Effect of Breast Removal Surgery on Mental Health
quantified how this surgery improved visible measures, given the wealth of evidence that transgender people experience higher-than-normal levels of anxiety and depression and dissatisfaction with their body image.
Researchers surveyed 70 patients six months before and after they received gender-affirming mastectomies to achieve a more masculine appearance using a criterion that’s been well tested and widely accepted in the scientific community.
These scales measured anxiety, depression, body image, psychosocial and sexual functioning and patients’ satisfaction with their decision, respectively.
Patients scored higher on mental health measures, were more satisfied with their appearance and reported higher self-confidence in social settings and improved body image overall.
There are very few survey studies where they are found a 50-point improvement on a 100-point scale. The scales researchers chose for each health measure lend legitimacy to the findings because they’re widely used and allow for comparisons to other medical conditions.
Wide variation in state laws and insurance coverage put such life-changing results out of reach for many patients.
The motivation behind this research is to influence policy by showing legislators and payers that gender-affirming surgery isn’t simply about changing appearance. It’s about changing other health measures influenced by gender dysphoria.
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