An Overview of Vaginoplasty

When it comes to vaginoplasty male to female transition (MTF) involves the construction of a vagina out of existing skin. The first known case of vaginoplasty male to female took place in 1931. Not only does this procedure provide the aesthetic experience of a woman’s gentials, but the sensation is generally quite good as well, as pleasant as a biological woman feels during sex, and patients can have sexual intercourse within about six weeks of the surgery in most cases.

Recovery from vagionplasty male to female begins a few days after the operation. The medical staff takes out the vaginal stent, and a course of vaginal dilation starts. The practitioner uses a set of dilators in each process, and each successive dilator has a progressively greater width. For about the first couple of weeks (and in some cases as long as a month) dilation takes place multiple times each day with the smaller dilators. The frequency decreases to once a day, and then to every other day, and then just weekly, at the same time increasing the width of the dilator. After enough time has gone by, dilation only needs to happen once a month, using one of the wider dilator. It’s important to follow this protocol according to the doctor’s instructions as each patient has different physical factors that influence frequency and size of the dilator.
One technique for vaginoplasty male to female is the colovaginoplasty, which makes vaginal lining from a portion of the sigmoid colon (as well as the vascular pedicle). This is an alternative to the process of penile inversion. At times, this technique takes place along with a skin graft from the abdomen or thigh.

More common than colovaginoplasty is penile inversion. The doctor removes the penis’ erectile tissue, but the remain skin (along with the blood supply and nerves) is manipulated to make an opening and the labia minora. At that point, the surgeon inverts this tissue into the new cavity that the doctor has made in the pelvis. The tip of the glans penis (with the blood supply and nerves still in place) is now the clitoris, and the doctor shortens the urethra so that it ends where it would in a biological female anatomy. Another way to make a new clitoris is to use the spongy tissue in the urethra. Some doctors, though, do not make a new clitoris, so this is an element that patients will want to discuss before the operation.

In addition to vaginoplasty, male to female gender reassignment therapy (MTF GRT) also consists of several other steps. Hormone replacement therapy is designed to change the body’s secondary sex characteristics. However, this regimen does not reverse primary sexual characteristics and often fails to reverse many of the secondary ones. For example, trans women can experience breast growth from hormone replacement therapy, but trans men will not see their breasts reduce in size as a result of the therapy. In some cases, doctors require that prospective vaginoplasty patients live as women in all possible ways for a specific period of time before they will agree to perform the surgery. In some cases, particularly in Europe and North America, surgeons require that patients bring approval letters from two psychotherapists — who often require a time period living as a woman as well before agreeing to the procedure.

The Merck Manual notes that, for trans women (MTF), vaginoplasty helps with the experience of a more productive and happier life. In some cases, trans women need help early on with passing as a member of their target gender in public, particularly in the areas of altering their voice and making consistent gestures. After vaginoplasty, it is advisable to join a support group, which is an option in the majority of large cities.

Visiting has helped many patients find the right practitioner for their vaginoplasty. Given the immense aesthetic, sexual and emotional consequences of this procedure, it’s important to find the right surgeon for your own needs. Every male to female transformation is different, so finding a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and who has a track record of success with people like you is crucial.

For more information: Click here to learn about male to female transformation (MTF) or click here to find a gender reassignment surgeon.