Gender Affirming Surgery

What Does Transgender Mean?

The word transgender is an umbrella term describing someone whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not align with what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Though many choose to transition or change their characteristics in ways that more closely align with their identified gender, steps in this process may vary, and some may choose not to transition at all. Transitioning, varies from person to person and can include telling family, friends, and coworkers, changing one’s legal name and/or sex, using different pronouns, hormone therapy, and in some cases (though not all), undergoing surgical procedures.

What is Gender Affirming Surgery?

Gender Affirming Surgery, also referred to as Sex Reassignment Surgery, or Gender Confirming Surgery, refers to doctor supervised surgical interventions that modify one’s sexual characteristics. There are three major categories of Gender Affirming surgery: top, bottom, and facial. Top surgery often includes breast/chest reconstruction or removal. Bottom surgery can include procedures such as vaginoplasties, phalloplasties, and metoidioplasties which modify the present tissue to create new urogenital anatomy. Facial surgery modifies secondary sexual characteristics of the face. The procedures that someone undergoes vary vastly between individuals.


Because surgical techniques may vary, I’ve organized illustrations based on the surgeon who performs them.

MTF Vaginoplasty

FTM Phalloplasty

MTF Facial Feminization Surgery

These illustrations were last updated in the spring of 2018. The current techniques performed through the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health may have since been modified. For more information on the JHCTH, please visit the center’s website or contact their office:

FTM Phalloplasty