News (USA)

No regrets: Top surgery patients report 100% satisfaction

No regrets: Top surgery patients report 100% satisfaction
Photo: American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

Right-wingers often claim that transgender people regret receiving gender-affirming care. But a new study from the University of Michigan is adding to empirical evidence showing that gender-affirming surgery is an overwhelmingly positive experience for transgender people.

The research, published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery, indicates the rate of regret for top surgery among trans men is an astonishing 0 out of 100.

The authors identified 235 patients who had undergone a mastectomy at the university’s gender-affirming surgical unit, the country’s oldest continually operating facility for gender surgery at an academic institution, between 1990 and 2020. A total of 139 patients responded to the survey. 

The median satisfaction rate among respondents was five out of five.

“There has been increasing legislative interest in regulating gender-affirming surgery, in part due to the concern about decisional regret,” the authors wrote in their introduction to the research’s results.

“We aimed to measure long-term satisfaction with decision and decisional regret,” the authors explained, “in order to inform patients considering gender-affirming mastectomy and policymakers regulating these operations.”

An estimated 1.6% of US adults identify as transgender or nonbinary. Many seek medical and surgical affirmation to treat gender dysphoria and ensure social acceptance.

“A common concern among patients, physicians, and policymakers is the potential irreversibility of gender-affirming therapies, particularly surgery, and the possibility of regret following these procedures,” the authors note.

Invoking regret among recipients of gender-affirming care and surgery has been a stock tactic of right-wing anti-trans activists pushing bans on therapy and surgeries for both trans minors and adults in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

But the study’s findings contradict those claims, at least for top surgeries, “indicating low patient-reported long-term rates of regret and high satisfaction with the decision to undergo gender-affirming mastectomy.”

Commentary on the survey indicating that the research and its findings were in “support other studies with shorter follow-up” and demonstrated the “stability of surgical results.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 130 bills among the avalanche of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation introduced in U.S. state legislatures in the last two years have directly targeted trans healthcare.

One of the latest efforts, a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), would ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors at the federal level, making the standard of care supported by major medical organizations a Class C felony.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) forcefully reaffirmed its support for gender-affirming care for minors.  

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Beyoncé brought fans to tears when she said three words about trans people

Previous article

Parents’ rights protestors tells LGBTQ+ advocates to go hang themselves

Next article