Should Minors Be Allowed To Get These Risky (And Permanent) Gender Affirmation Surgeries?

Minors can receive hormone therapy and top surgery with parental consent, but aren’t they too young to be making permanent decisions?

By Nicole Dominique2 min read
Transgender > Movement

This article is intended for readers 18 and older.

It seems there’s a rise in gender dysphoria among adolescents, and it’s causing them to search for ways to transition. Today, minors (specifically those who were biologically male) are allowed to take pubertal blockers to suppress their sex hormones. Female-to-male individuals can receive top surgery if they’re under the age of 18 with parental consent. As for bottom surgeries, they’re typically only available for those over the ages of 18, although some hospitals allow it. And as acceptance of transitioning grows, is it possible that more minors will be allowed to partake in these operations? If so, we have to ask: How is it ethical to allow minors to make permanent decisions? What if they regret it later on? What if what they’re going through is just a phase? We have to understand that a lot of the gender-affirming surgeries that exist aren’t all that they’re cracked out to be. For the most part, they’re risky and yield undesirable results. Let’s look at some of them.  


A Radial Forearm Free Flap Phalloplasty is a genital gender-affirming surgery for female-to-male transgenders. In order to create a penis for a female-to-male individual, the fat and skin are grafted from the forearm to create the penis. While this process is considered the “gold standard” for creating a phallus, the arm is left with a stigmatizing scar and the new penis looks nothing like a biological man’s. The image below shows the scar left on the arm after one month of getting this surgery. 

Top Surgery

Top surgery is the removal of breast tissue in females. The complications in getting this surgery include poor healing of the wound, fluid buildup underneath the skin, blood clots, damaged and dead body tissue, loss of nipple sensation, and scarring. Of course, there is also the risk of regret and confusion later on. 

Bottom Surgeries


This surgery is for male-to-female transgenders. The surgeon builds the inner and outer labia of the vagina by using the skin from the penis and scrotum. A new opening for the urethra is also created for urination. The surgeon then uses the tissue from the foreskin to build the vaginal opening. Immediate risks include bleeding, hematoma, infection, skin or clitoral necrosis, urinary retention, and vaginal prolapse. After this surgery, a dilation regimen must be implemented in order to keep the vaginal opening from closing.


In this surgery, the uterus or the ovaries are removed through a surgical cut from the stomach.


A vaginectomy is when the surgeon actually removes the vagina, then closes the vaginal opening. 

Closing Thoughts 

18-year-olds may be considered “adults,” but studies show that the brain still continues to develop up until the age of 25. The most important parts of the brain that are responsible for decision-making aren’t even fully developed for young adults. Currently, the “detransitioning” (a group of individuals who have halted their transitions) movement on Reddit has almost 40,000 members, and they share their stories of regret and pain. We need to protect our children from the ideas that influence them to make decisions that they can’t change later on in life. 

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