Last fact-checked: 4 January 2023
Gender reassignment surgery (also known as sex-change, gender affirmation, or sex reassignment surgery (SRS)) refers to medical procedures sought by transgender or non-binary individuals which align one’s physical appearance or functional ability with the gender to which they identify.
While such surgeries have become increasingly more commonplace around the world thanks to improved techniques and greater awareness of this often-stigmatized issue, the cost of gender reassignment surgery still poses a major stumbling block.
When traveling to Thailand, however, patients save between 60% to 70% on the cost of their surgery (which can total more than $40,000 in countries like Australia, the UK and the US), as well as skip the long waiting lists often found in the West.
Use Medical Departures to find a world-class surgeon in Thailand, one of the world’s leading destinations for gender reassignment.
For many patients, the cost of undergoing gender reassignment surgery in their own country can be prohibitive. By choosing to undergo treatment in Thailand, treatment becomes a much more realistic and attainable dream.
The overall cost will depend upon the extent of the work to be carried out; as a general guide:
A male-to-female sex change (genital reconstruction only) operation in the US could cost as much as USD $25,000 - 30,000 (AUD 36,000 - 44,000)
In Thailand, the same medical treatment at an established, well-regarded facility costs around USD $7,000 - $12,000.
For patients seeking to add breast augmentation (implants), voice feminisation surgery, and Adam’s apple reduction (tracheal shave), prices may often exceed $50,000 in the West.
In Thailand, these surgeries generally cost around two-thirds less than in the US, UK or Australia. Thus, for a package that includes genital reconstruction, breast augmentation and voice feminisation surgery, the total cost is estimated to be USD $15,000 - $25,000.
See the table below comparing SRS prices in Thailand with other countries:
Price in Australia
Price in the USA
Price in Thailand (you pay)
Gender Reassignment Surgery (Genital Reconstruction)
USD 25,000 - 30,000
USD 7,000 - 12,000
AUD 11,00 - 15,000
USD 6,000 - 12,000
USD 2,500 - 5,000
Is Gender Reassignment Surgery Covered by Insurance Companies for Healthcare Providers at Home?
Finding coverage for any transition-related surgery can be a long and challenging process for those who would normally rely on private health insurance.
Many states in the US, for example, have laws that explicitly exclude such coverage, while those companies that do offer financial help typically require patients to endure prolonged hormone therapy, show proof of “ persistent and well-documented gender dysphoria ” over a set period of time and present numerous referral letters from doctors, mental health professionals and even family.
At its peak, Thailand welcomes more than 40 million international visitors a year. And while most tourists are drawn thanks to the allure of the country’s beautiful beaches, ancient temples, sprawling jungles, luxury shopping and exotic cuisine, many others travel for the sole reason of taking advantage of affordable plastic surgery prices–which includes SRS–with treatment carried out in state-of-the-art clinics and hospitals by highly skilled, specialist doctors who are often recognised for their expertise at a global level.
Below, we sum up the reasons to choose Thailand for SRS and related sex affirmation treatments.
Quality of Care: The continued growth of medical tourism in Thailand has seen the emergence of a wealth of world-class facilities, staffed by internationally-trained medical experts.
From modern beauty centers focusing on only select treatments to specialized departments within larger private hospitals, medical travelers now enjoy a healthy choice of well-established facilities that have all been fully verified by Medical Departures. In fact, Thailand is home to the most Joint Commission International (JCI) hospitals in the region and is the gold standard of international medical accreditation.
Some of the Gender Reassignment Specialists: It is also worth noting here that Thailand has been a pioneering country for gender reassignment; the first surgery was carried out here in 1975. Today, around 90% of the patients undergoing surgery in Thailand are welcomed from abroad.
Scroll down to examine some of our top-rated SRS clinics and hospitals and Thailand, with each dedicated listing page providing more information about the facility, as well as photos, prices, doctor profiles and patient reviews.
Prices: As we have looked at above, patients can typically look forward to saving at least 50% on the price of an SRS procedure in Thailand; many indeed find that the total cost is closer to 70% less than private care in the US, UK and Australia–as these countries will often not include other essential expenses in initial price quotes, such as anesthesia, in-patient care, medication and even consultation fees.
To find out how much you can save in Thailand on sex reassignment surgery, as well as how you can benefit from our Best Price Guarantee, you can connect with our Customer Care Team any time of the day or night.
The Medical Departures team takes the necessary time to research the finest hospitals and doctors available, performing background checks to confirm doctor qualifications and verifying associations with professional medical organizations, such as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
How Do We Verify Clinics?
Our website contains exclusive listings of reputable clinics and surgeons available throughout Thailand. We have performed site visits to ensure that equipment and facilities are of the highest standard, and we conduct regular reviews with patients that have attended our clinics to ensure that they have received first-class service.
Considering this is a highly-specialized procedure, we make sure that every surgeon performing the procedure is a member of professional organizations both in Thailand and abroad. These can be found listed in the ‘Doctors’ section on each of our clinic/hospital listings, and include:
The Thai Medical Council
Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand
Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons of Thailand
International Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand
Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand
Medical Association of Thailand
We also ensure that surgeons have undertaken rigorous training in the field, such as completing courses provided by the Global Education Institute (GEI) that follow globally-recognised guidelines, standards of care and best practices as set out by the WPATH World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
One of the top facilities in the country for various gender-affirming procedures is the highly-rated Kamol Hospital. Located in Bangkok, Dr. Kamol is globally recognized as one of the most experienced surgeons in the world for gender reassignment. A large team of surgeons is led by Dr. Kamol Pansritum, a world-renowned specialist in plastic surgery who has performed more than 10,000 cases of sex reassignment and facial feminization surgeries.
Kamol Hospital's specialists consist of gynecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, dermatologists, anesthesiologists and other clinical professionals who work as a team to provide the utmost care in the Thai capital.
For more options, take a look at three more trusted facilities in Thailand that offer sex-change surgery to international patients:
Asia Cosmetic Hospital (Bangkok)
Yanhee Hospital Health & Beauty (Bangkok)
MAXi Cosmetic Surgery (Bangkok)
Gender reassignment surgery (or “sex reassignment surgery” (SRS)) is the term given to the medical procedure (or procedures) that are utilized to alter the function and physical appearance of a patient’s existing sexual characteristics.
Sometimes referred to as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), the treatment is designed to provide the patient with the physical appearance of their identified gender. The process is also known as sex realignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery or genital reconstruction surgery.
In Brief: What Surgical Procedures Can Gender Reassignment Entail?
There are numerous procedures that can fall under the gender reassignment umbrella, and these surgeries differ between trans men (female to male) and trans women (male to female). The main genital reconstruction procedures (m2f / f2m), are:
For trans men, genital reconstruction usually involves the construction of a penis through either a metoidioplasty or a phalloplasty.
For trans women, the surgical construction of a vagina usually entails a penile inversion or a process known as the sigmoid colon neovagina technique.
For both trans men and trans women, any genital reconstruction surgery will usually involve other procedures, such as:
Other Gender-Affirming Procedures & Plastic Surgery
“Top” surgery, to masculinise the chest
Facial feminization procedures, such as chin augmentation and rhinoplasty
Reduction thyroid chondroplasty (tracheal cartilage shave)
Voice feminisation surgery
Tracheal shave (Adam’s apple reduction)
What Does Male-to-Female Gender Reassignment Surgery Entail?
Ultimately, male-to-female surgery entails reshaping the male genitals into a form that has the appearance of and, where possible, the function of female genitalia. Before any surgery can take place, patients are usually required to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and, possibly, facial hair removal. Other procedures that a patient may decide to undertake include breast augmentation and facial feminization surgery.
Genital surgery, or vaginoplasty, involves the removal of the testicles before the skin and foreskin of the penis are inverted, keeping the blood and nerve supplies intact to retain sensitivity. A section of the glans penis can also be used to create a clitoris that is fully supplied with nerve endings.
Once this procedure is complete, further surgery (known as labiaplasty) is usually undertaken. This is usually carried out once the surrounding tissues, nerves and blood supply have recovered from the vaginoplasty and is designed to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the newly-created outer vulva.
Apart from genital surgery, patients may opt for other procedures to enhance the overall results. These can include:
Breast augmentation–otherwise known as breast enlargement, can be utilized if hormone therapy fails to yield the desired results (normally with the use of implants)
Facial feminization surgery–a range of cosmetic surgeries designed to modify bone or cartilage structures in areas such as the cheeks, nose, forehead, brow and jaw to give a more feminine appearance
Voice feminization surgery–called glottoplasty, this procedure is used to alter the range or pitch of the patient's vocal cords
Tracheal shave–the reduction of cartilage in the throat to reduce the size of the Adam's apple, giving a more feminine appearance
What Does Female-to-Male Gender Reassignment Surgery Entail?
Unlike the male-to-female procedure, many trans men considering female-to-male surgery do not always undergo genital reassignment surgery.
Specialists usually place more focus on altering the existing physical female anatomical traits to conform to a more masculine appearance. However, it is usual for a patient to undergo hormone treatment using testosterone before any gender reassignment surgery takes place.
Procedures usually include having the internal female sex organs removed (hysterectomy), undergoing a bilateral mastectomy (breast removal) and attaining a more typically male shape to the chest through chest contouring techniques:
Mastectomy–sometimes referred to as "top surgery," this involves the removal of the breasts, repositioning of the nipples, and subsequent reshaping of the chest to give a more masculine, contoured appearance.
Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: a hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, whilst a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes. For some trans men, this is undertaken to alleviate the discomfort of having female internal reproductive organs, but for many, it is done to reduce the risk of cancer.
Metoidioplasty and phalloplasty–these are genital reconstructive procedures (GRT) used to construct a new penis, either by enlarging the clitoris with androgenic hormones (metoidioplasty) or through using tissue grafts from other parts of the body in conjunction with an erectile prosthetic.
Risks and Complications
As with any other surgical procedure, sex change surgery comes with a set of potential complications, although risk factors can be mitigated by choosing a trusted surgeon (who will be working with an experienced anesthesiologist) as well as following the correct pre-surgical protocols.
Postoperative care is just as important as preoperative care: events such as genitalia swelling, bleeding, nerve damage, pain, inability to walk and difficulties with urination are some of the most reported complications in regard to sex change surgery.
Your surgeon will thoroughly explain any risks associated with surgery and anesthesia during an initial consultation.
For more information, read these safety considerations regarding transfeminine bottom surgery provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The first and most-traveled destination in Thailand for sex reassignment surgery is the capital, Bangkok.
Home to the best SRS specialists in the country, sex-change surgery—or at least the concept of it—is fairly commonplace here in this sprawling megacity and does not carry the same negative stigma that it can in many parts of the US, Australia and Europe.
Bangkok is one of the world’s leading medical tourist destinations and also one of the world's most popular spots in Asia for families, couples and solo backpackers looking for an exotic getaway. Before or after your surgery, you will discover a long list of attractions and activities to enjoy. From food, shopping and thriving nightlife districts to taking in the sights and culture of this temple-packed city – you’ll find this fascinating city provides endless opportunities for enjoying Thai hospitality.
Bangkok’s attractions are varied –from dazzling temples and floating markets to designer shopping malls and effervescent nightlife–where you can eat some devilishly delicious street food on the cheap, or indulge in a high-end dining experience at one of the city’s glitzy rooftop restaurants. Bangkok has everything a modern city should have while retaining the allure and uniqueness of the old city.
> Read More: Ultimate Guide to Doctors in Bangkok
Another destination to consider for gender affirmation surgery in Thailand is Phuket. As the country’s largest island province, Phuket offers the same modern infrastructure and amenities as Bangkok–plus the welcome addition of tropical, white-sand beaches that are synonymous with this southern region next to the Andaman Sea.
Although not offering the same wide choice as the capital, we can recommend the superb Phuket Plastic Surgery Institute , which works with a team of more than 10 plastic surgery specialists. These English-speaking doctors are highly experienced and have earned international recognition as leaders in their particular disciplines, which include sex reassignment procedures.
> Read More: Ultimate Guide to Doctors in Phuket
Other Destinations in Thailand
If you are planning to enjoy some downtime before surgery, Thailand has a wealth of other top locations to choose from. Check out these destination guides aimed at medical tourists visiting Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai) and Chonburi province (Pattaya city).
In certain cases, medical tourists in Thailand do travel to another location following surgery to complete their recovery. This is usually only permitted following a set number of days or even weeks of bed rest after being discharged from the hospital. Always consult your surgeon about any travel plans you may have and follow aftercare instructions carefully (such as not swimming, engaging in vigorous activity and avoiding the hot sun).
Q. How old do I need to be for sex change surgery in Thailand?
A. Anyone 20 years old and older is eligible for gender reassignment surgery in Thailand. A person aged between 18 and 20 must receive consent from an authorized guardian.
Q. Will I have to undergo hormone therapy before getting a sex change in Thailand?
A. Yes, hospitals will typically require patients to have undergone hormone therapy for at least one year; reach out to one of our representatives for more information before you book.
Q. Can different sex reassignment procedures be performed concurrently?
A. Yes, a team of surgeons can perform certain procedures during the same session of surgery, such as penile inversion vaginoplasty combined with voice feminisation. Other reconstructive surgeries, such as breast/chin augmentation may need to be done separately.
Q. How long do I have to wait to see an SRS surgeon in Thailand?
A. Waiting times for any type of surgery in Thailand are generally much shorter than in the West; Medical Departures can facilitate an initial consultation in a matter of days, depending on the hospital/surgeon of choice.
Q. How long will I need to stay in Thailand to complete my sex change?
A. This will depend on the number and type of procedures to be performed; on average, inpatient length of stay is estimated to be between 5 - 14 days. Your doctor will advise how long you’ll need to stay in the country for recovery and post-surgery care.
Q. How much Is sex change surgery in Thailand?
A. SRS surgery in Thailand typically costs between $7,000 - $12,000 (penile inversion); other associated surgeries generally cost around one-third of prices in the West. You will want to confirm pricing and treatment plan with your chosen clinic(s).
Booking through Medical Departures maximizes your savings thanks to our Best Price Guarantee which ensures that you pay the lowest rate possible for your treatment. We can even help with additional medical insurance by putting you in touch with a number of independent insurance providers who can offer you preferential rates on their policies.
In Thailand, gender reassignment is affordable and delivers outstanding results. To find out how much you can save, get in touch with a member of our Customer Care Team now and start planning your life-changing surgery today.
How Thailand Became a Global Gender-Change Destination. Bloomberg. 17 October 2015. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-10-26/how-thailand-became-a-global-gender-change-destination
WPATH World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Website accessed: 28 November 2022. https://www.wpath.org/gei
International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Website accessed: 28 November 2022. https://www.isaps.org/
Joint Commission International. Website accessed: 28 November 2022. https://www.jointcommissioninternational.org/
Brazier, Yvette. What you need to know about breast augmentation. Medical News Today. 3 April 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263567.php
Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty. WebMD. 19 April 2019. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginoplasty-and-labiaplasty-procedures
A, Brooke. Is Gender Reassignment Surgery Covered by Health Insurance? Mira. 23 August 2022.https://www.talktomira.com/post/is-gender-reassignment-surgery-covered-by-health-insurance
Transfeminine Bottom Surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Website accessed: 28 November 2022. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/transfeminine-bottom-surgery/safety