With the social attitude towards transgender individuals undergoing a tectonic shift, sex reassignment surgery market will be registering massive gains over 2018-2024, as these surgeries are not only becoming socially acceptable but are also being supported by legislative reforms. Surveys in 2016 showed that nearly 1.4 million adults in the U.S. were transgenders and though the number accounts for only 0.6% of the total adult population of the country, it is still a commendable section of people to be reckoned with. As the idea of being a transsexual individual find social acceptance, more transgenders are completing their physical identities by opting for sex reassignment surgery, so much so that plastic surgeons around the world agree that the number of surgeons that specialize in sex reassignment are far less than the number the world requires today. As per estimates, sex reassignment surgery market was estimated at $200 million 2017 and is anticipated to grow more than four folds over 2018-2024. —
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons presented a survey conducted by approximately 700 doctors which found that gender confirmation surgeries rose 19% in 2016 as compared to 2015, a rise that most doctors attributed to expansion of Medicare coverage to include gender confirmation surgery and increasing social acceptance of the idea of surgically changing one’s sex and appearance. As more young people, celebrities and other recognized figures in the social media are challenging the conservative approach to gender and sexual preference, societal attitudes are becoming more inclusive and even federal and state laws are playing a part in supporting the transgender population, encouraging more people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Of the 3,256 surgeries that had been reported in the United States, 54% were male-to-female patients while the rest were female-to-male patients. Surgery involving the changing of the sex organ is still a minority with only 11% transgenders removing their testicles and 12% undergoing vaginoplasty as stated in a survey by National Center for Transgender Equality.
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The UK has also recorded a commendable demand for sex reassignment surgeries with some surgeons being of the opinion that the demand is humongous enough for the island nation to not find enough doctors to perform the surgeries. Presently in UK, the number of doctors as compared to number of people interested in sex reassignment surgery is so askew that there is often a waiting period of more than 6 months. Many NHS patients in London have to wait for more than a year and a half. Estimates show that referrals for vaginoplasty surgery has been increasing at a rate of 20% per year and as of 2016 more than 266 women have been waiting for surgery at Charing Cross which is the country’s oldest gender identity clinics. Driven by the rapidly rising rate of surgical procedures in the country, UK sex reassignment surgery market is estimated to depict a CAGR of 25.1% over 2018-2024.
High costs can impede many aspirants of sex reassignment to defer their decision of undergoing surgery. Many transgenders desirous of a sex change surgery have therefore started to look for options outside of first world nations and countries like Thailand and India have come to fill this void. Notably in Thailand, a sex reassignment surgery can be performed for a third of the cost it will incur in the U.S. Thailand attracts nearly 2 million transgenders every year who undergo sex reassignment surgery and the country generates billions every year thorough such procedures. Many individuals who have opted for sex reassignment surgery in India have testified that the facilities in the country are even better while the cost is lower than that of Thailand.
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It is imperative to mention that evolving technology has played its part in driving the sex reassignment surgery market. Even a few decades back the technology necessary for sex reassignment was not available but with the progression of innovation in the field of plastic surgery, sex reassignment has come to be thought as the very pinnacle of medical science that is an impressive combination of chemistry and surgical efficiency. As technology is expected to evolve further, the sex reassignment surgery market will gain immense traction that will continue over 2018-2024 and beyond.
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