Cooper University Health Care offers a number of gender-affirming surgical procedures to help transgender men and non-binary individuals better align their physical bodies with their gender identity.
Gender-affirming hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and cervix (which is part of the uterus). In addition, you may wish to have your fallopian tubes removed (bilateral salpingectomy). Removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) is unique to individual patients and is part of the shared decision-making between you and your provider.
Gender-affirming hysterectomy, bilateral salpingectomy, and bilateral oophorectomy are among the array of comprehensive services provided by the compassionate providers who are part of Cooper’s Center for LGBTQ+ Health in concert with Cooper’s Urogynecology specialists.
Other masculinizing surgeries offered at Cooper Health include chest/top surgery.
About the Surgery and Recovery
A gender-affirming surgery is considered a major surgery. The mode of surgery – meaning minimally invasive or open – depends on each patient’s overall health and unique characteristics. You may spend one or two nights in the hospital after your surgery, depending on how your surgery is performed. The recovery period for gender-affirming surgery is approximately six weeks, with many young and healthy patients quickly returning to their full daily activities sooner.
Each patient’s response to surgery and recovery will vary. The Cooper care team will answer your questions and go over the surgery, risks, potential complications, and expected recovery before you decide to undergo a gender-affirming hysterectomy or other surgery. They will also give you guidance on how best to prepare for your surgery both physically and emotionally.
Special Considerations Before Choosing Gender-Affirming Hysterectomy
The following are some of the special considerations before you decide to undergo a gender-affirming hysterectomy:
- Fertility: A gender-affirming hysterectomy would make it impossible to carry a pregnancy so it is important to be sure about your future family goals before electing this surgery. We are happy to refer you to reproductive endocrinologists who can help with egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) or other fertility-preserving methods if you want to consider becoming a biological parent in the future.
- Removal of ovaries Some early research points to the possibility that surgical resection of the ovaries can affect bone and heart health, but more research is needed.
- Insurance: Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover gender-affirming procedures. Our surgical schedulers can help you determine what services your insurance carrier covers.
- Medical comorbidities: If you have other medical problems, such as diabetes or hypertension, you may require testing and referrals before surgery to optimize your health.
- Gynecological screening: Before having surgery, you will likely need special tests, such as a pap smear or endometrial biopsy, to ensure that the appropriate type of hysterectomy is performed by the right specialist. In addition, an abnormal pap smear may require continued cancer screening after the hysterectomy.
Our Supportive Care Continues After Your Surgery
Cooper’s Center for LGBTQ+ Health will continue to provide a supportive environment to meet your health care needs after your gender-affirming hysterectomy.
If you require any post-surgical home care, our social workers will help facilitate this transition of care.