Phalloplasty is a surgical procedure performed to construct a neophallus (new penis) for individuals who desire gender-affirming surgery. It is an option for transgender men or individuals assigned female at birth who experience gender dysphoria related to their genitalia. Phalloplasty can also be considered by cisgender men who have a micropenis or have experienced penile trauma.
Phalloplasty is a complex and multi-stage procedure that involves several surgical techniques. The specific approach may vary depending on individual factors, such as desired outcomes, existing anatomy, and surgeon preference. Here are some common aspects of the phalloplasty procedure:
- Tissue Source: Phalloplasty can use various tissue sources for constructing the neophallus. Common options include local tissue (such as skin and tissue from the forearm or thigh) or a combination of local and graft tissues.
- Lengthening and Girth Enhancement: The surgeon will use the selected tissue to create a penile shaft. Techniques like skin grafts or tissue flaps are used to increase the length and girth of the neophallus.
- Urethral Lengthening: A urethral extension is typically performed during phalloplasty, allowing the individual to urinate through the neophallus. The surgeon will connect the neophallus to the urinary system, creating a functional urethra.
- Sensation and Erectile Function: Sensation and erectile function can be achieved through nerve hookup techniques or the placement of an erectile prosthesis. The decision about erectile function options is usually made in consultation with the individual and their surgeon.
It’s important to note that phalloplasty is a complex surgical procedure with potential risks and complications, including but not limited to infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve damage, and unsatisfactory cosmetic or functional outcomes. It requires careful evaluation, planning, and collaboration between the individual and a skilled surgical team experienced in gender-affirming surgeries.
If you are considering phalloplasty, it is recommended to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon or urologist who specializes in gender-affirming surgeries. They can assess your specific situation, discuss the procedure in detail, and provide personalized guidance based on your needs and goals.