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Botched Gender Reassignment Surgery: Surge in Legal Actions

by | May 22, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Many Americans—possibly hundreds of thousands—believe they don’t fit the gender they were given at birth, and some desire to change it.

Those who desire to live their lives as the opposite sex are named transgender.

Through gender reassignment surgery, a transgender person may undergo various surgeries to change their look to fit their self-identified gender.

Gender reassignment surgery is also known as gender changing or gender affirming surgery.

Transgender persons may choose to have gender reassignment surgery on their chest, genitals, or face. These are personal decisions, and each person must decide what is best for them.

Such procedures have grown extremely widespread throughout the years. However, these are still specialist operations that need several years of expertise for surgeons to perform precisely.

Unfortunately, many physicians are eager to begin conducting these operations even if they are not wholly trained; their lack of experience can have harmful effects on patients.

Moreover, doctors who are thoroughly trained to do the surgery might make mistakes; their negligence can have disastrous consequences for innocent victims.

Let me clarify more about gender reassignment surgery, medical malpractice lawsuits filed by botched gender reassignment surgery victims against physicians, and so on.

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Before that, know about medical records, which will be a crucial component in any medical malpractice lawsuit.

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What does transgender or non-binary mean?

Transgender is a term that refers to persons whose sexual identity or gender orientation varies from their birth sex.

Generally, parents and physicians identify a baby’s gender based on the sight of their genitals. However, some people grow up and find that their sense of self isn’t connected with how they appear.

These individuals are classified as transgenders. For instance, a child designated male at birth may identify as female.

Nonbinary people are those who experience a gender identity that is neither mostly feminine nor overtly masculine, nor that is between or beyond both. They may identify themselves as “nonbinary” or “genderqueer.”

Trans and nonbinary persons have several alternatives for changing their appearance so that it represents who they are on the inside.

Many trans persons express themselves via dress, haircuts, and cosmetics. Some people take hormone treatment to improve their secondary sex traits.

Some people choose gender changing surgery, which permanently alters their bodies and appearances.

Gender reassignment surgery types 

Transgender patients who have gender reassignment surgery receive a body that fits their gender. Procedures on the face, chest, or genitalia could be undertaken.

Common procedures for altering one’s gender include:

  • Face reconstruction surgery to change facial characteristics.
  • “Top” or chest surgery to enhance and shape the breasts for a more feminine appearance, or to diminish breast tissue for a more masculine physique
  • “Bottom” or genital surgery to reshape and repair the genitalia

What transpires after a gender reassignment surgery?

Gender reassignment surgery healing time varies depending on the method or combination of treatments used:

Cheek and nose surgery: Swelling usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks.

Chin and jaw surgery: Most swelling goes down within two weeks. It might take up to four months for the swelling to go down.

Chest surgery: Swelling and pain persist for one to two weeks. You must refrain from strenuous activities for at least one month.

Bottom surgery: Most patients do not restart regular activities for at least six weeks after surgery. For a few months, you’ll have to see your physician once a week. These examinations ensure that you are recovering properly.

It’s critical to recognize that surgery is simply one step in the healing process for most individuals.

It would be best if you persisted in seeing a therapist or caregiver after gender reassignment surgery. This specialist can assist you with your social transition and emotional well-being.

How prevalent is gender reassignment surgery?

According to surveys, one in every four transgender person and nonbinary persons chose gender reassignment surgery.

Gender reassignment surgery results 

The majority of individuals who undergo these surgeries report an increase in their quality of life. Depending on the process, 94% to 100% of patients are pleased with the outcomes of their surgery.

People who engage with a mental health professional before surgery are more likely to be satisfied with the treatment results.

Alternative therapies for gender dysphoria

Not every transgender or nonbinary person chooses to have surgery. Depending on your age and preferences, you might choose:

  • Hormone treatment promotes male or feminine features such as body hair or figure.
  • Puberty blockers keep you from reaching puberty.
  • Voice therapy can help you modify your voice or tone, as well as improve communication skills.

Gender reassignment surgery side effects

The side effects associated with various treatments vary. For example, individuals who have had bottom surgery may have alterations in sexual feelings or difficulty with bladder emptying.

Significant problems are uncommon in general as long as a qualified surgeon performs the treatment.

Complications are possible with every operation, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Anesthesia complications

Apart from these minor complications, there are multiple issues regarding the negligence of the physicians dealing with gender changing surgeries in recent times.

Due to the physicians’ negligence, many innocent people suffer from pain and suffering.

How can a gender reassignment surgery go wrong by medical negligence?

Some of the common forms of medical malpractice are:

  • Unable to identify symptoms (related to complications)
  • Inappropriate administration of medications
  • Incorrect analysis of laboratory results
  • Deprived standard of care
  • Early discharge after surgery
  • Surgical mistakes (which include botched surgery and performing surgery on the wrong site)

Doctors must be cautious when performing surgery on their patients, but they can make mistakes. These mistakes can cause permanent harm to the patient.

The specific damage suffered by the patient always depends on the details of the incident. For example, botched gender reassignment surgery can lead to permanent deformities, muscle damage, nerve damage, and infections, depending on the nature of the incident.

What should I do?

If you or a member of your family has been harmed as a result of medical malpractice after botched gender reassignment surgery, there are a few steps you must take before filing a lawsuit. Consider some of the suggestions below.

  • Seek immediate medical attention – As soon as you become aware that you have been harmed by a medical error in your gender reassignment surgery, you should seek the opinion of a medical professional. This is essential to determine the extent of damage caused by fraudulent activity.
  • Collect all medical records related to the care you received before and after your botched gender reassignment surgery.
  • Take Pictures – You must take pictures of all injuries caused by the malpractice. Include photos of the injuries immediately after your gender reassignment surgery and the healing process.
  • Speak to a Witness – If possible, speak to a nurse or supporting staff who is willing to testify against a negligent doctor.
  • File a Complaint – File an official complaint with the hospital against a negligent doctor. You can also submit a report to the medical association. Always request a copy of any report you submit.
  • Get legal help right away – You should consult with a gender reassignment malpractice attorney as soon as feasible. You must select an attorney who is experienced with medical malpractice law and can assist you in winning your lawsuit.

If you want to know more about specific steps to take after you or your family have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, do not wait to take a look at our medical malpractice lawsuit blogs at Lezdo TechMed.

Could you be compensated?

Yes, based on the details of your malpractice claim, you may be entitled to compensation for damages suffered by you or your family after the gender reassignment surgery. What can you get? You can receive compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • loss of income
  • pain and suffering
  • funeral and burial costs
  • punitive damages

Botched gender reassignment surgery lawsuits

Chloe Cole

Cole, who was only 13 years old, struggled with gender dysphoria from the age of 11. She was prescribed puberty blockers and testosterone by her doctor, which caused a ripple of negative side effects she is still experiencing.

The side effects she is experiencing include joint pain, loss of bone density, and persistent symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Cole said that there is no specific information regarding the actual risks of the testosterone and puberty blockers in the signed consent form given to her before receiving puberty blockers and hormones.

The lawsuit also mentioned that the medical form failed to warn of the risks of permanent fertility loss, painful intercourse, increased risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and suicidal ideation related to puberty blockers and testosterone treatment.

Lesley Ann Shaw


Lesley Ann Shaw, a 37-year-old woman who does not identify as either male or female, visited the doctor after many weeks of excruciating menstrual cramps.

In the 3rd District Court, Shaw brought a malpractice claim against Dr. Rixt Luikenaar.

In accordance with court records, Dr. Rixt Luikenaar and Shaw talked about having a hysterectomy in which Luikenaar would remove one ovary and both fallopian tubes.

When Shaw awakened, both of his ovaries had been taken out. According to Shaw, they consented to the procedure thinking he would only have one ovary.

Jay Langadinos

Toohey, a doctor, diagnosed Jay with gender dysphoria and recommended that he begin hormone therapy.

Langadinos had a double mastectomy not long after starting hormone therapy. Toohey agreed to a hysterectomy, and Langadinos’ womb was removed later that year.

Despite being promised that these treatments would relieve her tension and uncertainty, Langadinos felt even more miserable after each one.

Her mental health deteriorated further, and by 2020, she had ceased identifying as a man and understood that the “transition” had been a mistake.

She claims her doctor “failed to take the safeguards” necessary to assure that the “removal of her breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries” would not injure her.

Langadinos’ tale is all too familiar, and she isn’t the only one speaking out against the “positive” care approach.

File your gender reassignment surgery claim within the statute of limitations

You must act immediately if you want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon or facility that contributed to the injury that your gender changing surgery caused you.

A statute of limitations regulates all claims and specifies the time that claimants have to file a lawsuit. Plaintiffs risk losing their ability to sue if their claims are not submitted on time.

Importance of medical records in a medical malpractice lawsuit

Medical records are the evidence for your suit, which mentioned the health issue you had before the surgery and also hold proof of how the medical error affected your health.

Though the medical records hold the complete history of your health, it is often unclear, and the attorney can’t understand all the medical terms in the medical records.

Therefore, a proper medical record review can assist attorneys in making them know about the conditions of the plaintiff even better. So, make your medical records error-free with the best medical record review service to succeed in your medical malpractice lawsuit.

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