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What is “Gender Affirming Surgery?”
“Gender Affirming Surgery” is an umbrella term used to refer to several surgeries that help an individual’s body and physical characteristics match their gender identity. Gender Affirming Surgeries include:
Facial Reconstruction Surgery: This refers to a surgery (or series of surgeries) to make the face more feminine or masculine. Facial reconstruction surgery typically focuses on some combination of nose, cheekbone, jaw, brow, and hairline surgeries.
Chest Surgery: Often referred to as “top” surgery, this involves either removing breast tissue for transmasculine individuals or implant surgery for transfeminine individuals.
Genital Surgery: Colloquially referred to as “bottom” surgery, this entails reconstruction of the genitals.
Oftentimes, these surgeries are done in conjunction with other therapies, including hormone therapy (HT) or puberty blockers. Individuals may choose some of these treatments and surgeries and not others
What Happens During Gender Affirming Surgeries?
This is dependent on the surgery in question. In virtually all of these instances, a general anesthesia is used to put the patient to sleep for the duration of the surgery (or surgeries).
Facial reconstruction surgeries may include cheekbone injections, rhinoplasty, or bone shaving to reshape the jaw or cheeks.
Chest surgeries could include a breast reduction or complete mastectomy (removal of the breasts). For others, this would include breast augmentation or breast implants.
Genital surgeries include the removal of the existing genitals. In the case of AMAB (assigned male at birth) individuals, a penectomy and orchiectomy remove the penis and scrotum. Feminizing genitoplasty is used to create a vagina and labia.
AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals undergo a oophorectomy and hysterectomy, which removes the ovaries and uterus respectively. The construction of a penis and scrotum are clinically referred to as metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and scrotoplasty.
Gender Affirming Surgery After Care & Recovery
While the recovery process for gender affirming surgeries varies based on what specifically is done, individuals can expect several weeks of swelling and soreness regardless. Those undergoing “top” surgery should avoid strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks. “Bottom” surgery typically needs several months before full recovery, and oftentimes daily maintenance to ensure everything heals properly. As with other surgeries, patients run the risk of bleeding, infection, and other complications. Proper care is critical in the days following the surgery.
The CosMed Difference
CosMed at Home provides exceptional support and care so our patients can heal comfortably and family members can have peace of mind knowing their loved one is well taken care of. Combining years of expertise with compassion, our licensed nurses provide the one-on-one attention you need to make a quick recovery.
Our nurses understand the complexities of recovering from Gender Affirming surgery, and will ensure proper steps are taken to expedite your recovery.