Figures obtained by the Herald show that National Services Division (NSD) approved funding for 386 referrals for surgery between April 2013 and July this year, including 135 male-to-female and 41 female to male genital surgeries and 210 chest reconstructions for trans-men, where breast tissue removed to create a masculine torso. On average, male-to-female genital surgery costs around £10-11,000 per patient.
It comes amid a growing public awareness of gender dysmorphia in the wake of high-profile celebrity transitions such as Caitlin Jenner – formerly known as Bruce Jenner.
The figures compare to just 28 male-to-female surgeries paid for by NSD between 2003 and 2013. However, it is unclear exactly how much the operations have increased as, prior to 2012, most gender reassignment referrals were funded directly by health boards – not by NSD.
In many cases transgender patients faced a postcode lottery for treatment and lengthy delays. In 2012, NSD took over responsibility for all referrals in Scotland to simplify access to transgender surgery, but most patients still wait five to six years.