Questions related to the surgery

As mentioned in my previous post i said i would post the questions i asked the surgeon’s assistant. Also, this post is NSFW as there are some details regarding myself and the surgery.

Note: Surgeons from different countries could give different answers than she did during the consult. These questions were focused on the procedure in the Netherlands.

Q: After shaving the genital area my skin get’s irritated, is that going to be a problem for the surgery

A: Yes, damaged skin is not good before a surgery so let us do the shaving.

Q: When do i have to stop my hormones? And when can i start them again?

A: You have to stop your estrogen 3 weeks before and your anti-androgen 1 week before the surgery. You can resume hormones 2-3 weeks after the surgery.

Q: Is being allergic to dust particles going to be a problem for the surgery?

A: Generally speaking the resting rooms are very clean so you don’t have to worry about coughing or sneezing too much.

Q: Which degree of sensation can i expect after the surgery?

A: In the vaginal canal there is not a lot of sensation, but on the outside (clitoris) there is a lot of sensation.

Q: Which degree of self lubrication can i expect?

A: You can expect some degree of self lubrication, but usually external lube is needed. If you’re lucky you won’t need lube at all.

Q: What depth of the neo-vagina can i expect?

A: Depends on your penile length, but usually between 10-15 centimeters.

Q: What are the chances of getting complications?

A: 2-3% puncturing the colon, bleeding 85% (fairly normal),  tissue not healing well 20%.

Q: How much experience do the surgeons have?

A: Bouman 10 years, Buncamper 15 years, Ozer 4 years. It’s likely you will get Ozer because the others don’t do surgery that often anymore.

Q: Which parts of the penis will be used for which parts of the neo vagina?

A: Penile skin for the inside of the vaginal canal, scrotal skin on the outside, penis head for the clitoris.

Q: What happens to the erectile tissue?

A: We will leave as little as possible.

Q: What doesn’t get created with the neo-vagina that natal vagina’s do have?

A: [laughs], a womb. In all seriousness we will try to get it as close in structure and aesthetics to a biological woman as possible.

Q: Where is the scar going to be?

A: On your groin.

Q: At what location am i going to have the surgery?

A: In a hospital in Amsterdam (Amstelland).

Q: Where can i buy dilators?

At the clinic for 40 euro’s.

Q: How many times do i need to do the pelvic excercises?

A: You can do it twice a week. Breathing excercises you can do every day.

Q: Who do i call when i have complications?

A: You should call the plastic surgery section of the gender clinic.

Q: How do i know the anesthesia works on me?

A: [laughs], you don’t have to worry about that. If we don’t see you sleeping we will give you a different kind of anesthesia.

Q: Which degree of pain can i expect after the surgery?

A: In the first two days morphine might be used, after that pain killers. If you’re still in too much pain we will give you an injection.

Q: What clothes should i bring before/after the surgery?

A: Something loose/wide that you feel comfortable in. Don’t wear anything that exerts pressure on the groin.

Q: Are there other things i should have before/after the surgery?

A: Pads, lube, towels, dilators.

Q: What is the average recovery period?

A: 6 weeks to do your daily things and work, 3 months to be able to do everything again.

Q: Is there a possibility for a labiaplasty after the surgery?

A: I don’t know why you would need that but yes, we do give those.

Q: What activities do i have to stop before the surgery?

A: None, you can do everything you want up until one day before the surgery.

Q: When can i have sex/do other sexual acts?

A: The surgeon team’s opinion on this is  that you should first explore your new genitals (after 3 months) and then you can have sex (unless it hurts, then wait).

I hope you guys learned something from this 🙂

Diary entry #45 – surgery consult #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So yeah, it’s been a while but…

A few days ago i went for the second round of the surgery consult because last time i was denied because i didn’t do hair removal on the genital area yet. So i went to the gender clinic in the morning and we (me and my mom) arrived way too early, so we had to wait. We had to be in a different section of the clinic this time as described in the letter but we still weren’t sure if we sat at the right place. Eventually my mom asked one of the receptionists if we were at the right place. Luckily we were.

So we sat down and waited until more people started coming in and for some reason all the other trans people sat at our table too who had the same appointment as me. I started talking to a girl there for a while until the surgeon’s assistant came to get us. First up was the group presentation where they would explain what to do before and after the surgery. She showed what procedures there were and how they were done (penile inversion and colon-vaginoplasty). After that we got to see some pictures of results. The pictures taken directly after the surgery weren’t nice to look at (bloody and bruised) but the pictures after one year looked pretty good and i would be happy to have it turn out like that. She went on to talk about complications, but most complications had a fairly low chance of happening, except stitches getting loose and some blood loss. She also told us where to get the dilators and i was kind of surprised we didn’t get them for free. There was also another woman in the room who did a presentation on pelvis (pelvic?) training. Apparently i have to train my pelvic floor muscles to relax so dilating is easier after the surgery.

After all the presentations were done, we all went into another waiting room to wait for individual meetings with the surgeon assistant. The pelvic training lady called me in first and led me into her office. She asked me a bunch of questions about if i was drinking (water) enough, pooping enough and peeing enough as too much or too less of that could be bad for the pelvic floor. She then asked me to undress to check my pelvic area and do some excercises. She mentioned that i could control my pelvic muscles but i could hardly put them in a relaxed state. Because i was unable to i need another appointment with her where she will teach me how to do it.

Then i went back to the waiting room and talked with the girl i met earlier. A bunch of things came up like how insurance always fucked over trans people and how the communication of the gender clinic could definitely be better. After some time passed, the surgeon’s assistant came to get me for the individual talk (it was the same woman i saw last time). We were allowed to ask questions about the surgery there. My mom went first as she had a shorter list of questions than i did. My mom asked some questions about if she needed to wash me or other things she could do when i can’t move around a lot. I had a lot of questions, but i’ll save those for another post on this blog. After she answered all my questions she checked my genital area to inspect if my hair removal was done correctly. Luckily it was all good so she put me on the waiting list. If everything goes as it’s supposed to go, i’m going to be getting my surgery somewhere in december this year. Yeah it’s a long time, but better late than never right? After that we were done at the gender clinic and we went home.

Diary entry #42 – Surgery consult

surgerySo two months ago my gender clinic told me i was eligible for surgery (SRS). Two days ago i had an appointment about that. First we had to be in a group meeting with other people so that the assistant surgeon could give us some general information about the surgery.  I was quite surprised by the amount of people that were there, there were only four other transwomen.

After a while the assistant surgeon started her presentation. First she was talking about how the male pelvis and female pelvis are different. This was important for us to know because she showed us where the neo-vagina was going to be. She also asked us to find a doctor that gives training of the muscles of the pelvis. The core muscles of the pelvis have to be strong so it holds everything together during the surgery or something.

Then she went on with the actual information about the neo-vagina. She showed us some pictures of the neo-vagina right out of surgery and after a year. To be honest, it does look a bit like a battlefield right out of surgery. The picture of a year after you wouldn’t even know that it was ever touched by a surgeon. So i was quite amazed by that. She went on telling us the risks along with pictures. It was a bit gruesome so i’ll save you guys the details, but the risk of complications is fairly high. And i’m not very amused that i can’t use my bicycle for three months after the surgery because apparently it hurts too much. So that means no surgery during the college summer vacation for me.

As she was done with the presentation she invited each of us in turn for a personal consult. Since three of us were still in the waiting room we started talking. I talked with a 17 year old transgirl who you wouldn’t even know was trans if she wasn’t at the gender clinic. But that’s the benefit of starting at 14 years old i guess.  We talked a bit about our lives and how to get a good womanly voice.

After a while it was my turn for the personal consult. I asked her some questions about recovery time, the waiting list and a couple of other things. It surprised me that the waiting list was only four weeks long. Anyway, she also wanted to do some measuring of my uhh… genitals. According to her i had more than enough “tissue” so that’s a good thing i guess. After measuring we were finished and she asked me to go to another part of the clinic (where the surgeries are done) to sort of set a surgery date. Due to college it’s going to be in summer 2017. I’m just not willing to risk going to college when it’s not fully healed, so i’m going to wait till i graduate. So save that date i guess :p.