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Comment & Response
November 2017

Gender Confirmation Surgery and Terminology in Transgender Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(11):1090-1091. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.2346

To the Editor In the excellent review by Berli et al,1 the authors noted that consultations for gender confirmation surgeries have increased since 2014, when the Department of Health and Human Services overturned Medicare’s 32-year-old ban on coverage for these procedures. However, the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services warrants further attention because it failed to define which “transsexual surgeries” are considered medically necessary.2 Procedures, such as breast augmentation, body contouring, facial feminization or masculinization, thyroid cartilage shave, or laryngeal surgery to feminize one’s voice, in many contexts are considered cosmetic but are often used by transgender individuals for the purpose of transitioning gender.

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