Someone who suffers from gender dysphoria has a different gender identity than the sex and gender assigned to them at birth. The teenage years are already difficult for many adolescents, and those with gender dysphoria may experience teasing or bullying from their peers and struggle to be comfortable with who they are. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery statistics, teenagers made up 2 percent of the patients who underwent cosmetic surgeries last year. There are several gender confirming procedures available that can be utilized to help patients transition from male to female (MTF) or female to male (FTM). However, is transgender surgery appropriate for your teenager?
Help Your Teen Reflect Their Gender Identity
As a parent, it can be hard to see your child struggling with their identity, especially when they are suffering from gender dysphoria. They can change their clothing, but the way their body appears can only be changed through surgery. Plastic surgery is a safe and effective option for addressing unwanted characteristics on the face or body. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if your child is ready to undergo transgender surgery:
Are They Realistic in Their Expectations?
Transgender surgery may involve a combination of procedures designed to create more masculine or feminine features. Your child should desire plastic surgery for themselves and have already had a psychological examination and been diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a qualified medical professional. Although plastic surgery is an excellent option for restoring a person’s confidence and self-image, it is important that your teenager is aware that surgery entails recovery time and results are not immediate. They should be willing to follow post-surgical instructions and care for themselves following surgery with the assistance of a parent or caregiver.
Are They Physically Healthy?
Plastic surgery is surgery, and surgery entails anesthesia, incisions, and recovery. Adolescents undergoing surgery should not have any current medical conditions that could inhibit their success in recovering from surgery safely and effectively. During your consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Alexander, you, your child, and the surgeon will review your teenager’s medical history and health to help you determine if they are physically healthy for surgery. You will also discuss their concerns and become educated about transgender surgery and what procedure(s) would best fit their body and goals.