TRANSANITY: Surgery Gives Patients Male AND Female Genitalia

Dr. Dilan Ellegala, left, supervises Dr. Emmanuel Nuwas of Tanzania as he inserts a shunt in a baby with hydrocephalus. Ellegala has played a key role in training local doctors, as described in the new book A Surgeon in the Village. Early on, he trained a hospital staffer who wasn't a doctor to do brain surgery

At a glance

  • A growing trend in transgender surgery is “affirming” patients who request surgery to either remove their genitals, or to have both male and female genitalia.
  • A recent Vice article highlighted a biologically female “non-binary” person who received a ““vagina-preserving phalloplasty,” which means a surgically constructed “penis” was added onto her body.
  • Despite high complication rates, this type of surgery is becoming more common, making up about 30% of phalloplasties performed at The Crane Center for Transgender Surgery in Austin, TX.

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