The Journey to Vaginoplasty Surgery: What You Need to Know
Vaginoplasty surgery is a complex process that transgender women undergo to transition from male to female anatomy. For those contemplating this permanent change, it is a deeply personal decision that requires extensive research and thoughtful consideration.
What is the journey really like for those who choose to undergo vaginoplasty? In this article, we dive deeper into the topic of the journey to vaginoplasty surgery and what you need to know.
Making the Decision for Surgery
Transitioning can be a long, methodical, step-by-step process. Whether someone decides to take hormones, get breast augmentation, undergo facial feminization surgery, or undergo body contouring, it should be a gradual process where they thoughtfully consider each decision and outcome.
For many, the decision to undergo vaginoplasty surgery takes time. It's not something people just wake up one day and get on a whim. There is a lot of research and contemplation involved.
Even those who have always wanted surgery have to weigh the risks, like potential loss of sensation or inability to have pleasurable sex.
Gender dysphoria can make the male genitalia feel wrong and disgusting, but surgery is permanent and irreversible. It's crucial to take time to consider all factors to avoid regret.
Choosing a Surgeon
After extensive research, some opt to go with renowned surgeons like Dr. Chattawat in Bangkok, Thailand. He utilizes a scrotal skin graft technique to achieve more depth and aesthetically pleasing results.
It's vital to understand the different surgical approaches, weigh priorities like depth for penetrative sex, and choose a surgeon accordingly.
Surgeons have prerequisites to complete prior to scheduling surgery. This often includes documentation like letters from mental health professionals approving the patient for surgery.
It also involves stopping hormones, getting lab work done, and booking travel arrangements.
Costs and Logistics
Vaginoplasty surgery can cost around $12,000-$20,000 depending on the surgeon and location.
Other expenses like travel, lodging, and aftercare add up too. It's recommended to bring someone for support and get travel insurance. Packing wisely is also key - documents, loose dresses, underwear, toiletries, and entertainment.
Consultation and Preparation
Prior to surgery, the patient will have a consultation to discuss expectations and goals. They also complete medical forms and get photographed for before and after documentation.
In the days leading up, they must adhere to a liquid diet, take laxatives, and get an enema to fully clear out the system pre-surgery.
The Surgery Experience
On surgery day, the patient changes into a gown, lays on the operating table, and receives anesthesia just like any major surgery. They awaken in a recovery room feeling groggy and nauseous.
A hospital stay of 2-3 days follows, where they are kept on a liquid diet and monitored while on pain medication. Nurses assist with sponge baths, removing drains, and taking the first steps to prevent blood clots.
Early Recovery and Dilation
After hospital discharge, around day three, nurses come to your location to change dressings and eventually remove packing. This reveals the new vagina.
The patient is given a dilator kit and taught how to use the dilators to stretch and maintain the depth of the vagina. Dilation sessions occur three times a day for up to an hour each over the course of the first year.
Long-Term Healing and Sex
Bleeding subsides around six weeks post-op, but internal healing continues. Panty liners help manage spotting. Dilation tapers down over time.
After around three months, the surgeon gives the green light for penetrative sex, baths, and general activities. While healing is gradual, most are able to enjoy their new vagina fully within the first year.
The Journey to Vaginoplasty Surgery: Conclusion
In conclusion, the journey to vaginoplasty surgery is a complex and personal one, requiring extensive research and thoughtful consideration.
It is important to understand the different surgical approaches, weigh priorities like depth for penetrative sex, and choose a surgeon accordingly.
Pre-surgery requirements include documentation like letters from mental health professionals approving the patient for surgery, stopping hormones, getting lab work done, and booking travel arrangements.
The cost of vaginoplasty surgery can range from $12,000-$20,000, and other expenses like travel, lodging, and aftercare should also be factored in.
Consultation and preparation are also crucial, involving a liquid diet, laxatives, and an enema to fully clear out the system pre-surgery. The surgery experience involves a hospital stay of 2-3 days, where the patient is kept on a liquid diet and monitored while on pain medication.
Early recovery involves the use of dilators to stretch and maintain the depth of the vagina, and long-term healing allows for penetrative sex, baths, and general activities within the first year.
Overall, the journey to vaginoplasty surgery is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and preparation, but can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life for transgender women.