Skip to content

Effectiveness of a Gender Affirming Surgery Class for Transgender and non-binary Patients and their Caregivers in an Integrated Healthcare Setting

Background: Gender affirming surgeries are increasingly accessible to transgender and non-binary individuals due to changes in health care coverage policies and rising numbers of trained providers. Improved access to care has led to an increase in the number of individuals pursuing gender affirming surgeries. Little is known about how to optimally prepare patients for these surgeries. Aims: This evaluation examined attendees’ assessment of a four-hour single-session class developed to prepare transgender and non-binary patients and their caregivers for gender affirming surgeries in a multi-disciplinary transgender clinic within an integrated health care system. Methods: A multi-disciplinary group of providers within a health maintenance organization in Northern California designed and facilitated two separate curricula, one for patients preparing for metoidioplasty/phalloplasty and the other preparing for vaginoplasty. Between November 2015 and June 2017, 214 patients and caregivers took one of the two versions of the class and completed the post-class survey evaluating perceived favorability of the class and preparedness regarding surgery options, complications and postoperative care. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the Likert scale questions, with 1 showing the least improvement and 5 showing the most. Results: Of the 214 patients and caregivers that completed the survey, the majority reported that they were better informed about their surgical options (mean: 4.4, SD: 0.7), more prepared for surgery (mean: 4.5, SD: 0.6), better informed about possible complications (mean: 4.5, SD: 0.7), and better understood their postoperative care needs (mean: 4.6, SD: 0.6). Of the respondents, 204 (95%) reported they would recommend the course to a friend preparing for gender affirming surgery. Discussion: Our findings demonstrate that a single-session class is a favorable method for preparing transgender and non-binary patients to make informed decisions regarding the perioperative gender affirming surgical process, from preoperative preparedness, to surgical complications, and postoperative care.

Authors: Poceta J; Cousins S; Wenzel C; Lakhardt K; Hojilla C; Marlowe L; Ayoob J; Weintraub MR; Zaritsky EF

Int J Transgend. 2019;20(1):81-86. Epub 2019-03-11.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top