A Capable Surgeon and a Willing Electrologist: Challenges to the Expansion of Transgender Surgical Care in the United States

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since 2014, public and private insurance coverage for transgender Americans’ surgical care has increased exponentially. Training clinicians and equipping institutions to meet the surge in demand has not been as rapid. Through ethnographic research at a surgical workshop focused on trans- genital reconstruction and in a U.S. hospital working to grow its transgender health program, this article shows that effects of the decades-long insurance exclusion of trans- surgery are not easily remedied through the recent event of its inclusion because patient access is not the only thing that has been restricted by coverage denial. Decades of excluding coverage for trans- genital reconstructive surgery have limited the development and circulation of technical skills required to perform these procedures, as well as the administrative processes needed to integrate them into existing clinical workflows. One surgeon estimates that turning expanded access into realized care is “a five or six-year problem.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-301
Number of pages20
JournalMedical anthropology quarterly
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • health care administration
  • insurance
  • surgical practice
  • transgender medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

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