In a country where gender identity is the law, the surgery of a face transplant is one of the rare instances in which gender is a part of the surgery procedure.
But the case of the face transplant, in which a woman was forced to have a face reconstructed after suffering a facial fracture, is raising eyebrows in India.
It was reported that a man was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai on Thursday after being told by his doctor that his face had been re-done.
He underwent the surgery in June and was told that he would have to undergo a face reconstruction if he wanted to return to his previous identity.
“The doctor said, ‘I have to have your face reconstructed for your identity, otherwise, you won’t be able to change it’,” said the man, who is a physiotherapist and has worked in Mumbai for two years.
The man said the doctor said the facial reconstruction would cost around Rs 50 lakh.
He said that the cost of the facial surgery was more than Rs 10 lakh.
Dr Gautam Pandey, the head of surgery at Dr Gautams Hospital, said the hospital had received multiple cases of gender identity disorder in the past.
He told NDTV that the surgical procedures were performed on a patient with a congenital defect in her left cheek and a face with a severe congenital anomaly in her right cheek.
“There is no indication of gender mismatch, so the patient is being asked to undergo gender reassignment surgery, which is a procedure that is quite common in India,” he said.