Gender-affirming Surgery Consultation

Last reviewed: 4/25/2023

What is gender-affirming surgery?

Gender-affirming surgery is a term referring to any surgical procedures intended to help someone feel more comfortable in their body from a gender perspective, including chest (“top”) and genital (“bottom”) surgery, as well as nipple reconstruction, tracheal shave, among others.

Planning for surgery can feel exciting and/or intimidating. It is not unusual for the process to take months, or even a year, from the start of planning to the surgery itself.

Columbia Health’s Transgender and Gender Expansive Team (TGET) offers support throughout this process - whether it’s providing information about finding a surgeon, getting referrals and necessary letters of support, understanding insurance coverage and other financial considerations, creating a post-surgery aftercare plan, or providing space for exploring your thoughts and feelings.

Getting Started

Students interested in gender-affirming surgery may begin the process by consulting with TGET members at Medical Services or Counseling and Psychological Services.

Insurance Coverage

The Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan (the Columbia Plan) includes benefits for surgery. Students on the Columbia Plan (administered by Aetna) may contact the Insurance Office for support around navigating questions about surgery coverage and related requirements.

Some students who pursue surgery begin the process with knowledge of particular surgeons and procedures; regardless of one's knowledge level, a consultation with the staff at the Insurance Office will provide students with accurate information about coverage and helpful facts about the process.

More Resources for Transgender and Non-Binary Students

Visit our Transgender and Gender Expansive Health Care Services page to see a full list of services.