NHS medics performed one gender-changing procedure nearly every day last year, figures show.
The record number (355) — obtained by MailOnline analysis — illustrates the growth of Britain’s trans community.
Just 146 procedures were carried out annually a decade ago, for comparison.
Such ops include so-called ‘bottom’ surgeries, when biological men have their genitalia cut off and skin fashioned into a neo-vagina. Biological females can undergo a phalloplasty — an op to create a penis.
The complex surgery allows patients to better match their gender identity.
This graphs shows the total number of male to female and female to male gender transformations carried out in the NHS in England since 2000
Nearly 97 per cent of the surgeries are for men transitioning to become women, our analysis of tens of millions of hospital admissions revealed.
But the NHS Digital data, which spans nearly 20 years, does not breakdown the age of those receiving the surgeries.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of Transgender Trend, an organisation concerned about the current trend to diagnose children as trans, said the failure to record age could be considered ‘negligence’.
She said that as older men typically do not go for full sex-reassignment surgery, a young cohort may be driving the rise over the past decade.
‘These young men are far more likely to simply be gay, but at NHS adult clinics they will be waved through without any proper assessment or exploration.
‘Vulnerable young men who are autistic, gay, or suffer mental health issues will be “affirmed” as women, no questions asked.’
She added: ‘If it is a cohort of younger men swelling these figures, this will become the next medical scandal after the Tavistock.’
Ms Davies-Arai said the rising number of procedures was ‘not surprising, given the rise in transgender rights activism over the past decade’.
‘What is worrying is that free treatment on the NHS is now seen as a right for those who are suffering no medically-diagnosed condition but wish to change their bodies to match an “identity”,’ she added.
The NHS was contacted for comment.
In total, 355 gender-changing operations were recorded in England between April 2021 and March 2022.
The majority of these (333) were listed as being for the transformation from male to female.
The NHS data analysed by MailOnline, based solely on hospital admission statistics, does not factor in individual patients. For example, some of the patients may have required numerous operations within the 12-month period.
It also does not break-down the type of operation each admission received.
The number of male to female procedures carried out in the NHS vastly dwarfs the number of female to male ops
Procedures are carried out on Brits who have lived for over a year as their preferred gender identity and now want to have their physical appearance altered to match it
For transmen, such procedures can include the surgical removal of the breasts and the construction of a penis and scrotum.
Transwomen can have complicated ops to remove their genitals and replace them with an artificial vagina.
Cosmetic surgery such as facial feminisation and breast implants are not routinely available on the NHS and are, therefore, unlikely to be included in the data.
The data set also only includes patients who had surgeries either in an NHS hospital or a private provider commissioned to do so by the health service.
This means trans Brits who underwent surgery privately are not included in the total.
The total number of such procedures carried out in 2021/22 is up 38 per cent on the total seen before the pandemic.
Looking at the past 20 years of NHS data the increase is even starker, with nearly five times as many gender transformations carried out in the NHS as in 2001.
The NHS did not record the age of the patients who underwent gender transformations.
Sources said this is due to a change enacted in 2016 — where this information was redacted by hospitals due to the ‘sensitivity’ of such information.
But data from the last year it was recorded, 2015, revealed the average of age of transwomen, a biological male wanting surgery to appear more feminine, was 44.
Transmen, biological females who identify as men, had an average age of 23 that year.
The NHS data also revealed the number of transwomen seeking surgery to better match their feminine gender identity vastly outnumber transmen.
Just over 2,900 admissions were recorded female to male gender transformation surgery in the NHS over the last two decades. This represents 97 per cent of the total admissions.
What is behind this gender imbalance is unclear.
This diagram shows one method surgeons use to create a new penis, it involves harvesting skin and blood vessels from another of the body such as the forearm, and attaching it to the groin. After a recovery period the medics then connect it to the bladder allowing the patient to urinate from the penis and also form a new scrotum. The final stage is to add an implant that allows the patient to activate an erection. The surgery can be offered to both trans patients as part of gender surgery as well as biological males whose genitalia has been damaged
The waiting lists for such surgeries on the NHS are extreme, with campaign groups estimating there are some 2,000 transmen are currently waiting for a phalloplasty, the surgical creation of a penis.
This is, in part, due to the complexities of such a difficult and specialised operation, with only a limited number of surgeons in the UK performing these procedures.
According to the NHS data, people wanting male to female surgeries waited an average of 129 days for their operation whereas those wanting female to male procedures only had to wait 48 days.
Trans health in the UK has come under scrutiny in recent years, particularly relating to hormone treatments given to kids questioning their gender.
The health service’s embattled Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS,) the only service of its kind for children, based at London’s Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust, was set to close in July 2022 after inspectors rated it as ‘inadequate’.
Mental health issues were ‘overshadowed’ in favour of gender identity treatment, it was found. The clinic was accused of rushing children onto puberty blocking drugs by former patients who feel they weren’t challenged enough.
However, GIDS will now remain open until at least March 2024 because the creation of two new regional hubs — which are set to replace it — are taking longer to set-up than anticipated.
On the other hand, adults wanting gender-affirming care have criticised long waits for care on the NHS.
According to health service rules, people must have socially transitioned, meaning living as their new gender identity, for at least a year before becoming eligible for taxpayer-funded surgery.