The medical world continues to make advancements, but one area that is growing in both knowledge, practice, and acceptance is that of gender affirmation surgeries. More and more primary care physicians are learning about gender dysphoria and affirmation therapies and procedures, and you don’t necessarily need to go to a big city anymore to get high-quality surgical care for complicated procedures, such as vaginoplasty. Vaginal dilation after gender affirmation surgery is a must, which is where we come in to help you get the most out of your surgery.
What is a Vaginoplasty?
Vaginoplasty is the surgical procedure known by the transgender community as “bottom surgery.” Put simply, the surgeon uses the penis and scrotum tissue to create a vagina and labia. The technique utilizes skin grafts from your existing tissue which then grow inside the new vaginal canal for 5 days.
How to Improve Recovery
Because the body is designed to heal from trauma, the body usually responds to this procedure as it would any natural wound response. It sends messages to the immune system to close the new hole. Similar to the way the body sometimes handles a piercing, your new vagina may start to shrink, close, or scar while it’s healing. This can cause vaginal stenosis, which is the narrowing and tightening of the vagina. It’s because of the healing response, as well as the muscles trying to move back into their original positions, that vaginal dilation is necessary. If your consultation doesn’t naturally include a conversation about vaginal dilation after gender affirmation surgery, be sure to bring it up.
Regular use of vaginal dilators will keep the new vagina functioning as it should, but it will also help minimize the formation of scar tissue, make the tissue more elastic, and prevent you from losing depth and width. It’s common for MTF (male-to-female) transgender patients to start using vaginal dilators as soon as just a few days after surgery. Between dilation sessions, the new vagina relaxes and contracts, which forms wrinkles that start to heal together. This process narrows the diameter over time while the body is trying to heal, which is even more reason to diligently dilate. Your surgeon might even recommend it become a permanent part of vaginal maintenance. If you’ve already lost depth and width, getting into a dilation routine can increase the depth and width of your vagina through the use of progressively larger dilators. Purchasing a BioMoi dilator set can be a beneficial investment to continue the therapy progression.
It’s a slow process, but it’s an effective one. Everyone’s surgery and recovery experiences will be different, and it’s certainly normal to experience swelling and soreness. It’s also normal to have questions. Vaginas are complex, and your new vagina is even susceptible to urinary tract infections and yeast infections, which is why it’s important to choose an antimicrobial dilator. Follow the instructions given by your surgeon about vaginal dilation after gender affirmation surgery, and you’ll be well on your way to seeing and feeling the body that’s right for you.