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Clinics charge from $2,000 (U.S.) - possibly the cheapest sex-reassignment operation in the world. Thailand's medical tourism industry attracts more than 2 million visitors a year.

Transgender patient Eimy Gangian, center, poses for a photograph with her father Beny Gangian, left, and mother Yael Gangian. For the Israeli family there was only one place they felt would give immediate, affordable and high-quality treatment: Thailand.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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A tattoo is seen on transgender patient Eimy Gangian's shoulder during a consultation with surgeon Preecha Tiewtranon at his office at the Preecha Aesthetic Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. “It wasn’t simple to come here,” she says. “It’s a big deal.”Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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Transgender patient Eimy Gangian. “I got here with my family’s help,” Eimy says at the Preecha Aesthetic Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. “All my friends supported me. There are always some who aren’t interested in supporting people like us -- like me -- who make the transition.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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Surgeon Preecha Tiewtranon at the Preecha Aesthetic Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. Preecha performed Thailand’s first gender surgery in 1975. Preecha and five surgical colleagues at Bangkok’s Preecha Aesthetic Institute perform two to three gender operations a week -- a total of more than 3,500 over the past three decades. At least 90 percent of their clients are from outside Thailand. .Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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The Preecha Aesthetic Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. The Southeast Asian nation is at the forefront of the growing practice of transgender surgery, capitalizing on decades of know-how, low-cost health care, and a ready supply of surgeons trained to perform the male-to-female procedures.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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San Francisco plastic surgeon Curtis Crane at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, U.S. Crane says he is one of only a few surgeons in the U.S. performing a high volume of phalloplasties -- a booming surgical niche. “The surgery can be done for probably a third in Thailand of what it can be done for here,” he says. He spent six weeks in Bangkok in 2009 learning from Preecha Tiewtranon, the pioneer of Thailand’s SRS industry. “For some people who have no insurance and who need to have the surgery, it’s the only option.”David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Surgeon Thep Vechavisit at the Pratunam Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand. Vechavisit has a $2,000 (U.S.) no-frills approach, which he says makes his services more affordable for the increasing numbers of transgender patients who come to Thailand for surgery.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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Thep Vechavisit, centre, performs transgender surgery in an operating room at the Pratunam Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand. For about 70,000 baht - about $2,000 (U.S.) - patients’ male genitalia can be reassigned female in a procedure Thep says he does once a week in his Pratunam Polyclinic, a solo practice in Bangkok’s low-rent garment district. Vechavisit uses local anesthetic and sedatives to block the pain from the two-hour surgery he performs in a cramped room in his Bangkok clinic. It’s possibly the cheapest sex-reassignment operation in the world.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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A person enters the Pratunam Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand. a small but growing niche in Thailand’s medical tourism industry, which attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. Those patients generated about 140 billion baht - $4 billion (U.S) - in revenue last year, an 18 percent increase on 2013.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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Transgender patient Eimy Gangian stands silhouetted at the Preecha Aesthetic Institute . For Israeli teenager Eimy, the 3 1/2-hour procedure she had at the Piyavate Hospital in central Bangkok was the final step in becoming a woman.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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