1. What are the long term effects of SRS?
Well, the primary and most important long-term effect of SRS is Happiness – an absolute sense of freedom that can only be felt and experienced by the one who has been captivated within his/her own flesh for decades. Besides that, as far as my knowledge goes, there are no long term effects that are worthy of deciding to not undergo SRS if one IS Gender Dysphoric.
The hormonal drugs are known to affect the liver (very) mildly, but I look at it like this. Even if those drugs make my liver’s life and hence mine shorter by 5 years, at least as long as I am alive, I would be LIVING, instead of dying every second of my life.
But yes, SRS should be performed by an expert surgeon. I have heard of women who underwent surgery in local government hospitals and had to face problems like incontinence. The decision about the surgeon is critical. In my 1.5 years post SRS, I have not faced a single problem as far as my surgery is concerned.
Besides this, a good endocrinologist would be the best person to analyze and come to a conclusion as to what drugs can be administered to you, or if you have any other medical conditions that the drugs might complicate.
2. How long should a person continue hormones after SRS?
As per theory… forever. However, I have heard that several transwomen stop taking hormones 3-5 years post surgery and have no problems. But still, personally, I think one should carry on with the hormones at least till the age around which genetic women reach menopause.
3. Did you have any augmentation mammoplasty?
As of now, no. Many transwomen are able to get satisfactory breast growth with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Those who don’t, might choose to go for artificial augmentation. However, it is advisable that one takes a call about mammoplasty after at least 3 years of HRT. It has been only 2 years since I started hormones.
4. What is the ideal age to start hormones? My brother (MTF) seems to be suffering from GID (Gender Identity Disorder). He is just 12. How can we help him?
I would have referred to your brother in the Female gender if he had already been diagnosed with GID. But apparently, that is not the case yet.
See, I would suggest – give him about 3-4 more years to figure out his self and his identity. Don’t try to push him on either side. Let his mind and his thoughts take their own course and inclination with time. If he and you feel he is Gender Dysphoric even after 3-4 years, then take him to 2-3 good psychiatrists and let them diagnose his problem independently.
If he is able to start his HRT before 16 years of age, the transition process would be much less taxing for him – both physically and emotionally, because till then, whatever signs of masculinity have started developing in his body would not be very deep-rooted and will be easily reversed with HRT in a short span of time, unlike later, when it would take much longer (minimum 2-3 years) for the hormones to have satisfactory results, or worse, even less-than-satisfactory results.
I highly appreciate your sensitivity towards your brother’s problem and your courage to face it and accept it. He is a lucky person unlike most other transpersons. Your support will mean a lot to him in the face of the hard life he is probably living. So, keep the strength – yours and his… and I’m positive that several years down the line, you’ll be proud of yourself. My Best Wishes to you, your brother and your family!