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Gender-affirming surgery in the U.S. nearly tripled before pandemic dip...


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Gender-affirming surgery in the U.S. nearly tripled before pandemic dip, study finds

                                            NBC News

Aug. 23, 2023, 11:37 AM PDT / Source: The Associated Press
By Associated Press

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The number of gender-affirming surgeries in the U.S. nearly tripled from 2016 to 2019 before dropping slightly in 2020, according to a study published Wednesday.

About 48,000 patients underwent such surgeries during the five years studied, with about 13,000 procedures done in 2019, the peak year, and 12,800 in 2020.

A little more than half the patients were ages 19 to 30. Surgeries in patients 18 and younger, were rare: fewer than 1,200 in the highest volume year.

Among the youngest patients, the most common surgeries were breast and chest procedures, with more than 3,000 young people undergoing such operations during the five-year period.

These were likely transgender males — generally high school graduates — having their breasts removed, said Dr. Loren Schechter of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who specializes in gender-affirming surgery and was not involved in the study. Having breast surgery at that age allows them to “go to the next phase of their life in a body with which they’re comfortable and is synchronous with their identity,” he said.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, did not look at more common treatments in minors such as puberty blockers and hormones.


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