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Sex reassignment surgery in Poland
Synonyms: SRS, gender reassignment surgery, GRS, genital reconstruction surgery more »
Sex reassignment surgery in Poland - information
When you do not feel yourself - the transsexual challenge
Once unimaginable, now available to anyone in need. Sex change operations are becoming a part of our reality. In Poland, at least a few clinics offer the procedures. Men as well as women who do not feel comfortable in their body can undergo a series of procedures that will make them a newly reborn people of the opposite sex. The first step in the procedure is to diagnose a patient as suffering from transsexualism. It is performed by a sexologist, who conducts a series of interviews (such as a psychologist or psychiatrist). The patient must also undergo a number of tests, including genetic ones. After a positive diagnosis, a trans man (a man in the body of a woman) or a trans woman begin a hormone replacement therapy. The therapy impacts secondary sexual characteristics such as growth of body hair, facial features, skull and bone structure, muscle mass and body fat percentage and distribution. It is also often required for trans men to undergo mastectomy.
Another step is to carry out the legal gender change. The patient claims a change in gender in the District Court and in consequence, assumes a new name. An expert opinion of another doctor is a necessary requirement in the process. The judicial action is indispensable - otherwise the sex reassignment surgery is a crime as it deprives the citizen of Poland of the ability to reproduce. After the hearing is successful, the short form of birth certificate is amended and all the other documents may be changed as well. In Poland the PESEL number is also altered. It is only then, that a patient can be subjected to the sex reassignment surgery. Procedures are divided into two types: castration, i. e. gonad removal (testicles in trans women and ovaries in trans men, who must also undergo panhysterectomy, a complete removal of cervix and uterus), the other type is the reconstruction of the genitals: labia minora and majora as well as clitoris and vagina in trans women and penis with testicles in trans men. Most frequently, trans men undergo separate surgeries, while trans women have the operations performed parallely. They are all called the SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery). This is the last step in the process of the patient's gender change. Since 1999 the surgeries of transsexual people are not covered by the national health insurance - at present patients must cover all the costs.
Sex reassignment surgery in Poland - where to go
After the hormone replacement therapy as well as the successful court hearing, the patient is left with one more task - to select the right clinic for their sex reassignment surgery. The largest number of these procedures is carried out in the Barlicki Hospital in Łódź. According to Dr Bogusław Antoszewski, M. D., PhD, the head of the Plastic Surgery Clinic at the hospital, the number of procedures performed reached 340. Clinic specialists perform a complete sex transition in a transsexual patient, including the removal of Adam's apple, mastectomy, testicles prosthesis and penal reconstruction.
In the Warsaw Klinika Medycyny Estetycznej Dr Adama Gumkowskiego (AGklinik) transsexual people can be treated with mastectomy. A surgeon performs procedures of breast glands removal and breast augmentation. At Dr Marcin Wiatroszak clinic (EST medical - a clinic of aesthetic medicine and surgery in Wrocław) we can be treated with special silicone breast implants (round or anatomical) or hyaluronic acid to augment the size of the bust. The clinic also offers packages of minimally invasive procedures altering the typically male or female facial features bringing them closer in shape and size to the desired characteristics. Dr Wiatroszak can also offer plastic surgery of post-mastectomy scar removal as well as buttock, calves or chest silicone implants.
Breast implanting procedures are also perfomed by Dr Andrzej Bielecki, M. D., PhD from the Solumed clinic in Poznań. Whereas, in Gdańsk we can see the only, for the time being, surgeon in Poland carrying out the SRS operations. Prof Kazimierz Krajka, M. D., PhD (Stom-Med) is a professional highly recommended on the Transseksualizm.pl forum. He performs surgeries at the Medical University of Gdańsk.
There are many opinions regarding specialists diagnosing patients before SRS on the above mentioned forum. One of the recommended doctors is a specialist with tremendous experience in treatment of patients affected by transsexualism. His name is Prof. Marek Mędraś, M. D., PhD (Gabinet Endokrynologiczno-Internistyczny, Wrocław), and is a certified cardiologist and andrologist. Dr Katarzyna Ziemnicka, M. D., PhD from the "Cordis" Medical Center is also recommended by the forum users. In Warsaw, on the other hand, patients often consult Prof. Bogusława Baranowska, M. D., PhD (she runs a private practice - Baranowska Bogusława, prof. dr hab. n. med.
Endokrynolog, an endocrinologist).
A trans person being reborn
For a transsexual person, a change in gender means reassignment of the entire life they have lived so far. Therefore choosing the right plastic surgeon is extremely important. Patients are willing to go abroad to be treated by a professional and save a bit. Such operations are very expensive, for instance on the British Isles one procedure requires you to pay between 8 to 22 thousand American dollars (25 to 70 thousand zlotys). Meanwhile, Prof. Kazimierz Krajka, M.D., PhD performs the SRS treatment for 7650 zlotys at the Barlicki Hospital in Łódź. 50 thousand zlotys becomes a cost for the complete sex reassignment, not merely one surgery. This explains an increased interest of foreign patients. They come for treatment, and then relax and enjoy their new life sightseeing some of the most beautiful cities in the world.