Vaginectomy – My Story

FTM transmen issues.
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snowdoggy
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Vaginectomy – My Story

Postby snowdoggy » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:05 pm

As there doesn’t seem to be much written about the vaginectomy part of ftm lower surgery, I thought it may be an idea to write up my own account of my operation (whilst I still remember it) so anyone considering it may have more of an idea about what is involved.

Also most guys have this op done as part of an earlier stage so I can only write from the angle of having the vaginectomy part of the surgery alone.

WARNING: Please do not read this thread if you are offended by gory surgical descriptions and/or possible slang, vulgar or scientific terminology of genital parts and/or surgical procedures.

Just for anyone who doesn’t know what a vaginectomy is, here is a link showing what the operation involves:-
http://www.atlasofpelvicsurgery.com/10M ... sec11.html

I would like to point out before I start that this is JUST my own account and other people may or may not have the same experience(s) from this surgery.

Firstly I would like to mention why I opted out of having this procedure done during part of one of the earlier stages. I looked into all the pros and cons of having the vaginectomy and was advised by the London Team and a few post surgery ftms, some of who have had a vaginectomy and some of who opted out, that the risks of this surgery going wrong were quite dangerous in the long run and that as long as I didn’t get any fistulas or strictures there was really no need to have it done. I was advised that there is a 1% risk of the surgeon puncturing the bowel and/or bladder. When I asked how many patients the London Team have had this happen to I was told up until now they have had 0%. Which was reassuring.

I had the first three stages (this is up to having one testicular implant and the reservoir fitted but not the erectile cylinder in the phallus) and had no complications other than an infection in my left buttock and my urethral hook up was 100% successful, in regards to having no stricture or fistulas.

I was due to go in for my final stage, which was to fit the pump and erectile cyclinder and decided that I did want a vaginectomy after all. My main reason for changing my mind was that I was not aware of the difference normal vaginal excretions have once you are not urinating from that area anymore. Once you are urinating from the end of the phallus, the area below, where discharge may build up, no longer gets cleansed regularly by a constant urine stream all day long so can become tacky/sticky and fairly unsavoury very quickly during the day. It varies greatly from person to person how much discharge they have in that area and I consider that I was not particularly heavy compared to other guys I have spoken to.

I also considered that is looked quite strange underneath having both sets of genitals visible. Not that many people would get to see this but it was playing on my mind somewhat.

One other important thing to bear in mind is that, I was told that once all stages of surgery are complete it is much harder to go back and perform a vaginectomy. All implants have to be removed again and you would probably have to re-apply for funding.

The Vaginectomy Surgery

Pre-surgery preparation is slightly different from the other stages I have experienced so far. You need to have bowel evacuated as the operation involves a lot of pulling and tugging around of the bowel and the bladder. They gave me a solution to drink which was supposed to help clear it out, but with me it didn’t work so I had to have a enema. I think you may have to have an enema even if the solution does work as they need to be 100% sure that your bowel is clear. I have never had one before and was very worried about it but it was nowhere near as unpleasant as I expected and it did the trick very quickly :shock: Other than this pre surgery prep is much the same as with all other stages.

The operation lasts about 2 hours and requires no HDU care afterwards, which is required after stage 1, you just go straight back to your room.

I didn’t experience anywhere near as much pain as I was warned I would. I do know pain tolerances vary from person to person but mine never went over a 2 out of 4 with this surgery. The only thing I did suffer which was VERY unpleasant is an overbearing urge to move my bowels. I was warned about this beforehand but found it more unpleasant than I had imagined. Morphine helps with this in the short term.

I was informed by my surgeon after the op (with a slight smile) that I had a longer than normal vagina. The average length is around 3 inches long but mine was 6 inches (just my luck). Because of this I suffered a lot of bleeding during the operation. Mr. Christopher told me I only lost a small amount of blood removing the first 3 inches but over a litre whilst removing the 3 inches that was further in. This is because it is very hard for him to see what is what further in so slows down the whole procedure, thus leading to more blood loss. I am a bit of a bleeder anyway and have had problems with too much blood loss both with my chest surgery and stage 1 of my lower surgery so this may not be a problem for other guys.

I had to have 3 bags of blood after my op to compensate for this blood loss and was very weak for the following day or so. I also had to have injections to try to encourage my blood to clot for the first few days too which can be risky and possibly lead to blood clots forming in my legs due to lack of mobility. I had to have some pads fitted around my calves to massage my legs to help prevent this happening.

A catheter is fitted which needs to be kept in for around about a month. This is to allow your bladder to rest as it has most likely been traumatised during the op. Both your bladder and bowel will probably experience quite a bit of trauma during this procedure. If you look at the diagram in the link I attached at the beginning of this thread you will see why. Because I had my vaginectomy done after the hook up has already been done, my catheter is through the end of my penis but I presume if you have it done before the hook up stage, this will be through the old urthetral position.

A drain is fitted where the top of your inside leg meets your groin and this is left in for about 4 days, until little or no fluid is coming out anymore. I had this removed the day before I was due to go home. The duration of your stay will depend on how long it takes for the blood going into the drain to slow down and hopefully stop.

I was due to go home Friday/Saturday and luckily my drain had dried up enough that I was allowed to go home on the Friday, which was yesterday.

I’m not in much discomfort at all but am still having to take iron tablets as I am still slightly anaemic and am also taking some paracetamol tablets. I am very mobile and have been since day 2 of the surgery so this operation being performed on its own is not very debilitating other than the weakness I have experienced from the blood loss.

The only thing I do regret is not having this operation done as part of one of the earlier stages as this would have prevented me having to have this extra operation and would also have meant that all my surgery would have been completed now.

I was talked out of having it done during these earlier stages by various people, both medical professionals and other transmen ALL of whom meant well by the way.

One of the reasons I wanted to write my story is to help other transmen who are uncertain of whether to have a vaginectomy or not to hopefully add my input before they get past the stage where they can have this procedure as part of one of the other stages and save them having to have an extra op through fear during the earlier stages.

Both my girlfriend and I have “had a good look” at what Mr. Christopher has done down there, using a mirror on my part ;) and even though there is still a little bit of bruising still, we are both very impressed with how neat it all looking down there already :-)

It is still early days yet and if anything new arises since I wrote this post, I will add if or when anything occurs.

John
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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Jacob-Kye
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Re: Vaginectomy – My Story

Postby Jacob-Kye » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:18 pm

Hey mate

That was really helpful. I wont be referred for phallo for a yearish depending on when I will get my surgery later in the year for top.

Have a stupid question tho :oops:

Does teh area get stitched up completely or do they leave a bit of gap?

Felix
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Re: Vaginectomy – My Story

Postby Felix » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:17 pm

Hi Snowdoggy and thanx for that very informative and educational post :)

I would now like to share my experience as I have been in Spire Thames Valley under Mr Christopher for all my care so far re lower surgery.

Stage One

I went in for stage one on the 13th of September 2010. During this stage I had a total hysto, both ovaries removed and half of the vaginectomy carried out, this is because it makes removal of the other half easier on stage two. I did have a lot of blood loss for my size and weight and had two bags replaced. I know that my vagina was of average size that being 5 to 6 inches in depth which is adequate for a good penetrable depth of an average male that being 5 to 6 inches. Lol unfortunately in my previous life I did have experience of this as I was married and had two children but wouldn't change them for the world :) I also as you did had the phallo constructed from my left arm. Recovery from stage one was smooth and although I had a small fistula it healed itself. Eight weeks post op I had my chest lift and mastaplexy . Four weeks later I had my stage two.

Stage Two

I was admitted to Spire under the care of Mr Christopher on the 6th of December 2010 for my second stage, removal of the remaining vagina and the urethral hook up. The night before I had the lemon drink to help empty my bowel and the following morning I had an enema to make sure I was completely empty. I was down in surgery about four hours as I had a mini abdominoplasty to rectify my abdomen due to having my children by caesarean section. I lost over a litre of blood during this op. Because of the tummy tuck I was not given the usual super pubic catheter I was given one catheter straight through my penis which I'm glad about as I had it in for 5 weeks post op. I did suffer some bladder spasms but they were copable with.

The real problem for me was where the vagina had been the pain was just unbearable but remember everyone is different like Snowdoggy said. I was on tramadol and diclofenac and Mandie thought the pain would go after removal of the catheter but it didn't it got worse. Eventually and I've been on them three weeks now I was put on amitriptyline from my GP as she said she thought I'd had some nerve damage during the vaginectomy. This has worked but I'm not ready to come off them yet really. The first week I was home my fistula came open again but now it seems to be healing which is brill as voiding was great except the fistula made things messy but today I managed without any leakage for the first time so I'm really pleased.
Hope this has helped :) xx Felix :bigsmilers:

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Re: Vaginectomy – My Story

Postby Ice Maiden » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:42 pm

ditto :)x
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hideous_penguin_boy
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Re: Vaginectomy – My Story

Postby hideous_penguin_boy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:55 pm

Glad to hear you're recovering well, Snowdoggy. Thank you for posting about it. Best wishes for your continued recovery.

Ben



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