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About Gender-Affirming Surgery at Mass General
Specialists in the Transgender Health Program and Transgender Surgical Program at Massachusetts General Hospital are dedicated to ensuring a welcoming and affirming environment for all patients. We offer patients a wide spectrum of gender-affirming services to support them throughout their entire care journey, including comprehensive primary care, surgical treatment, hormone management, case management and behavioral health support.
The Transgender Surgical Program is a collaboration with specialists from the Mass General Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Department of Urology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our multidisciplinary surgical team works closely with providers from the Transgender Health Program and every patient to develop a safe and all-inclusive surgical plan that aligns with the patient’s personal goals.
Gender-Affirming Surgical Procedures
Our expert team performs a variety of highly specialized gender-affirming surgical procedures tailored to meet the needs of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients.
- Vaginoplasty, sometimes referred to as bottom surgery, is a surgery that is used to create a vulva, labia, and vaginal canal
- Orchiectomy, also known as testicle removal surgery and/or bottom surgery, is a procedure in which the testicles are surgically removed
- Hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy is a surgery that involves the removal of the uterus and, in some case, the ovaries
- Phalloplasty, sometimes referred to as bottom surgery, is surgery to create a penis. It can include a variety of different procedures, depending on individual goals
- Mastectomy, sometimes referred to as top surgery, is a surgery to remove breast tissue from the chest
- Breast augmentation is surgery that uses implants made of silicone or saline to enhance the size of a person’s natural breasts
- Facial feminization or masculinization is surgery to alter facial features—the chin, nose, cheeks, forehead, etc.—to create a more feminine or masculine facial structure
- Vocal feminization or masculinization: To request an appointment with the Mass General Voice Center, please call 617-726-0218 or email us.
- Voice feminization surgery is a procedure that alters the pitch and quality of an individual's voice to align it with a more feminine sound though surgery that involves lengthening the vocal cords or adjusting the tension of the vocal cords. Before undergoing surgical intervention, patients will work with a speech therapist specializing in voice feminization
- Voice masculinization surgery is a procedure that alters the pitch and quality of an individual's voice to align it with a more masculine sound though surgery to decrease the tension of the vocal cords. In addition to surgery, some individuals may benefit from speech therapy to further refine their vocal skills and communication. This procedure is not common, as only 75% of people can masculinize their voice with hormone therapy
Frequently Asked Questions About Gender-Affirming Surgery
How do I schedule an appointment for gender-affirming surgery?
For genital or “bottom” surgery, the first step is to schedule an initial visit with the Transgender Health Program. To schedule this appointment, call 617-726-3525 or email us. For breast or “top” surgery, you are not required to schedule an intake visit with the Transgender Health Program, unless you need a referral for support services. Instead, please contact the Transgender Surgery Program team at 617-726-3525 to learn how to proceed with a surgical consult. Providers should fax referrals to 617-724-7126.
Following confirmation from the Transgender Health Program that you are ready to move forward with bottom surgery, the Transgender Surgery Program team will contact you to set up a surgical consult.
What are the options to preserve my fertility when undergoing gender-affirming surgery?
Fertility preservation offers the opportunity to freeze eggs or sperm to be used for building a family in the future. This can be done prior to initiation of gender affirming hormone therapy or surgery. For some, it can also be used after hormonal therapy has already been started. Resources and care are also available for coordinating use of eggs or sperm from another person (donor) or for another individual to carry a pregnancy (gestational carrier).
Patients who desire fertility preservation or family building through Mass General must:
- Complete a consultation with the Mass General Fertility Center
- Be of reproductive age (requirements vary by family building plan)
- Follow center-specific guidance and protocols for selected treatment
During your surgical consultation, your physician will ask you about your fertility preservation goals and will assist you with setting up a consultation with a fertility specialist. We are committed to supporting you and guiding you through this process.
What documentation do I need before my gender-affirming surgery?
Required documents prior to gender-affirming surgery vary depending on the type of procedure. Our surgical program coordinator will assist you with questions and provide you with more information during your surgical consult.
How do patients obtain insurance authorization?
Once we’ve scheduled a date for your surgery, we will submit a prior authorization for surgery to your insurance company for approval. Some out-of-network insurances may require you to obtain prior authorization for surgical consultations. Please reach out to your insurance company to determine what is required. Our dedicated surgical coordinator is happy to assist you with this process.
Does Mass General have an affiliation with hotels that offer medical rates?
There are medical rates at many of the surrounding local hospitals. Depending on the procedure, you may need to remain local for a few weeks. If you are interested in medical rates, our dedicated surgical coordinator will be happy to provide you with more information.
Patients who underwent gender-affirming surgery at Mass General share their experiences.
Finally, Herself: Elise’s Journey to Gender-Affirming Surgery
When Elise first heard of gender-affirming surgery, it seemed next to impossible in her situation. After a few years filled with research and conversations about her gender identity, what seemed impossible became achievable. She sought care with the Mass General Transgender Health Program team.
Tanner Chose Mass General for Gender-Affirming Care
"I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I didn’t have my team by my side every step of the way. I went from worrying, to feeling grateful," Tanner Bonanza, gender-affirming surgical patient.
Meet Our Team
The Mass General Transgender Surgical Program and the Transgender Health Program form a multidisciplinary and collaborative team of providers and staff who work together to provide gender-affirming care for all patients.
- Chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Chief, Division of Burn Surgery
- Interim Chief of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Department of Surgery
- Attending Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Pediatric Urology, MassGeneral Hospital for Children
- Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
- Assistant Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Primary Care
- Department of Medicine
- Department of Pediatrics
- Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgeon
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Department of Surgery
- Chief of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (URPS)
- Co-chair, Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders
- Director of Research, Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Fellowship
- Associate Visiting Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School