People from all over the world are flocking to Serbia to have sex-reassignment surgery, an extremely costly and controversial operation that is frowned upon by many countries, particularly those in Eastern Europe, says Dan Bilefsky of The New York Times. Drawing foreigners is the low cost (about $40,000 less for the male-to-female procedure than in the United States) and the willingness of surgeons to perform the very complicated operation.
Even in medically advanced countries like France and the United States, a lack of surgical skills and social stigma drive patients to seek treatment elsewhere.
In Serbia, the sex-change surgeries are fully subsidized by the State. There’s also a growing acceptance of transgender people in the former Yugoslavia.
There are now four medical centres in Serbia that specialize in the operation, according to Bilefsky. The entire procedure takes about six hours.
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