Dilation is an essential part of post-operative care for individuals who have undergone gender reassignment surgery (also known as genital reconstruction surgery or sex reassignment surgery). Dilation helps to maintain the depth and width of the neovagina (the surgically created vagina) and prevents the formation of scar tissue that could potentially lead to complications or vaginal stenosis.
After surgery, healthcare providers typically provide detailed instructions on how and when to begin dilation. The process involves inserting a dilator into the neovagina and gently applying pressure to stretch the tissues. The frequency and duration of dilation sessions can vary depending on the surgeon’s recommendations, but it often starts with multiple daily sessions and gradually decreases over time.
The exact dilation regimen will depend on various factors, including the surgical technique used, individual healing progress, and the healthcare provider’s recommendations. It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by the healthcare team to ensure proper healing and optimal results.
Dilation can be a physically and emotionally challenging process, particularly during the initial stages of recovery. It may cause discomfort, pain, or sensitivity. However, with time and practice, many individuals find that dilation becomes easier and more comfortable.
It is crucial to have regular follow-up appointments with the surgical team to monitor healing progress, address any concerns or complications, and receive ongoing guidance on dilation techniques and frequency. The healthcare team will provide personalized instructions and support throughout the recovery process to help ensure a successful outcome.