Gender dysphoria is defined as a condition in which an individual experiences physical and emotional/mental discomfort due to a mismatch between their gender identity and their biological sexual characteristics. As a result of this condition, many who experience it feel isolated socially, often involuntarily, and can experience a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Cosmetic surgery can be a huge relief, and in some cases, a lifeline, for folks who want to feel more comfortable in their own skin and more in line with their gender identity and expression.
Types of Gender Cosmetic Surgery
Individuals in need of augmentation to bring their body into line with their gender identity might choose from a variety of surgeries. These procedures are frequently carried out in stages and phases, a process known as "transitioning" from one physical sex to the other in colloquial terms. This is also often done with help from mental health counselors, general physicians, and endocrinologists, all of whom help with the internal and mental changes as well as the external plastic surgery.
Facial Feminization Surgery
This refers to a broad range of treatments that are performed with the goal of softening male facial characteristics and giving them a softer, more feminine appearance. This can change the structure of the facial bones as well as reduce the bone structure of people with more angular facial traits.
Individuals transitioning from male to female are frequently prescribed hormone therapy, which can result in some breast development over time in transgender individuals, although they are usually modest in comparison to individuals who develop breasts naturally. Those who wish a larger size can opt for implantation surgery, which makes the breasts more pronounced.
This procedure, which is commonly used in females who develop breasts naturally and who grow too large, aims to reconstruct the chest by removing breast tissue and skin, often with the intent to minimize, though not entirely eliminate, the breast and/or nipples. It is also used in people who are changing their gender from female to male.
Gender Reassignment Surgery
In this cosmetic procedure, which is fairly extensive, the genital organs are reconstructed from one gender to another. In the case of female to male transitions, a functional penis is constructed from clitoral tissue, and male to female reassignment removes the penis and reshapes the genital tissue to form a vulva and vagina.
Chest Reconstruction Surgery
In conjunction with a breast reduction, this treatment aims to contour the chest to give it a more masculine appearance by removing underlying fat, milk ducts, and glands. It is most commonly used for those who are transitioning from female to male. As part of this procedure, the nipple is routinely relocated, which can occasionally result in a loss of sensation.
In the same way that cisgender people (those who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth) can come in a range of gender expressions, transgender people can as well. As a result, some transgender individuals may choose not to undergo surgery right away or at all, frequently owing to concerns about the long-term effects of surgery, potential unhappiness with the outcomes, or underlying health difficulties. Non-surgical cosmetic techniques are frequently beneficial for such people.
Some of these are as follows:
- Dermal fillers - Smooths and softens the appearance of facial features, plumping up the lips and softening the appearance of the skin.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing - This term can refer to a variety of distinct procedures, including micro laser peels, fotofacials, and halo treatments, some of which stimulate the production of collagen for the purpose of reconstructing facial features.
- Laser Hair Removal - This procedure removes hair from undesired areas such as the chest and facial hair for men who are transitioning from male to female.
- Muscular Relaxing Injections – This procedure reduces the amount of muscle activity that is present in the treatment area in order to soften the facial features, allow for the feminization of the face, and raise the brows.
In most cases, when a transgender person considers cosmetic surgery, they are at a stage in the transitional phase in which they have already begun to make outward behavioral and lifestyle changes, often through participation in activities, wearing clothing, and expressing themselves in other ways that are consistent with their gender identity. Psychologists now recognize that the more at ease a person feels in their own skin, the more likely it is that they will have better mental health overall.
Cosmetic surgery, in partnership with other medical interventions such as hormone therapy, counseling, and overall health support, can do much to ease the emotional hardship of an individual experiencing gender dysphoria. Being comfortable in your own body, and therefore experiencing the peace that comes with this, is an important part of overall health.