Transgender surgery goes by a constellation of names. People call it gender reassignment, realignment, or confirmation surgery; masculinization or feminization surgery; male-to-female or female-to-male surgery; or even sex reassignment surgery. Increasingly, as medicine breaks out of a gender-binary box, more inclusive and culturally appropriate descriptors, such as “gender-affirmation surgery” and “gender-affirming care,” are catching on.

Whether you are supporting someone who’s transitioning, or you’re on your own journey to align your body with your sense of self, it’s important to know what masculinizing, feminizing, and gender-nullification surgeries may involve, including potential risks and complications. We spoke with surgeons and trans health professionals to find out more about this expanding category of care.