Thailand is believed to have the largest number of Male-to-female transsexuals per capita in the world.[citation needed] A number of international Transsexuals opt to travel to Thailand in order to pursue male-to-female sex reassignment surgery operations.

Transsexualism in ThailandEdit

For further information, see: kathoey

Westerners traveling to ThailandEdit

Western transsexuals travel to Thailand for sex reassignment surgery because, under existing Thai law, it is not necessary to comply with the Standards of Care (SOC) as set by the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association.

Individual surgeons set their own standards, which may include full compliance with the SOC,[citation needed] other surgeons may accept patients based on one or two psychiatric referrals asserting that the patient is diagnosed as transsexual, and is competent to understand the irreversible nature of surgery.

Advantages for WesternersEdit

These rules can be a major benefit for transsexuals who do not meet the criteria of the SOC. Other reasons for traveling to Thailand include lack of funding to pay for surgery, poor access to psychiatric therapy, living in an area where there are no qualified therapists, or patients who do not wish to complete a full Real Life Test.

The cost of surgery is generally considered less in Thailand than in the USA or Australia. Procedure costs can vary in Thailand from from 900USD - 21,000USD depending on the surgeon. The same procedure in the USA generally costs around 6,000USD, and around 17,000AUD

Disadvantages for WesternersEdit

Unfortunately, bypassing the SOC can lead to people who are not transsexuals obtaining surgery, and it is feared that this will increase the rate of regret.[citation needed] The lack of psychiatric support may cause transsexuals to undergo surgery before fully working through issues of employment, family and social networks.

There are some concerns in regard to the quality of Surgery in Thailand. Although some surgeons have an excellent reputation[1][2] a number of surgeons have been reported to perform only the most basic of operations, provide little follow-up, and leave patients with barely functioning genitalia.[citation needed]

Surgery in Thailand Edit

Gender Reassignment is regarded as a common procedure in Thailand. There are over 170 active surgeons.

Two local association provide education or certification for surgeons doing SRS. The Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand and The Thai Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine.


  1. Lynn Conway's homepage
  2. Transsexual Women's Rescources

See also Edit



  • Brown, Mildred L.; Chloe Ann Rounsley (1996). True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0787967024. 

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