skinny


Average Recovery

5 weeks

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$7000 - $24000

The Specifics


What is a male to female (MTF) gender reassignment surgery?

Male to female (MTF) gender reassignment surgery is also known as sex reassignment surgery (SRS), genital construction, and generally as Gender Confirmation Surgery. These procedures are used to remove and alter male genitalia into traditional female genitalia. Plastic surgeons will remove the scrotum, perform a penile inversion to create the neovagina, remove and alter penile erectile tissue to form the clitoral tissue of the clitoris, and construct labia usually from scrotal tissue. The prostate gland is left intact. These procedures create fully functional female genitalia in transgender patients.

Typically gender reassignment surgery is performed as a last step in a transgender individuals transition journey. Guidelines from The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) state candidates must have letters of recommendation from their mental health provider and physician, have been living full time as a woman for one year, and have completed one year of hormonal therapy to be eligible.

Information on facial feminization surgeries, top surgeries (like a breast construction), and other male to female gender affirming surgeries as part of a gender transition for transwomen can be found in our comprehensive guide to MTF gender affirmation solutions.

What concerns does a MTF gender reassignment surgery treat?

  1. Transfeminine Bottom Surgery & Genital Construction: Male to female gender reassignment surgery creates female genitalia that are aesthetically authentic and functional. A vaginoplasty, penectomy, orchiectomy (testicle removal), clitoroplasty, and labiaplasty are typically performed.

Who is the ideal candidate for a MTF gender reassignment surgery?

The ideal candidate for MTF gender reassignment surgery is a transgender women seeking to complete her physical embodiment of her gender identity. This reconstructive genital surgery creates functioning female genitalia.

MTF gender reassignment surgery is not recommended for those who have not been on hormone therapy for one year, have not been living full time as a woman for one year, do not have letters of recommendation from their mental health provider and physician, children under the age of 18, and those with certain chronic medical conditions.

What is the average recovery associated with a MTF gender reassignment surgery?

Most patients experience four to six weeks of recovery time following a MTF gender reassignment surgery. Patients can expect bruising, swelling, and tenderness following the procedure. A urinary catheter is placed for one week and vaginal packing as well which may cause a sensation of fullness. Vaginal dilation is a component of the procedure and the patient will be advised on how to complete this progressive dilation at home over the course of a few weeks.

What are the potential side effects of a MTF gender reassignment surgery?

Possible side effects following a MTF gender reassignment surgery include bleeding, swelling, bruising, site infection, altered sensation, difficulty urinating, difficulty with sexual function, prolonged edema, and complications from anesthesia or the procedure.

What can someone expect from the results of a MTF gender reassignment surgery?

The results of MTF gender reassignment surgery are permanent. This procedure creates functional female genitalia and removes all male genitalia. The prostate gland is left intact which is important for transgender individuals ongoing healthcare and preventative screenings.

What is the average cost of a MTF gender reassignment surgery?

MTF gender reassignment surgery cost generally ranges from $7,000 to $24,000. The actual cost of a surgical procedure will be dependent on location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery.

Pros

Can help complete a gender affirmation journey

Cons

Potentially cost prohibitive

Invasiveness Score

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Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


A MTF Gender Reassignment Surgery creates female genitalia. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a MTF Gender Reassignment Surgery:

The Takeaway


Gender confirmation surgeries for transgender individuals are an important component of transgender health and in creating an embodied gender identity. Gender reassignment surgery allows transgender women who feel it is a part of their transition to more fully embrace their gender identity.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Gender Confirmation Surgeries plasticsurgery.org
  2. Karel E Y Claes Chest Surgery for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals PubMed.gov; 2018-07-02
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