Demand for this highly specialised surgery is growing fast due to an apparent increase in gender dysphoria. According to a 2020 study conducted by a Los Angeles hospital, Cedars Sinai, 78% of transgender males experienced gender dysphoria by the age of 7.

Insurers are more willing to cover sex reassignment surgery as well. Aetna and Unicare already provide insurance for surgical procedures like salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), orchiectomy (removal of testicles), or ovariectomy (removal of the ovaries). In the US, around 152,000 transgender individuals are enrolled in Medicaid, according to GVT, but only 69,000 among them have access to gender-affirming care coverage under state law.

The female-to-male market segment generated the most revenue in 2021. GVT attributed this to innovations in metoidioplasty (creating an artificial penis), phalloplasty (modification of the penis), scrotoplasty (creating a scrotum), and chest reconstructing (removal of breasts).

However, the male-to-female market will probably outpace the FTM market over the next several years because of a higher incidence of gender dysphoria amongst natal males.

GVT says that the main players in the gender reassignment surgery market are “adopting several strategies to strengthen their market presence”. They are offering ever more specialised surgery, such as chondrolaryngoplasty (reducing the size of the Adam’s apple), breast reduction, neo-vaginoplasty, and genital remodelling. Companies are also investing in LGBTQ+ healthcare and seek a listing on the Health Care Equality Index.

Some prominent players in the American sex reassignment surgery market include:

  • The Mount Sinai Health System (New York)
  • Transgender Surgery Institute of Southern California (Santa Monica)
  • Cedars Sinai (Los Angeles)
  • Moein Surgical Arts (Los Angeles)
  • Boston Medical Center (Boston)
  • Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland)
  • CNY Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery (East Syracuse, NY)
  • Plastic Surgery Group Rochester (Rochester NY)
  • The University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

Michael Cook is the editor of Bioedge and his article is written with permission