Belgrade has become a destination for gender reassignment surgery, with a hundred international patients a year.
Belgrade has become a destination for gender reassignment surgery. The Transgender Law Centre reports that surgery in the US can cost between $5,000 to $50,000. In Serbia, the cost can be between $4,000 and $11,000.
Only a hundred transgender people travel to the Serbian capital every year, drawn by low prices and expertise.
A hundred patients may sound small but this is not a common form of surgery. According to the Washington Post, only 100 to 500 people are operated on yearly in the US. The UK sees 100 to 200 operations a year.
Dr Miroslav Djordjević at Belgrade Centre for Genital Reconstructive Surgery is one of Serbia’s leading gender reassignment surgeons “We are cheaper but that is not the reason people come here. It is the quality that we offer, the operating techniques that we pioneered and advanced to the point where patients want to come to Belgrade. ”
Belgrade’s doctors include global specialists in female-to-male surgery, which are more complicated and less widely available) than the inverse operation.
Djordjević regularly flies to perform operations in hospitals in Japan and the USA, and estimates that trans men make up 80% of his foreign patients.
A patient cannot just wire the cash and book a procedure — they first need to complete a year of preliminary mental assessment, in which they are examined by both psychologists and endocrinologists, followed by six to 12 months of hormone therapy before they are finally led into the operating theatre. Foreign patients must prove that they have gone through equivalent testing in their home country.
After care for patients is essential so surgeons insist that they stay in contact with so they can follow them and get reliable information to draw conclusions on results, successes, or failures.