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Your ultimate guide to Sex Reassignment Surgery in Thailand (male to female)

Cita Catellya

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Your ultimate guide to Sex Reassignment Surgery in Thailand (male to female) | The Thaiger
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For those who want to match their physical gender with what they feel is their true gender, Thailand is the place for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) – also known as Gender Reassignment Surgery, Sex Change Operation, and MtF Surgery, to name a few. So, what makes Thailand such an attractive destination for this type of procedure? In short, it’s because patients can get the most out of such surgeries in Thailand thanks to the number of highly trained surgeons, low-cost and quality health care, and decades of knowledge and experience in perfecting this procedure.

If you’re considering SRS in Thailand, or you have a family member, a partner, or a friend who is wondering what is involved in the procedure, this guide should help to paint a clearer picture.

The Procedures

To undergo SRS is a huge, life-changing decision that should not be made lightly. It is a lengthy process that requires a lot of resilience and patience. Before the actual surgery, you will first need to live as a woman for at least a year and undertake hormone treatment to help reshape your body contour and stimulate the growth of a labia majora.

Here’s a list of the required prerequisites that all surgeons will insist upon before considering your case:

  • You must be at least 20 years old or have consent from parents / legal guardians for those between 18 and 20.
  • At least 12 months of successful and continuous real-life experience living as a woman.
  • At least 12 months of continuous hormonal therapy.
  • Must consult with a psychiatrist in your country and in the country where the procedure will be performed (this can be arranged in your chosen hospital).
  • Physically fit for surgery.

The actual process usually involves a few procedures:

  • Orchiectomy (removal of testes) and Penectomy (removal of the penis)
  • Vaginoplasty (creation of a vagina)
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Facial and Voice Feminisation Surgery (FFS and VFS)

You may also choose other surgical procedures, such as a Tracheal Shave to remove your Adam’s apple, or a Buttock Augmentation to increase the volume of the buttocks. Since every patient is unique, the procedures involved in SRS can be performed based on your needs and budget.

The most important part of male-to-female surgery is the creation of the vagina. There are numerous surgical techniques to do this based on your preference. You can discuss with your surgeon which one is best for you. The other popular techniques are as follows:

1. SRS without vaginal depth

  • This procedure is suitable for who those do not need vaginal penetration of sexual intercourse and unwanted vaginal dilation.
  • Hospitalization: 4 nights
  • Duration time of surgery: 2.5 hours
  • Recovery time in Thailand: 3-4 weeks
  • Approx. cost $8,400 USD

2. SRS with Penile Skin Inversion

  • Suitable for patients who do not want a vagina for sexual intercourse, particularly popular with elderly trans people. Depth is around 2-4 cm (1-2 in) and penile hair removal is required prior to surgery.
  • Surgery: 2.5 hours
  • Hospitalization: 4 nights
  • Recovery time in the local area is 3-4 weeks
  • Approx. cost $9,800 USD

3. SRS with Scrotal Skin Graft

  • Scrotal skin is used to create a vaginal depth of up to 13-15 cm (5-6 in), depending on skin quality and quantity (additional depth is possible by using groin skin). This is the most popular SRS procedure.
  • Surgery: 4 hours
  • Hospitalization: 6 nights
  • Recovery time in the local area is 3-4 weeks
  • Approx. cost $9,800 USD (with the option to increase depth further for $1,400 USD)

4. SRS with Sigmoid Colon by Laparoscopic Technique

  • The Sigmoid colon is used to create the vagina, allowing for greater depth than what is possible with SRS with a scrotal skin graft. More suited to those with less scrotal skin or those who prefer to have a lubricated vagina, like that of a biological woman. By far the most expensive technique.
  • Surgery: 6 hours
  • Hospitalisation: 7 nights
  • Recovery time in the local area is 3-4 weeks
  • The open technique, with a ~8-10 cm incision scar in the bikini line; approx. 13,700 USD
  • Laparoscopic technique; 4 small incisions in the abdomen; approx. 18,850 USD
Your ultimate guide to Sex Reassignment Surgery in Thailand (male to female) | News by The Thaiger

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Recovery

Recovery after surgery will be a long and painful process. It will also require several follow up procedures as well as constant monitoring so you will have to stay a little bit longer at the hospital until you are fully ready to be discharged. Generally, allow for a minimum of 3 weeks stay in Thailand or the country of your choice area after your surgery. Most people are able to return to work in about 4-6 weeks after a sex change operation. Furthermore, you can resume strenuous work and exercise in about 6-8 weeks. It is vital that you strictly follow all medication instructions during your recovery period.

Aftercare

Social support is very important before and after the surgery, especially the support that comes from your family and loved ones. You have to be socially and emotionally stable before you undergo the operation. This is why it is required that you have proper counseling to help you with your emotional wellbeing. You have to prepare yourself mentally, before, during and after transition because it can be quite overwhelming and stressful.

It is also important that you maintain regular check-ups with your local Doctor to monitor the progress of your healing and avoid such complications.

Success Rate

The success rate for a sex change is very high, given our technological advancements. Gender reassignment surgery from male to female has a higher success rate than female to male; this is why more male transgender opts for a sex change.

However, given the nature and complexities of this type of surgery, you also have to be aware of its complications:

  • Possible risk of infection
  • Severe pain
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clotting and scarring

Possible side effects may also include:

  • Decreased sexual sensation and ability to orgasm
  • Fistula (opening between rectum and vagina)
  • Narrowing of vagina and hair growth in the vagina from the grafted tissue
  • Partial death of tissue used to create the new vagina

Costs

SRS can be very expensive, especially since it is difficult to get this type of surgery in many countries. One reason why Thailand is popular with those who want to change their sexual identity is that the country offers more affordable fees. Many patients come from the United States because the US has the most expensive male-to-female SRS prices in the world.

The prices range from $25,000 to $30,000 for just the reconstruction of the genitals alone. If you want to add breast augmentation and voice feminisation surgery, you can expect to pay more than $50,000. Additionally, some clinics in the US don’t include consultation fees in their prices, so you need to pay at least $50-100 for every consultation.

In general, SRS in Thailand costs around a third to half of what it can cost in the United States. For the reconstruction of the genitals in Thailand, you can expect to pay between $8,400 to $13,700 depending on which technique you choose.

Breast augmentation costs approximately $4,100 to $6,170 and Voice Feminisation Surgery costs between $3,590 to $7,180. In total, you will need to pay around $16,090 to $27,050 in Thailand for the complete procedure. These prices can also include packages, such as hospitalization accommodation, post-operative care, consultation fee, post-operative care, medications, and transportation.

Quality

The low-cost healthcare in Thailand does not mean low-quality treatment. In fact, Thailand is extremely popular among medical tourists because the country is known to have high-quality healthcare. Numerous medical centers in Thailand are accredited by prestigious international organizations, such as the Joint Commission International (JCI). The country has come a long way since its first Sex Reassignment Surgery in 1975, with many surgeons specialising in SRS for years, some even have over 20 years of experience. With their skills and experience, the surgeons and clinics can give patients the proper care they need and guarantee the best possible result.

Since there are many medical centres in the country that offer Male to Female SRS, it is understandable that some will better than others. To avoid disappointment, do your research, read reviews, find out about the clinic’s accreditation, and ask for your surgeon’s certifications. Better still, seek out the services of a dedicated Medical Tourism Facilitator like MyMediTravel who will guide you through the whole process and find you the best possible surgeon/clinic/hospital available and within your budget.

Cita Catellya is a journalist and content writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence.

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Thailand’s hospitals well equipped to handle Coronavirus patients

Thaiger Medical

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Thailand’s hospitals well equipped to handle Coronavirus patients | The Thaiger

Thailand was the first country outside of China to report novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on 13 January 2020. As of February 19, the number of confirmed cases remains at 35 – 15 of whom have recovered and been discharged, while the other 20 remain in hospital.

Thai officials have stated that the Kingdom is one of the most prepared countries in Asia in the event of an epidemic. The country is ranked second strongest in the region for its healthcare system, a system capable of treating the sick and protecting healthcare workers. The Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs also pointed out that the country is well-prepared to handle the coronavirus infection as they did successfully with the MERS and SARS epidemics. Following the coronavirus outbreak, Thailand has become a model for other countries for its measures to keep the coronavirus concealed and providing outstanding healthcare, despite its hesitation to block the arrival of new Chinese tourists.

Thailand's hospitals well equipped to handle Coronavirus patients | News by The Thaiger

Heat map to show the impact in SE Asia (https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com)

With more than 60 JCI accredited hospitals, Thailand is, indeed, ready to handle any emergency. Doctors and hospitals in the country are well-equipped to treat coronavirus patients. It is reported that Thai doctors have found a promising treatment for the virus. It is also worth pointing out, again, that 10 people in Thailand have recovered from the virus, the highest number of recoveries outside of China.

Bumrungrad International Hospital, the top hospital in Thailand according to MyMediTravel, reaffirm the trust of their visitors and patients by implementing the use of thermal imaging cameras at their entrance points. These thermal imaging cameras can quickly screen any individual for fever and are used for the safety of their patients, visitors, employees, as well as the wider community. Bumrungrad also ensures that their experts in managing the spread of infectious disease are able to help coronavirus patients.

Other prestigious hospitals, including Sikarin Hospital and Bangkok Hospital Bangkok, are armed with the latest medical technology as well as skilled experts to handle patients with coronavirus. Just like Bumrungrad International Hospital, these hospitals also installed body-temperature scanners at their entrance points. While people who have fevers in hospitals are very common, anyone whose temperature rises over 37.5 °C will be quarantined and tested for H1N1, influenza A & B, and RSV viruses. If the flu tests are negative, the patient will have a blood sample taken to be sent to the government science center to test for the coronavirus.

It is well worth noting that all hospitals across the country strictly follow the Ministry of Public Health’s protocols and they work hand in hand with Thailand DDC and other health organizations. The hospitals make sure that their surveillance standards and control measures are reviewed and updated constantly. With the knowledge and experience of their medical professionals in dealing and containing infectious diseases, Thailand’s hospitals implement the most meticulous safety measures possible and utilize the best medical equipment to help handle coronavirus patients. So stay strong Thailand!

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Thailand Medical Tourism, 2020: Reviewed

Thaiger Medical

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Thailand Medical Tourism, 2020: Reviewed | The Thaiger

Following on from our previous review of Thailand’s Medical Tourism Industry, we’ve seen the highs and lows across 2019 and now into 2020. The highs mostly focused on the value of the Thai Baht and the lows centered around the Coronavirus, with Thailand still welcoming Chinese tourists, weeks after most countries closed their borders to them. The impact can easily be seen with many medical tourists canceling their travel plans whilst the whole planet waits in anticipation to see what the real damage of this virus will be. Nonetheless, the interest is still there and the MyMediTravel team is busier than ever.

We’ve put together our analysis from a new sample of 1,000 English-speaking, non-Thai based customers and made some interesting discoveries.

It’s no surprise that the Aussies make up nearly a fifth of all arrivals, given its relative proximity to Thailand, but what is surprising is that Americans make up the largest group at 20% – the country with by far the biggest medical tourism market in the world! Our neighbor, Singapore, understandably provides 10% of arrivals – Thailand is much cheaper after all and a 1.5-hour long flight can cost as little as $76, return. It is worth noting that Chinese and other non-English speaking medical tourists have not been included in this survey, as they tend to travel with a local facilitator who can provide around the clock assistance.

Almost two-thirds opt for a medical facility in Bangkok, most likely due to the abundant supply of competing facilities who bring the prices down when compared to the other cities and regions. Heavily weighted in favor of females, no wonder given that the second most popular procedure is Breast Augmentation! But notice the ‘very-2020’ addition of a third gender, Trans. Gender is no longer a binary option, with 3% identifying themselves as neither male or female.

CoolSculpting, ever heard of it? Click the link for more information, but in a nutshell, it’s a non-invasive alternative to liposuction where the fat cells are frozen and slowly die off, with the body excreting them naturally over the following weeks. The procedure is ideal for those who have smaller more stubborn fat in areas like the ‘muffin top’ or the ‘love handles’. The rest of the top-10 procedures are mostly different types of cosmetic surgery with, of course, Gender Reassignment and also the Hair Transplant among them.

Finally, analyzing the popular facilities, we see the undisputed champion of Thai medical facilities, Bumrungrad at the top, with the Sikarin Hospital not far behind – offering almost as many procedures and services, but at a fraction of the cost. Bellamode, formally know as KTOP Clinic and Yanhee Hospital are fast gaining a reputation for being up with the best cosmetic surgery facilities in the region.

Thailand Medical Tourism, 2020: Reviewed | News by The Thaiger

Thailand Medical Tourism Overview, 2020

 

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Paying the price for beauty: Top treatments for women in Thailand

Thaiger Medical

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Paying the price for beauty: Top treatments for women in Thailand | The Thaiger

As the thirst for plastic surgery in Thailand grows, this has led to many Thai females searching for alternative beauty solutions. In fact, Thai ladies are seeking better ways in order to achieve the ultimate look via cosmetic treatment. Now, who said beauty was only skin deep.

Thanks to an emerging market where overseas patients benefit from top-notch surgeons at a fraction of the price, Thai women are starting to see the benefits. With greater accessibility, cosmetic surgery is not purely for the wealthy. Thai girls working in numerous jobs in varied sectors are presently saving every baht for a cosmetic procedure.

“Thailand is undeniably a world leader in medical tourism. Over the last decade alone, the industry has generated more than $5 billion. Coupled with affordable healthcare in modernized hotel-style hospitals, Thai women are seizing the opportunity to go under the knife in pursuit of a better version of themselves” says Paulie Webster of MyMediTravel.

Thai women are looking to achieve a cuter or more alluring look based on their current visage. Consequently, over the next few years, the trend points towards increasing demand for eyelid surgery, facial contouring, and rhinoplasty procedures.

As far as the latter is concerned, nose jobs have been gaining in popularity. Due to the shortage of a western-style bridge, Thai women are becoming more and more aware of this specific feature and looking for ways to enhance their appearance.

Meanwhile, breast augmentation procedures in Thailandhave never been so popular with Thai women. Boob jobs are considered to be one of the most common procedures as Thai women’s figures and breast shape tend to be slightly flatter. In addition, a yearning to become more Westernized in terms of a fuller breast shape has seen many women look to one of the 60-plus JCI-accredited hospitals across the country.

And with recovery time taking less than four to six weeks, it is no wonder Thai ladies are penning these procedures into their diaries. However, one of the most en vogue treatments Thai women are favoring at the moment is Asian Double Eyelid Surgery, also known as the Blepharoplasty.

Following the latest fashion craze, this new beauty standard, hugely popular in South Korea, has dramatically changed the cosmetic landscape. Bigger double-lidded eyes are most certainly in along with a narrower face, smaller chin, and paler skin. These qualities have now seen a recent upsurge in Thai females wanting to appear like their South Korean counterparts. Many will stop at nothing in order to achieve the ultimate double eyelid via surgical methods.

Supporting evidence also suggests that the number of double eyelid ops is becoming even more appealing. Figures from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reveal that double eyelid treatments are currently in the top 5 most carried out global procedures. Making the eye area richer and fuller, there has been in excess of 1.5 million procedures undertaken in the last two years alone which is set to rise in South East Asia.

Paying the price for beauty: Top treatments for women in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Post-surgery, Vietnamese girl, Tran Vu Van Anh, was unrecognizable to even her family. But she has no regrets.

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