‘Sex development surgeries in kids should not wait until age of consent’

The director of AIIMS, New Delhi and the Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons together constituted a 23-membered committee to discuss matters pertaining to the indications for medically-necessary surgeries.
AIIMS Delhi
AIIMS Delhi

NEW DELHI: A panel constituted by AIIMS New Delhi and The Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons discussing matters pertaining to surgical requirements of children born with the disorders of sex development (DSD) has suggested that the decision for medically-necessary surgery in such cases cannot wait till the child has attained the legal age of consent.

“The director of AIIMS, New Delhi and the Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons together constituted a 23-membered committee comprising of paediatric surgeons from different parts of the country, pediatricians, paediatric endocrinologists and paediatric clinical psychologists to discuss matters pertaining to the indications for medically-necessary surgeries. A physical meeting of the committee was held at AIIMS, New Delhi on May 11, 2024 under the chairmanship of Dr Sandeep Agarwala, Head of Department of Paediatric Surgery in the institute,” a statement read.

The committee deliberated upon the need for medically-necessary surgeries in children with DSD where members were of the opinion that it is a heterogenous group of disorders and that each condition should be addressed individually.

According to doctors, the departments of Paediatric Surgery across the world caters to the surgical requirements of children born with DSD which are different from the conditions commonly referred to as ‘transgender’. DSD is a small component of the conditions commonly clubbed under the umbrella term ‘intersex’.”

Such patients may present medical problems requiring urgent treatment like dehydration, vomiting and electrolyte disturbances, urinary tract infections, abnormal bleeding from the genital tract or hold-up of menstrual fluid, and abnormal pubertal development such as voice change in girls, psychological distress or gynecomastia in boys.

Besides, some of these conditions are associated with a risk of cancerous transformation in the gonads requiring preventive surgery at the right time.

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