The number of sex change operations being performed annually by the NHS has almost tripled since 2000, according to figures revealed by The Daily Telegraph.
The NHS performed 54 sex change operations in 2000, and last year this figure had risen to 143.
And since 2000 a total of 853 men have undergone sex change surgery to look like women, and twelve women underwent surgery to look like men.
However, the sharp increase in the number of operations being performed is likely to alarm critics who have previously warned that gender dysphoria is a psychiatric problem, not a physical one, and that radical physical surgery does more harm than good.
In 2002 doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – stated that after surgery, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.
Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism, released in April 2000, said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.
Each sex change procedure costs the NHS around £10,000.
Last month it was revealed that a British expat who became the first person in the world to be officially recognised as genderless had lost his no-gender status.
Norrie May-Welby, who moved to Australia when he was seven, is a man but chose to undergo a sex change operation 20 years ago.
However, Mr May-Welby wasn’t happy with his new body and chose to stop taking female hormones to become a “neuter”.
And earlier this year it was revealed that a 16-year-old boy is to become the nation’s youngest sex change patient after the NHS approved his surgery.
Currently the youngest Britain to have undergone sex change surgery is Oliver Wheadon, now known as Angel Paris-Jordan, who had his sex change operation shortly before turning 18.