Sigmoid vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure that can be used to create a vagina for transgender women and other individuals who do not have a natural vagina. The procedure involves taking a segment of the sigmoid colon, which is a part of the large intestine, and using it to create a neovagina.
The sigmoid colon is chosen for this procedure because it is long, has a smooth lining, and produces mucus, which can help to lubricate the vagina. The segment of colon is typically taken from the lower part of the abdomen and is then inverted so that the inner lining faces outward. The neovagina is then created by inserting the segment of colon into the space between the rectum and the urethra. The two ends of the colon are then stitched together to create a closed tube.
Sigmoid vaginoplasty is a relatively complex surgery and typically requires a hospital stay of several days. The recovery period can be up to several weeks, and patients may experience some pain, bleeding, and discharge from the vagina. However, most patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks.
Sigmoid vaginoplasty is a safe and effective procedure, but it does carry some risks, such as infection, bleeding, and stricture (narrowing of the vagina). Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of sigmoid vaginoplasty with their doctor before making a decision about whether to have the surgery.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health: https://www.wpath.org/: A professional organization that provides education and resources on transgender health
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/: A professional organization that provides information on plastic surgery procedures
- The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/: A national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth
- Trans Lifeline: https://www.translifeline.org/: A 24/7 hotline that provides support to transgender people in crisis
- Sigmoid vaginoplasty, also known as sigmoid colon vaginoplasty, is a surgical technique used for gender confirmation surgery in male-to-female (MTF) transgender individuals. It involves the creation of a neovagina using a segment of the sigmoid colon, which is a section of the large intestine.
- During the procedure, a surgeon removes a portion of the sigmoid colon and repurposes it to create the vaginal canal. The sigmoid colon is chosen for this procedure because it is located close to the pelvic region and has similar tissue characteristics to the vaginal lining.
- The sigmoid colon is detubularized, meaning the central portion of the colon is opened up to create a flat surface. The remaining ends of the sigmoid colon are then reconnected, preserving the continuity of the digestive system.
- The detubularized section of the sigmoid colon is then used to create the vaginal canal. The colon segment is positioned in the pelvis, lined with vaginal mucosa (tissue that lines the vagina), and sutured in place. The surgeon may also shape the external genitalia during the same surgery, including the labia and clitoral hood.
- After surgery, proper aftercare, dilation, and follow-up care are necessary to ensure proper healing and maintenance of the neovagina.
- It’s important to note that sigmoid vaginoplasty is one of several surgical techniques available for gender confirmation surgery, and the choice of technique may vary depending on individual circumstances, patient preferences, surgeon expertise, and anatomical considerations. It is recommended to consult with a qualified surgeon who specializes in transgender healthcare to discuss the available options, potential risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of the procedure.