A well-known Saudi surgeon said he had performed 450 operations over the past 30 years to change the sex of patients suffering from gender problems, including three women who became men after marriage.
Professor Yassir Saleh Jamal, head of the sex correction surgical centre at the King Abdul Aziz Hospital in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah, said he had refused to perform operations on many persons seeking to change their gender although they do not have any sex problems.
He said his refusal was because such operations on persons not suffering from any gender problems are against Islam, adding that most of those persons are women seeking to be converted into men so they will get a bigger share of their family inheritance.
Quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Al Watan, Dr Jamal said three of those who underwent these operations were Saudi women aged between 18 and 21 years and who suffered from general problems after marriage.
“I examined them and found that they are actually males not females…before they underwent this operation, they said they had trouble sleeping with their husbands and that they had asked for divorce,” he said.
“They underwent some tests at the centre and we found that they are males…we performed successful sex-correction operations on them and the three are now men who are practising their life normally.”
Dr Jamal said girls are “more willing” to accept these surgeries than men, who “normally refuse to return to their real nature as women.”
“These operations are mostly rejected by those men or their families…it could take years before they come to the centre for the operation…many of them came only when they became adults and had no choice.”
Dr Jamal said all persons who had undergone such operations in the Kingdom had suffered from gender problems, adding that it is strictly prohibited to perform them on healthy and normal persons.
“This is against Islam because it involves altering God’s creation…performing an operation on a normal persons means that you are changing a right position into a wrong one,” he said.
He said he had performed nearly 450 sex-correction operations during his 30-year career, adding that the operation normally lasts from two to 10 hours.
“There are nearly 90 such cases waiting for their turn…usually, it takes some time before the operation is done in the absence of doctors specialized in this field and a government decision to ban these operations at private hospitals.”