Wednesday 21 April 2010
Number of NHS sex change operations triples
The number of sex change operations carried out on the NHS has almost tripled in the last eight years.
Since 2000 a total of 853 men have gone under the knife to become women while in the same time span 12 women have had an operation to become a man.
Back in 2000 there were just 54 sex change operations carried out in the country while last year the figure stood at 143.
The average age for a man having a sex change operation is 42 with only one procedure in the last nine years being carried out on somebody under 21.
Only one operation has so far been carried out on a teenager and that was Angel Paris-Jordan, from Cumbria, who was known as Oliver Wheadon, who had the operation just before her 18th birthday in 2002.
However, earlier this year 16-year-old hairdresser Bradley Cooper, of East Yorkshire, announced that he had been approved for sex change surgery and was on the waiting list.
Sex changes on the NHS, which cost around £10,000 each, became a right in 1999 after the Appeal Court recognised that those who believed they were born into the wrong body were suffering from a legitimate illness.
For a man wanting to become a woman, surgery involves the removal of male genitalia and the creation of female genitalia.
For a woman to become a man, the breasts, uterus and ovaries are removed and male genitalia is created.
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