In an extensive piece written by Azeen Ghorayshi and published Monday, The New York Times reported on how transgender “top surgeries” for minors have become a growing phenomenon. When reporters say top surgeries, they often mean mastectomy — the total removal of female breast tissue — though The Times’ article never uses this word.

For boys who want to transition to girls, top surgery means breast implants.

The Times article clearly frames these surgeries on teens as a positive development — with criticism of the surgeries left to the end of the piece, which most readers aren’t likely to reach.

One hospital, Kaiser Permanente Oakland, carried out 70 top surgeries in 2019 on teenagers aged 13 to 18, up from five in 2013, according to researchers who led a recent study.

This number is likely even higher today, given the explosion of transgender identity in young people and teens in just the past few years.

According to a survey by The New York Times: “Eleven clinics said they carried out a total of 203 procedures on minors in 2021, and many reported long waiting lists. Another nine clinics declined to respond, and six said that they referred patients to surgeons in private practice.”

These surgeries are happening. But as far as the depth and scope, what is public knowledge may be only the tip of the iceberg.

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