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Frequently Asked Questions? FAQs

Why are the guidelines important?

Some of the procedures are irreversible, so patients need to fully understand and be prepared for treatment. Some of the side-effects of hormone therapy, such as an increased risk of blood clotting, can be life threatening to patients in poor health, for example those with heart disease. Some people with psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia and manic depression, may mistakenly believe they are transsexual, but a thorough psychological assessment should prevent misdiagnosis. Transgender psychiatrists also admit that the boundaries between transsexualism, transvestitism and homosexuality are not entirely clear to them. The guidelines help them to determine which patients would benifit from surgery.

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What do transsexuals make of the guidelines?

There is no consensus of opinion. Some transsexuals believe that some therapist stick too strictly to the eligibility criteria, without taking into account the circumstances and history of the individual patient; others believe they are sensible precautionary measures. Most of my clients seem to appreciate the fact that there is a well-established, medically proven system in place to aid them in this difficult task.

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What are the repercussions of sexual reassignment surgery? Are they generally positive or negative?

SRS has been performed on tens of thousands of individuals over the last 50 years. If the result was less than positive, the surgery would have been considered malpractice decades ago. To the contrary, there is plenty of empirical evidence to show that the surgery has led to positive outcomes in the lives of thousands of people who have had the surgery.

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DISCLAIMER: 

Nothing on this site should be viewed as providing therapeutic advice. No formation of a client/therapist
relationship with Dr. Vitale is intended or to be implied or inferred. The information provided in this site is for educational
purposes only. I attempt to keep the information current but make no representation or warranties in that regard. You should
not rely upon this information as a substitute for consul with a qualified mental health professional.