Many individuals are born into the wrong body and as a result struggle with feelings of confusion and anxiety.
For those willing and confident of their true gender, gender reassignment surgery can be a solution ensuring a persons comfort with their own body.
Gender Reassignment is the surgical procedure of altering a transgender persons physical appearance as well as their existing sexual characteristics to resemble that of their identified gender.
This procedure can be performed on females who wish to become male and vice versa. Both procedures are incredibly drastic and invasive and should not be taken lightly by patients.
Prior to any gender reassignment surgery, patients are required to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and if applicable, facial hair removal.
The purpose of HRT is to create the development of the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex providing the patients with a more satisfying body that is more congruent with their true gender identity.
In a male-to-female circumstance, a vaginoplasty is performed. A vaginoplasty can involve a number of procedures, depending on what is required to achieve the requested result. The surgery begins by removing the testicles with the foreskin of the penis being inverted to become a flap, preserving blood and nerve supplies. A clitoris can then be constructed though the gland of the penis. If the patient in question is circumcised, pubic hair follicles are removed from the scrotal tissue and are then used to be incorporated within the vagina. Extra scrotal tissue is also to form the labia majora. Many other procedures are also incorporated into a male-to female reconstructive surgery such as a breast augmentation, buttock augmentation, voice feminization surgery and tracheal shave, to reduce the size and appearance of an Adam’s apple.
In the case of female-to male reconstruction, a mastectomy is performed to remove the breasts and then shape the contour of a regular male chest. The breasts are first removed by an incision through either the areola or around it, where the skin is left to retract over a year to avoid noticeable scarring. A hysterectomy usually follows with the removal of the uterus along with a Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), which involves removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Then, either the clitoris, which has now been enlarged by hormones, or free tissue grafts from the arm, thigh or stomach are used to construct an erectile prosthetic. The urethra can then be rerouted through the phallus to allow natural urination. The labia majora can be used to construct a scrotum, where prosthetic testicles can then be inserted.
People who have undergone sex reassignment surgery should avoid all strenuous activities during the first two weeks after they leave hospital.
Pain after the surgery can vary widely from one patient to another. Some patients have a higher tolerance for pain than others. Many patients can resolve their discomfort with pain medication.
The results will take time to become completely evident physically due to bruising, swelling and other factors because of the surgery. It is recommended the patient discusses the timeframe with the surgeon to avoid disappointment in the speed of the recovery process.