It can be both daunting and exciting to think about all the steps that are necessary between considering surgery and actually having surgery. To help with this process, we lay out a typical overview of the process – though each person takes their own journey – to help you prepare for the milestones that lay ahead.
It’s important to realize that there are many diverse stages people go through in the exploratory process of gender transition. We tried to take some of these early stages into account when we thought about the design of information on this website. Some individuals are at a very early stage of inquiry about gender transition, having realized that they are not comfortable with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. They also might be learning about different gender expressions and the gender confirming surgery possibilities that are out there. Others are actively exploring surgical options to determine what is right for them. In addition, patients may also explore hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and/or non-medical or surgical interventions such as binding, changing hair cut or color, and wearing different clothes. Some trans people do only one of these things, and some may do a few or all of them. Steps taken toward transition and what transition means to everyone is highly individual.
The individuals who have decided on surgery and are empowering themselves with information regarding surgical options, compromises, and recovery. These individuals are very close to what may be the next step, which is to find the right surgeon for them for their gender confirmation surgery.
If you’d like to read more about the step-by step process that will take you to and through surgery, please click the links for chest reconstruction top surgery, breast augmentation, facial surgery, and gender-focused body contouring. For step-by-step guidance through the consultation-to-surgery process, you can download our comprehensive handouts for both adult and adolescent patients.