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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 182981, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/182981
Review Article

The Development of Sex Reassignment Surgery in Thailand: A Social Perspective

1Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Department of Plastic Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg Gröna Stråket 8, 41345 Gothenburg, Sweden
3Preecha Aesthetic Institute (PAI), Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Received 9 February 2014; Accepted 4 March 2014; Published 19 March 2014

Academic Editors: M. Bizic and M. L. Djordjevic

Copyright © 2014 Prayuth Chokrungvaranont et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper reviews the development of gender reassignment in Thailand during the period of 1975–2012, in terms of social attitude, epidemiology, surgical patients’ profile, law and regulation, religion, and patients’ path from psychiatric assessment to surgery. Thailand healthcare for transsexual patients is described. Figures related to the number of sex reassignment surgeries performed in Thailand over the past 30 years are reported. Transsexual individuals are only apparently integrated within the Thail society: the law system of Thailand in fact, does not guarantee to transsexuals the same rights as in other Western countries; the governmental healthcare does not offer free treatments for transsexual patients. In favor of the transsexual healthcare, instead, the Medical Council of Thailand recently published a policy entitled “Criteria for the treatment of sex change, Census 2009.” The goal of this policy was to improve the care of transsexual patients in Thailand, by implementing the Standards of Care of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health. Currently, in Thailand, there are 6 major private groups performing sex reassignment surgery, and mostly performing surgery to patients coming from abroad. Particularly, the largest of these (Preecha’s group) has performed nearly 3000 vaginoplasties for male-to-female transsexuals in the last 30 years.