Thailand is not just a cheap holiday destination. According to city doctors, several Indians wanting to undergo sex reassignment surgery travel to the country as its clinics allegedly offer attractive packages. Thailand has a large transgender population.
“Recently, a couple of patients approached me with inquiries about sex reassignment surgeries. But when I told them that I only operate on two to three patients in a month, they chose to fly to Thailand where doctors do two to three surgeries a day,” said Dr Anil Tibrewala, plastic surgeon, Hinduja Hospital.
Shreya Lalwani, who underwent a sex reassignment surgery at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Andheri, in March, said she had initially explored the option of undergoing the surgery at Thailand. “I decided on Mumbai because it would have been easier to do the follow-ups here,” said Lalwani, a resident of Ganshidham in Gujarat.
“My patients tell me that Thailand clinics are so popular that they have a waiting list for the surgery,” said Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, endocrinologist, KDAH.
He claimed that he conducted hormone replacement therapy for seven patients last year, of which six went to Thailand for the surgery.
Dr Mohan Thomas, cosmetic surgeon at Breach Candy Hospital in south Mumbai, said: “Patients look at Thailand as a relatively cheaper option for the surgery sometimes even compromising on the credentials of these clinics.”