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The mission of the UCLA Gender Health Program is to provide healthcare for the transgender or gender-diverse community that is sensitive to everyone’s individual needs. For patients seeking Gynecological Care, our UCLA gynecology specialists offer the following services:
For Transfeminine patients:
- Evaluation for concerns following reconstructive surgery: Transfeminine patients may require short-term or long-term evaluation or care after completion of gender affirming surgeries. This may include issues with pain, scarring, cosmesis, and coordination of care with other members of the Gender Health team.
For Transmasculine patients:
- Hysterectomy (laparoscopic, minimally invasive): At UCLA, we offer a total hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus and cervix, via both laparoscopic and vaginal techniques. Both techniques are minimally invasive, and allow patients to avoid large abdominal incisions. The hysterectomy is considered a therapeutic procedure by WPATH for transmasculine patients as part of the gender affirmation process.
Vaginal removal of the uterus and cervix requires just one incision at the very end of the vagina, through which the surgeon can remove the entire cervix and uterus. The surgery does not require any abdominal incisions, and typically takes about 2 hours. Patients can usually expect to go home either that night or the next morning. Patients can usually expect to return to work within about 1 to 2 weeks.
Laparoscopic removal of the uterus involves placing a small camera through the patient's belly button to completely remove the uterus and cervix. Typically about 3 to 4 abdominal incisions, each about 1 centimeter in size, are made to safely accomplish this surgery. The procedure is brief, taking approximately 2 hours or so, and patients can usually expect to spend just one evening in the hospital. Recovery is relatively quick as compared with open surgery-- most patients can return to work within 1 to 2 weeks, depending upon their job requirements.
Both the vaginal and laparoscopic techniques are associated with decreased risk of infection, decreased blood loss, and less pain post- operatively. In addition, the Fallopian tubes and ovaries can also be removed during both of these procedures depending upon the patient's preference.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy (minimally invasive): Salpingo- oophorectomy, or removal of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries, can be accomplished via minimally invasive techniques. If a patient desires a vaginal hysterectomy, the tubes and ovaries can be removed at the time of this procedure. A patient who does not desire removal of the uterus may have a laparoscopic removal of the tubes and ovaries alone. Laparoscopic salpingo- oophorectomy alone typically takes one hour, and patients can expect to go home within a couple of hours after surgery.
- Vaginectomy: Transmasculine patients may desire obliteration of the vaginal canal and opening. These procedures involve either removal of vaginal mucosa or closure of vaginal canal. We offer vaginectomy or vaginal closure for transmasculine patients no longer desiring any future penetrative intercourse.
- Evaluation for concerns following reconstructive surgery: Transmasculine patients may require evaluation or care of short-term and long-term concerns after surgeries such as hysterectomy, salpinogoophorectomy and vaginectomy. We strive to deliver these services in a setting that is sensitive to and supportive of transmasculine patients.
- Information regarding our comprehensive gynecological care services.
The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH): a non-profit, interdisciplinary professional and educational organization devoted to transgender health care, that has published Standards of Care for the health and care of transsexual, transgender and gender diverse people. The UCLA Gender Health Program follows the WPATH Standards of Care Guidelines for our surgeries. The most recent version of WPATH’s Standards of Care can be found here. It is available in 18 different languages.
Photographs: Due to privacy considerations, we do not publish photos of our patients on our website. Surgery photos - both preoperative and postoperative - are available to be seen during your initial consult.
- Care Coordinator: At the UCLA Gender Health Program, we understand the unique challenges that gender-diverse patients face when searching for health care. Providing personalized care involves collaboration between specialty physicians, which is why we have a Care Coordinator as the first point of contact. Our dedicated Care Coordinator provides our gender-diverse patients with assistance in navigating the UCLA Health system, specifically including:
- Providing information about UCLA’s Gender Health Program.
- Taking an initial intake assessment in order to understand each person’s health care needs and goals.
- Ensuring patients are established with a primary care provider.
- Coordinating referrals for gender-affirming surgeries.
- Identifying appropriate providers and coordinating referrals for other supportive services.
- Coordinating insurance and benefits coverage.
- Advocacy within UCLA Health in all aspects of care.
- Providing linkages to UCLA and community-based resources.