Suicide Risk 12x Greater After Transgender Surgery

A study from the University of Texas Medical Branch found that the risk of suicide increased twelve times following gender-transition surgery compared to those who did not undergo transgender surgery.

The study sought to assess the risk of “suicide or self-harm associated with gender affirmation procedures,” as transgender individuals “face elevated depression rates, leading to an increase in suicide ideation and attempts.”

Researchers analyzed data from 1,501 individuals who underwent gender-transition surgery and had an emergency room visit, comparing them to millions of patients who had not undergone gender-transition surgery.

“Individuals who underwent gender-affirming surgery had a 12.12-fold higher suicide attempt risk than those who did not,” the researchers found.

Transgender individuals also exhibited a 7.76-fold increase in PTSD.

“Among those who seek access to gender-affirming surgery, the commonality of discrimination, interpersonal assault, and a lack of social support have been identified as influential factors in the development of PTSD within this group,” the researchers wrote, adding that the “emergence of PTSD following surgery often stems from the pre-operative challenges (such as harassment, limited social support, etc.) in conjunction with suboptimal surgical outcomes and insufficient psychiatric assistance.”

Another study found that men who underwent transgender surgery were more likely to commit suicide than before transitioning.

The American Urological Association study revealed that the “overall rates of suicide attempts doubled after vaginoplasty.”

“Rates of psychiatric emergencies are high both before and after gender affirming surgery [GAS],” according to the study. “Although both the phalloplasty and vaginoplasty patients have similar overall rates of psychiatric encounters, suicide attempts are more common in the latter.”

“In fact, our observed rate of suicide attempts in the phalloplasty group is actually similar to the general population, while the vaginoplasty group’s rate is more than double that of the general population. Patients undergoing GAS with a history of prior psychiatric emergencies or feminizing transition are at higher risk and should be counseled appropriately.”