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According to data from the Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample, the number of gender-affirming chest surgeries among transgender adolescents has increased 389 percent from 2016 to 2019.

It is estimated 1,130 chest reconstructive surgeries were performed on transgender and gender-diverse adolescents during these years, according to findings from Rishub Karan Das of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and colleagues.

According to a research letter that appeared in JAMA Pediatrics, nearly all were masculinizing, with just 1.4 percent feminizing.

Only about 100 of these surgeries took place in 2016. The surgeries surpassed 200 in 2017 and 300 by 2018. The total for 2019 came in at 489. Ages of the adolescents ranged from 12-17, with a median age of 16.

The researchers also noted approximately 300,000 adolescents between 13-17 identify as transgender in the U.S.

“Reconstructive genital surgery is typically not performed in adolescents, but masculinizing chest reconstruction (e.g., mastectomy) and feminizing chest reconstruction (e.g., augmentation mammaplasty) may be performed in outpatient and ambulatory surgery settings,” the researchers explained.

Thirty-five state legislatures have introduced more than 100 bills to limit or prohibit access to what the study claims is “medically necessary gender-affirming care” for transgender and “gender-diverse” youth.


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