What you need to know about SRS costGender reassignment surgery can be very expensive. Many people can’t afford the surgery in their home country and therefore look at more affordable options abroad. The main reason for this is the number of stages which are required before reassignment is complete as well as the expertise of the doctors and surgeons. Looking for SRS price information can be confusing. What exactly does the final cost include?
A typical quote for male-to-female SRS surgery should include:
- Hormone therapy in the year leading up to surgery
- Meetings with a therapist or psychologist
- Laser hair removal or electrolysis
- The cost of all surgical procedures and aftercare
- Additional post-surgery costs, including doctor visits and hormone therapy
- Voice and body language coaches to aid with the transition
- Fees to change your name or gender on official documents
- Follow-up visits with a therapist
- Breast augmentation
- Tracheal shave – removing cartilage from the Adam’s apple
- Bilateral orchiectomy – the removal of both testicles
- Vaginoplasty – the creation of a vagina, clitoris and clitoral hood using skin from the penis
SRS Costs – United States vs Thailand
US costsThe majority of people who go to Thailand for SRS cannot afford the inflated costs in their home country. This is particularly true in the United States, where male-to-female surgery prices are among the highest in the world. It’s difficult to get coverage on sex reassignment surgery in the US. Many consider gender dysphoria to be a pre-existing medical condition. Some health insurance packages do cover it, but even then there are restrictions. You can search for surgeons which cover gender surgery on insurance or Medicare here. If you’re looking for male-to-female reassignment surgery in the United States, you can expect to pay around $40,000 for surgery on the genitals, chest and face as well as the required hormonal treatment. The reconstruction of the genitals alone costs approximately $15,000.
- Tracheal shave – $2,200
- Breast augmentation – $4,000
- Vaginoplasty – $7,300
Why is Thailand so affordable?The success of Thailand’s medical tourism industry allows surgeons and clinics to invest in further training and surgical equipment while keeping costs low. This also applies to sex reassignment surgery. As well as this, education and training for surgeons in Thailand is significantly more affordable than in Europe or the United States. This means that they do not need to charge extortionate prices to cover their initial outlays.
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QualityThe first sex change surgery in Thailand was performed in 1975, and clinics began seeing foreign gender reassignment patients a few years later. Since then a number of surgeons have specialized exclusively in the treatment of patients from abroad, to the point where over 90% of surgeries across the country are now performed on foreigners.
Is it safe to get SRS in Thailand?Thai surgeons are some of the most experienced in the world in the procedure. Dr. Preecha Tiewtranon, for example, is said to have performed Thailand’s first gender surgery back in 1975, and has since helped over 3,000 transgender patients. This doesn’t mean, though, that every surgeon offering SRS in Thailand is safe. There are currently around 120 doctors in Thailand who are qualified to perform gender surgery. Unfortunately, some doctors claim to be qualified when they are not. In recent years there have been cases of unqualified surgeons performing gender surgery, sometimes with harmful consequences. The good news is that with research and scrutiny it’s possible to find a qualified and experienced surgeon. Here are some things to look out for:
- Surgeon CV. Did they go to a reputable university? Have the trained internationally? Do they have all the necessary certifications?
- Reviews and forums. Reading the stories of real patients can give you some great insights. How do they treat their patients? What was the overall experience like?
- The clinic. Look into the clinic where the surgeon performs. Which safety standards and accreditations do they have? Is it modern? Do they have the latest equipment?
Need help?Our experienced Patient Care Team are happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the right surgeon in Thailand.
Important things you need to know
Requirements for SRS in ThailandThe World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is the world’s most respected body when it comes to transexual health. They advise medical institutions, health practitioners and regulatory bodies on the care and treatment of those who fall outside the traditional categories of gender. WPATH have set out a number of guidelines for anyone looking to get SRS in Thailand. Although this can vary from surgeon to surgeon, the following things are usually required before you can be accepted for gender surgery.
- Certification of the diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a qualified therapist
- At least one full year of living as a female
- At least one year of hormone therapy
Length of time abroadThe time spent in hospital depends on the number of surgical procedures. Generally you’ll need to be there for a minimum of 5 days. It’s very important that you have sufficient aftercare in the days following surgery to ensure that everything went well. Clinics have dedicated teams of nurses who care specifically for gender surgery patients during the recovery phase. Most gender surgery patients stay in Thailand for around a month, giving them plenty of time to recover before returning home. This also gives you enough time to complete all the necessary pre-op consultations and properly prepare for surgery. One you’re feeling better, you can take some time to start enjoying the new you in Thailand, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Surgical techniquesPerhaps the most important surgery in the male-to-female process is the creation of the vagina. There are a few different ways to do this. During the consultation phase your surgeon will discuss the different methods with you and advise you on which one is most suitable for your situation. Generally, the different techniques are categorized by penis length:
Top SRS surgeons in Thailand
Dr. Thiti Chaovanalikit
Bangpakok 9 International HospitalOne of the best-known surgeons for SRS surgery in Thailand, Dr. Thiti Chaovanalikit is highly experienced and the director of the first sex reassignment surgery workshop to be held in Bangkok. Certified by the Thai Board of General Surgery in 2000. Languages spoken: English, Thai.
Dr. Preecha Tiewtranon
Preecha Aesthetic Institute
Dr. Preecha Tiewtranon performed Thailand’s first ever sex reassignment surgery in 1975 and is considered to be one of the pioneers of the technique.He was certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1973, underwent many years of residency training in the United States and is the former president of the Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand. Languages spoken: English, Thai.
Dr. Rungkit Tanjatkul
Bangpakok 9 International HospitalDr. Rungkit Tanjatkul operates at Bangpakok 9 International Hospital, one of the most renowned hospitals in Thailand. He was certified by the Thai Board of Plastic Surgery in 2006 and has been performing SRS surgery for more than 10 years. Languages spoken: English, Thai