Sex reassignment surgery (SRS), known clinically as genitoplasty procedures, are done to surgically change the genitalia from one gender to another. For most patients, SRS is performed in order to match their physical gender with what they feel emotionally and intuitively is their true gender.

This condition, known as gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder, is rare but becoming more widely diagnosed.1 You may also hear these people being referred to as “transgender.”

These surgeries are also called gender reassignment surgery (GRS), sex-change surgery, sex affirmation procedures, and genital reconstruction surgery.

Male to Female Transition

The procedures that change male genitalia to female genitalia include a penectomy (removal of the penis) and orchiectomy (removal of the testes), which are typically followed by a vaginoplasty (creation of the vagina) or a feminizing genitoplasty (creation of female genitalia).

For those identified as male at birth and transitioning to female, there may also be procedures that include breast implants, gluteoplasty to increase buttock volume, a procedure to minimize the appearance of Adam’s apple, and possibly, feminizing hormones.

Facial feminization surgery (FFS) is often done to soften the more masculine lines of the face.2 Each patient is unique and the procedures that are done are based on the individual need and budget, but facial feminization often includes softening the brow line, rhinoplasty (nose job), smoothing the jaw and forehead, and altering the cheekbones

For some, a chondrolaryngoplasty, commonly known as a “tracheal shave,” can help reduce the prominence of Adam’s apple.

Female to Male Transition

The procedure that changes female genitalia to male genitalia is a masculinizing genitoplasty (creation of male genitalia). This procedure uses the tissue of the labia to create a penis.3 The procedures that change the genitalia are rarely performed without other procedures, which may be extensive.

For those identified as female at birth, the change to a masculine appearance may also include hormone therapy with testosterone, a mastectomy, a hysterectomy procedure, and perhaps additional cosmetic procedures intended to masculinize the appearance.


After sex reassignment surgery, pain that is easily controlled by medication usually will subside in a few days. Dressings have been applied; we will be replaced a few days. Sutures will be removed within a week of surgery. Although the surgeon has made every effort to keep scars as inconspicuous as possible, they are the inevitable result of surgery.

The healing process may occur for weeks or even months following surgery.

Dilation will be given instruction during follow up visits.

The decision on when to return to work and normal activities depends on how fast you heal. To permit proper healing, you should avoid overactivity and refrain from overhead lifting.