Gender / Sex Reassignment Surgery (Sex Change)
Sex reassignment surgery (also known as sex change operation or genital reconstruction) is a term for the surgical procedure by which a person’s physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that of the other sex. (Wikipedia, 2010). This is to create female sexual organ and that allow sexual arousal. It includes removal of penile muscle and testicles reshaping it to appear like a vagina deep enough to allow sexual intercourse.
Who is a candidate of this procedure?
The best candidate for sex change surgery is a person who was diagnosed to have gender identity disorder/gender dysphoria. This is part of a treatment for transsexual and transgender people.
What are the requirements to have sex change surgery?
According to “The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association’s Standard of Care for Gender Identity Disorders “a patient must qualify on the following criteria prior to the surgery:
- Legal age of maturity in the patient’s nation.
- At least 12 months of continuous hormonal therapy for those without medical contraindications. Patient should present a Hormonal therapy certificate.
- At least 12 months of continuous full time real life experience.
- Patient should present a Certificate of recommendation from a qualified psychiatrist/psychologist dealing with transsexuals for the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
- Physically fit for the surgery.
The goal of Sex reassignment surgery
- To create an erotic sensate area including clitoris, labia minora, labia majora and vaginal opening.
- To achieve satisfactory vaginal depth.
- To preserve orgasm during sexual intercourse.
Possible Risk and complications:
- Hematoma (bleeding)
- Delayed wound healing
- Scarring and numbness or change in sensation
- Hypertrophic scarring
- Partial or complete flap necrosis
- Intra-vaginal hair growth
- Recto-vaginal fistula
Patients must keep in mind surgeon’s instructions to prevent potential risk and complications following surgery.
- Assessment of the medical history and physical examination will be performed during the consultation with the surgeon as well as explanation of the course of surgery, recovery period, risk and complications.
- Patient must stop smoking 2-4 weeks prior to the surgery. Smoking interferes and delays wound healing process.
- Patients must stop taking medications such as hormones, anticoagulants anabolic steroids and supplements at least 4-6 weeks to prevent complicating medical factors prior to surgery.
- No intake of food or water 8 hours prior to surgery.
- The surgery usually takes 4-8 hours and is usually done through general anesthesia.
Post operative instructions
- After surgery patient should remain on bed for the first 24 hours.
- After the surgery, the surgeon will perform the necessary care and do the dilation at least 2 weeks.
- The patient should stay in Thailand at least 2-3 weeks to complete the whole process and allow proper healing.
- Patient must dilate to achieve the desired depth and width of the newly made vagina. If patient will not dilate properly, the result would be narrowing of the width and depth of the newly made vagina due to scar contractures.
- After each dilation session with the doctor, wound dressing should be performed to speed up healing process.