New clinic for trans healthcare

New clinic for trans healthcare

Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital is trumpeting the work being done at its new Gender Health Clinic (GHC), one of the first to focus specifically on catering to the needs of the transgender community.

In a recent press briefing, Assoc Prof Kasian Panyakhamlert, co-founder of GHC, said the clinic is pioneering new ways to treat and communicate with transgender people, who have special needs and have often shunned mainstream health services.

Dr Thanapop Bampenpiankul, a specialist at the clinic, reiterated the clinic's open-minded approach to healthcare provision.

"Some transgender people are content to play out their assumed gender role just in the way they dress, while others want to use hormones or have sex-affirming surgery," Dr Thanapop said.

According to Dr Thanapop, most trans men want to remove their ovaries but only 3%-4% want to undergo gender reassignment surgery, particularly as expert care is needed to avoid potentially life-threatening complications. Transgender men are born female but self-identify as male.

Dr Thanapop said GHC provides sex-affirming surgery services for transgender people including top surgery to reshape their chests, bottom surgery to reshape the genitalia and other related surgery such as cheek and jaw reshaping and Adam's apple reduction. He said the clinic has strict guidelines to follow when sex reassignment surgery is sought. One is that transgender people must receive a psychological evaluation from mental health professionals before undergoing any irreversible procedures.

The clinic is also a learning centre for physicians and medical students and it has been working closely with Chulalongkorn University's Centre of Excellence in Transgender Health.

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