Recent findings in gender surgery

transgender flag
IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK

The Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital opened its doors in 2018, offering a full suite of surgical options for eligible patients ready to take this step in their gender journey. Research is part of the center’s mission, and the team has regularly published papers on a variety of gender-related topics. Here are some of their recent publications.

Ethics of creating a pediatric gender surgery center

As part of establishing the Center — the first of its kind in a major pediatric hospital — its team identified key ethical, legal, and contextual issues by collaborating with clinicians, hospital leadership, the ethics committee, legal counsel, and other appropriate parties. Their experience and learnings are described by Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, MPH, David Diamond, MD, Amir Taghinia, MD, Oren Ganor, MD, and others in the May 2019 issue of Pediatrics.

Social workers’ competence in treating LGBT patients

To determine how hospital social workers view their clinical competence, attitudes, and knowledge of providing care to LGBT patients, Boskey and her colleagues surveyed 45 hospital-based social workers. Among their findings, published in the March 25, 2019, issue of Social Work in Health Care: Social workers tended to hold positive attitudes about LGBT patients but were less confident about their knowledge and clinical preparedness. In addition, providers felt significantly less competent about working with transgender than lesbian, gay, or bisexual patients.

Fighting denial of coverage for nipple grafts in chest reconstruction surgery

In this piece published April 4, 2019, in PRS Global Open, the authors describe problems with insurance plans denying coverage for free nipple grafts as part of double incision mastectomy procedures. Although the stated reason for those denials is that such nipple grafts are “cosmetic,” Boskey et al point out that studies have identified discomfort with swimming and going to the beach as a common component of dysphoria in transgender men. For this reason, they argue, performing chest reconstruction without nipple grafting is inappropriate.

Learn about the Center for Gender Surgery.

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