NEW YORK (NBC News) Plastic surgeons are now tracking transgender surgeries performed each year in the United States, and the numbers show such procedures are becoming much more common.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has released new data on transgender surgeries.
In one year, 2015 to 2016, gender confirming procedures increased nearly 20-percent.
Along with changing attitudes in society, doctors attribute the increase to insurance companies that have extended coverage for transgender surgeries.
“What the surgery is designed to do is allow an individual to feel comfortable with who they know themselves to be,” says Dr. Loren Schechter.
Patients are all adults, but increasingly younger, and often females transitioning to male.
“It’s fairly common to have individuals 17 years old undergo mastectomies as they transition from high school to the next phase of their life,” Dr. Schechter notes.
Gearah Goldstein says transitioning has relieved her from consuming thoughts of her gender.
“Access to gender-affirming surgery is life-saving for people that need it,” she says.