Gender reassignment surgery, also known as sex reassignment surgery or simply a sex change operation is a type of procedure in which
Turkey is a treasure trove of traditions, spices, street food delights and destinations for any intrepid tourist. It’s a mix between the familiar and the exotic, ranging from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene and relaxed Roman ruins spread around Turkey’s Western and Southern coast. Turkey is a fairly large country with 75 million inhabitants. The country spreads between Europe and Asia, with 97% of the country on the Asian side – Asian Turkey. Turkey is encircled and enjoys access to three different seas: The Black Sea, The Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the largest city in Europe, regarding population – It has over 14 million people.
Turkey’s medical infrastructure has improved greatly beginning with the early 2000s and now is one of the biggest medical tourism hubs in Europe and Asia. Turkey has the largest number of JCI-accredited hospitals, second only to the USA and hospitals are more often than not part of international healthcare groups, following strict European protocols and regulations. Turkey has 28.000 medical institutions spread across the European and Asian side but some of the biggest private hospitals and medical centres are in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Bodrum – these also happen to be some of the best tourist destinations in Turkey.
Bodrum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, with its sandy beaches and small streets littered with traditional shops and elegant restaurants. The town used to be called Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the World’s Seven Ancient Wonders. Bodrum also features a castle built by the crusaders in the 15th century.
Istanbul is the home of several architectural treasures, including the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmed between 1609 and 1616 and the Sultan’s body still resides within the mosque. The high ceiling is lined with more than 20000 handmade ceramic tiles, hence the name – The Blue Mosque.
Pamukkale, meaning “The Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a surreal destination in the country’s western region of Denizli, world renowned for its white terraces with warm spring water. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built over the springs and Pamukkale was a renowned destination in antiquity as well. Tourists can visit the ancient Roman and Greek ruins of the baths, temples and theatres dating to the second century BC.
● If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, you can get a VISA for Turkey online. The VISA usually costs around $20 for US travellers.
● Turkey’s population is predominantly Islamic so it’s a good idea to wear a headscarf while visiting mosques. Shorts or any other garments that fit under the knee are not prohibited by law but it’s considered good etiquette not to wear shorts for men or short skirts for women.
● You can change any sort of currency into the Turkish Lira – the Turkish currency just about everywhere. Most supermarkets and shops also accept credit cards.
● Roaming fees in Turkey can be somewhat expensive, so it’s a good idea to simply buy a new Turkish SIM card and use it while staying in Turkey.
● Turkey’s international calling code is +90.
● Electrical installations usually operate on 220 volts, 50 Hz and use European style plugs and European style sockets. Four and Five star hotels usually provide North American - 120 volts, 60 Hz sockets as well.
● Driving in Turkey can be a hassle sometimes, but very pleasurable at other times. Roads are usually in good shape and some roads actually lack traffic, so it can be a relaxing experience. In Turkey, people drive on the right, so that’s a detail you will need to keep in mind. In some areas, villagers made cardboard and marker pen signs in order to help lost tourist on their way.
● Renting a car in Turkey is quite simple and cheap. If you have the budget for a full insurance, you should definitely take it – if anything happens, at least you won’t have to worry about money.
● The Turkish Airlines Company, THY offers destinations to just about anywhere in the world with a total of 261 destinations. The company was founded in 1933 and features 285 passenger and cargo planes.
● Turkey uses the metric system which is easy enough to understand – 1 Km = 1000 meters, 1 Kg = 1000 grams, and so on. One mile equals 1.60 Km.
● Turkish people are warm and very hospitable - It is customary for people to hug and kiss both cheeks regardless of their gender.
● Turkish street food is very diverse, from the simple bagel-type snack Simit to the familiar pizza-type Lahmacun, there are tons of variants to just about anything.
● Turkish coffee is world renowned, but it’s also a bit different than say, its American counterpart - It is usually a strong coffee with a rich aroma, served very hot from a small traditional cup. Be careful not to drink any of the coffee grounds still in the cup.
● Turkish delight, as the name suggests, can be a really sweet delight for tourists. It is made from sugar, starch and just about any fruit or aroma imaginable, including walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, lemon, orange, rosewater and many others. Turkish delight is usually served with coffee and it became popular all around the world, including in the Balkans region and as far as Brazil and North America.
Gender reassignment surgery, also known as sex reassignment surgery or simply a sex change operation is a type of procedure in which a patient’s sex is physically changed. The process of changing one’s sex is very complex and not all patients follow the same steps in order to achieve it.
Individuals who wish to live as the opposite sex are known as transgender. As of this year, there are close to a million transgender individuals in the USA alone.
There are two main types of gender reassignment surgery:
● Gender reassignment surgery female to male
● Gender reassignment surgery male to female
Each sex change operation is different, as it depends heavily on the patient’s wishes and health, both physical and mental.
There are three main sex change steps which patients can follow:
● Mental Health Evaluation – the patient must be thoroughly evaluated before following hormone therapy
● Hormone Therapy – hormones are used to masculinise or feminise the patient’s features, including voice depth, strength and hair growth
● Gender reassignment surgery – the set of procedures by which the patient can become the opposite sex
A sex change operation is recommended for transgender individuals.
Gender reassignment surgery contraindications include:
● HIV infection
● Deep vein thrombosis
● Severe hypertension
● Hepatitis C
A comprehensive evaluation of the patient is first done, in order to better understand the issues the individual is facing and the reasons as to why they wish gender reassignment surgery. Transgender individuals must understand the risks and limitations associated with a sex change operation before actually going in for surgery. Patients usually have two or three evaluations before going to a hormone specialist. After 12 months on hormone therapy, patients can opt for the sex change operation.
A sex change operation is performed differently.
Gender reassignment surgery female to male:
● Urethral prefabrication
These procedures are performed in 3 main stages with 3 to 6 months between them. The risk of developing complications as well as the high costs associated with these procedures means that only around 25% of transgender individuals will follow them fully.
Gender reassignment surgery male to female:
● Penile skin inversion
● Colon vaginoplasty
All procedures are performed under general anaesthesia and most of the procedures last between 5 and 8 hours.
5 to 7 nights stay in the hospital is required
2 to 4 hours
Patient is required to stay 2 weeks in Istanbul
The average sex change operation recovery period is different for each individual and different depending on the sex of the patient:
● Gender reassignment surgery female to male
The patient will spend around 30 days in hospital. The process can take up to a few years, if the patient undertakes all procedures necessary.
● Gender reassignment surgery male to female
Patients must follow a liquid-only diet for a week after the sex change operation. After a week patients can start walking for short periods of time. Sexual intercourse may be resumed 2 months after the procedure. A dilator must be used by the patient for 30 minutes at least two times a day.
Risks and complications associated with a sex change operation can include:
● Severe infection
● Loss of ability to orgasm
● Tissue necrosis
● Intestinal fistulae
Side effects associated with a sex change operation can include:
● Vomiting and nausea
● Long recovery period, especially for sex change female to male surgery
Some patients may also experience depression and high levels of anxiety before and after the sex reassignment surgery.
Sex reassignment surgery is usually successful. Around 80% of male-to-female patients report satisfactory sexual intercourse, including the ability to orgasm.
Transgender patients can continue hormone therapy one week after the sex reassignment surgery. Male to female patients will not be able to menstruate or have children. Around 1% of transgender patients regret having gender reassignment surgery.