By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a huge advancement in medical care for transgender people in Massachusetts. Boston Medical Center announced Wednesday that doctors will soon perform gender reassignment surgery for trans women, making it the first hospital in the state to do so.

“There is a massive gap in transgender medical care that needs to be filled,” says Dr. Joshua Safer who heads the new Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at BMC. “We have already been providing significant transgender health care here at the Boston Medical Center, but this was the logical next step.”

The next steps are to bring all their services into one program, and to begin providing male to female genital surgery, something done in only a small number of hospitals. “This is the third academic medical center in North American that is doing this,” says Dr. Safer.

“People wanting surgery, gender related surgery, have had to go out of state. So this is really good,” says Nancy Nangeroni of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

She says the new center expands options. “Part of it is a reduction, I think, in fear, for the providers. The door to full dignity in everyday society is open a little wider today because of this,” she says.

“The need is enormous. Some estimates are that .3% of the population is transgender. If we bring that here to Massachusetts, we’re talking about tens of thousands of people,” says Dr. Safer.

More than 100 people are already on the waiting list to be considered for the male to female surgery. The first operation could happen by late summer. The surgery is in addition to a variety of health services the Boston Medical Center offers transgender people including primary care, plastic surgery and hormone treatments.

Paula Ebben

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