Surgery Center
Holistic Therapy
Health Issues of Transgender Patients
In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 0.6 percent of the population, or 1.4 million people, identify as transgender. As a group, transgender individuals are highly diverse, encompassing a range of disparate ethnic and racial backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and life experiences.  For the most part, persons who identify as transgender face similar health concerns as those who identify as cisgender; however, transgender individuals do share a unique set of challenges within the healthcare system.(1,4,17)
Historically, transgender persons have faced discrimination and harassment on the basis of their gender identity, both in their personal lives and within the context of the healthcare system.(4,7,10,17)
  • Perceived stigma may prevent transgender patients from disclosing their gender identity to their healthcare provider, which deprives the provider from information that may be pertinent to clinical decision-making and/or diagnosis.
  • Compared to their cisgender counterparts, transgender patients may be more likely to delay seeking preventive health services (i.e., Papanicolaou (Pap) test, prostate cancer screening), and less likely to receive urgent medical care.
  • Minority stress theory posits that the continual, lifelong stress that results from being a member of a minority group with a stigmatized social identity can potentially lead to an adverse sequelae of chronic health outcomes.
Healthcare providers should educate themselves on transgender issues and should strive to provide culturally competent, nonjudgmental, compassionate healthcare. (6,7,8,9,12,13,14)
In recent years, new legislation has been passed that attempts to protect the healthcare rights of transgender persons. (4,6,7,10,12,13,18)
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) has developed a set of recommendations for issues that transgender patients should discuss with their medical providers.  These issues include access to health care, health history, hormones, cardiovascular health, cancer, STIs and safer sex, alcohol and tobacco use, depression, injectable silicone, and fitness.

A growing body of research recognizes the health disparities that exist between transgender patients and cisgender patients. (4,7,8,12,13,14)
  • Compared to cisgender patients, transgender patients report poorer physical and mental health, and are significantly more likely to have a disability.
Transgender patients face a number of unique challenges and inequities within the healthcare system. (4,,9,10,12,13,18,20)
Individuals who identify as transgender may seek surgery (e.g., hysterectomy, vaginoplasty, breast augmentation) or hormone therapies (e.g., estrogen, testosterone) to achieve greater congruence between their gender identity and physical appearance.
Transgender persons, and transgender women in particular, are at high risk of HIV infection; the CDC reports that the highest percentage of new HIV cases currently occur among individuals who identify as transgender.(1,21,22)
Mental health issues are of particular concern among the LGBT population. (5,7,9,10,16,18,20,21,22)
For more information on health issues of LGBT patients, refer to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association or the Joint Commission’s LGBT Field Guide.


What Do our Patients Say ?

“I was shown the utmost respect by every single person starting with Angela who guided the paperwork and credit card process over the phone to the receptionist, nurses, on-call nurses, and of course Dr. Raphael. This was the first time I have ever had surgery and I am beyond happy with the total experience.”


“This staff and surgeon were top notch. They treated me in such a friendly manner and really took the time to access my individual needs. I left there feeling like I was a part of their family and can not see myself going anywhere else for this procedure.”