Penis reconstruction, also known as phalloplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to create a neopenis for individuals assigned female at birth who desire male genitalia. This procedure is typically part of gender-affirming surgery for female-to-male transgender individuals. Here are some key points about the process of penis reconstruction:
- Consultation: The process begins with a consultation with a qualified gender-affirming surgeon. During this consultation, you will discuss your goals, expectations, and any specific requirements or limitations.
- Surgical Techniques: There are various techniques used in penis reconstruction, including radial forearm flap, anterolateral thigh flap, and others. The choice of technique depends on factors such as donor site availability, desired outcome, and individual circumstances.
- Donor Site: In phalloplasty, tissue is typically harvested from a donor site on the body to create the neopenis. The most common donor sites include the forearm or the thigh. The surgeon will discuss the options with you and help determine the best choice based on your individual circumstances.
- Nerve and Vascular Connection: During the surgery, the surgeon will connect the new phallus to the existing nerve and vascular structures to provide sensation and blood supply. This is a complex process that requires meticulous surgical skill.
- Urethral Lengthening: Urethral lengthening is often performed alongside phalloplasty to allow for urination through the neopenis. The surgeon will create a new urethra that extends from the neopenis to the tip, allowing for a functional urinary system.
- Staged Approach: Phalloplasty is often performed in multiple stages to ensure optimal outcomes and reduce the risk of complications. The number of stages and the time interval between them can vary depending on the surgical plan and individual circumstances.
- Post-Surgical Care and Recovery: After the surgery, you will need to follow specific post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. This may include wound care, pain management, and restrictions on physical activity during the recovery period. It’s important to attend follow-up appointments to monitor healing and address any concerns.
- Possible Complications: As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with phalloplasty. These may include bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, nerve damage, and aesthetic dissatisfaction. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you prior to the surgery.
It’s crucial to consult with a qualified and experienced gender-affirming surgeon who can assess your individual needs, discuss the available options, and guide you through the process of penis reconstruction. They will be able to provide personalized advice and support based on your specific situation.