As the prevalence of gender dysphoria raises and as the reported quality of life of women who have gender dysphoria is significantly lower compared to the general population’s quality of life, mental health professionals are challenged with finding out ways to improve the perceived quality of life for gender dysphoric women. The present article assesses the effectiveness of gender reassignment surgery for lifting life quality of gender dysphoric women by following a sample of almost 200 gender dysphoric women who have undergone the gender reassignment surgery. Yet, this treatment did not prove very effective in the long-term.
Within the present study, researchers have recruited 190 gender dysphoric women who were about to undergo gender reassignment surgery. For all the participants, researchers have measured their perceived quality of life prior to surgery and in multiple follow-up surveys that were conducted during five years following the surgery. The responses they obtained suggest that while gender reassignment surgery does indeed lead to the improvement of one’s quality of life shortly after the surgery, this outcome did not persist for long and tended to fade within five years after the surgery. This is an unfortunate result as it indicates that although gender reassignment surgery is desired by many gender dysphoric individuals who hope to increase their quality of life, this is not necessarily the case as life satisfaction actually came down significantly a couple of years after the operation. The researchers stress that the results they obtained may not necessarily be due to the fact that gender reassignment surgery is not effective for lifting the quality of life but rather to the peculiarities of data collection methods used in this study and the age-related dynamics of the perceived quality of life.
Summing up, while the presents study clearly demonstrates that gender reassignment surgery should not be regarded as an ultimate solution for a low quality of life reported by transgender women it nevertheless does not suggest that gender reassignment surgery should be dismissed as a method for increasing lifting the quality of life in people with gender dysphoria. Overall, further research is required into this matter to determine whether gender reassignment surgeries contribute to the well-being of gender dysphoric people.
- Lindqvist, E.K., Sigurjonsson, H., Möllermark, C., Rinder, J., Farnebo, F., Lundgren, K. (2017). Quality of life improves early after gender reassignment surgery in transgender women. European Journal of Plastic Surgery, 40, 223-226.