The first recorded instance of a transgender surgery occurred in the early 20th century, when Danish physician Christian Hamburger performed a surgery on a transgender man named Lili Elbe. Elbe was born female but identified as male and sought medical intervention to transition to his true gender identity.
Hamburger performed a series of surgeries on Elbe starting in 1930, including removal of the uterus and ovaries, construction of a penis using skin grafts, and removal of the breast tissue. These surgeries were experimental and not without risks, and Elbe ultimately died from complications following one of the procedures.
Despite the tragic outcome, Elbe’s story brought attention to the struggles and needs of transgender individuals seeking medical treatment to align their bodies with their gender identity. In the decades since, medical professionals have developed safer and more effective methods for transgender surgery, including hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries such as genital reconstruction, chest surgery, and facial feminization surgery.
Today, transgender surgery is a recognized and accepted form of medical treatment for transgender individuals. It is important to note that not all transgender individuals choose to undergo surgery, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to transitioning. Every individual’s journey is unique, and it is important to respect and support their decisions and needs.