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Imagine a character with a healing ability similar to Wolverine or Deadpool (as in able to recover from most injuries in minutes). The ability is always "on," and works like a sped-up version of the normal healing process. The character also has an increased metabolism (has to eat more to help fuel the healing process). The character is transgender, specifically female to male.

  • How would the character's healing ability impact attempts at gender transition?
  • Would gender correction surgery be possible? Or would only certain aspects, like a mastectomy/hysterectomy be possible?
  • Would hormone replacement therapy be possible? Would dosages have to be structured to compensate for the body's potential resistance to change?
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    $\begingroup$ If, as in does in most characters with the ability, the healing factor works by restoring the body to the condition detailed within the body's genetics then any surgery or even any type of body modification (piercings, implants, etc...) would be entirely impossible. $\endgroup$ – AngelPray Aug 13 '17 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ I can guarantee you that if Deadpool underwent a sex change, his foul mouth would impede the doctors' work at least as much as his healing ability. I don't know whether a doctor who has dedicated their life to changing people's genitalia can blush or not, but Deadpool's gonna try! $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Aug 13 '17 at 21:35
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Hormone replacement therapy works better in younger (pre-pubescent) bodies than in older ones. Since rapid healing is characteristic of younger bodies, I think there is an argument that aggressive hormone therapy would ramp up a body's expression of gender-typical shapes - for example vocal cords, size of breasts, fat ratios - all things that exist in both male and female bodies in different sizes or proportions.

So, a masectory combined with massive testosterone might convince the body to repair itself in a more male configuration.

You can read up on the way that the male and female genetalia are similar in early status of fetal development. Maybe some combination of the hormones with (perhaps hand-waving nanobots) might continue the body to accept the new structure of a penile implant as part of itself.

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I have wondered how Wolverine's healing powers know how he should be set up. I have to think there is some sort of internal blueprint that his healing factors moves thing back to if there is any deviation. That is why he does not age. I think really something like this would also push out his adamantium skeleton in much the way that real bodies push out real shrapnel.

In any case - what if the goal blueprint could change? Suppose the target for his healing factor became a female version of himself - or maybe a very different female version. He would heal his way to the different gender. I am not sure how fast someone like Wolverine or Deadpool is supposed to be able to heal something like a severed limb but it would be more plausible for a change like this to take more than a few seconds. Additionally, increased mass has to come from somewhere - either cannibalized from elsewhere in the body or after a several hour long raid of the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Someone like this would not only be a healer but also a slow shape shifter.

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Since You are after Comics characters I can tell you there's an episode where a female character (Black Widow, if memory assists) that wanted to get pregnant and her fast-healing was interfering badly recognizing the "abnormal condition". Solution was to take drugs suppressing the enhanced capabilities for the whole period.

In your specific case it strongly depends where and how these "rapid healing" super-power hooks to: if it hooks to genetic material then it would revert any changes made while it was "switched off"; OTOH if it "counters" any sudden change in anatomy it could "accept status quo" and even protect it.

To be clear, since this "rapid healing" does not exist in practice, you can shape it how it best serve your plot.

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+1 to AngelPray comment. OTOH, if as specified it is just a sped up version of the normal healing process; then things like amputation and other surgical changes will still work, the doctors just need to work more quickly. Or gender change may be even easier to get done because the surgeon can make part of a change; wait a few minutes for it to heal, then take another step with no worry about disturbing previous steps. Imagine building a house of cards with cards that very slowly "heal" together (like injuries). We could build much faster if they glued themselves quickly, like using super-glue.

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I think the concept is quite simple: Cut Deadpool's shlong off and it grows back.

So, I don't think that he could transition.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply but the character in question isn't Deadpool. They're female to male transgender, so no schlong to cut off. Instead, they'd be having mastectomies and/or a hysterectomy -- which I'd assume would be less likely to heal. $\endgroup$ – Dunmurderin Aug 13 '17 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ Assume less likely? Why? Why would breasts or uteruses be any different from penises? Wolverine is immune to cancer. It seems far more likely that the person would return to their biological body over time. $\endgroup$ – Brythan Aug 13 '17 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ It would depend on the concept of healing you are applying to the character. In Twighlight there was no restructuring with the healing ability of the werewolf. So the had to align the bones quickly. $\endgroup$ – Bananarama Aug 24 '17 at 7:54

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