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What is penile skin and urethral vaginoplasty?

Penile skin and urethral vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure used in gender transition from male to female, or for the reconstruction of the vagina in women who were born without one or have lost vaginal tissue due to injury or disease. This procedure involves using the skin of the penis and the urethra to create a new vaginal canal that allows sexual functions and, in cases of gender transition, helps align the physical appearance with the individual’s gender identity.

Planning the surgery

The diagnosis and planning of vaginoplasty usually involve thorough considerations that include psychological, medical, and social factors. In the context of gender transition, a psychological evaluation and confirmation of long-term gender dysphoria are necessary. For reconstruction due to other reasons, a detailed medical evaluation and discussion of expected outcomes and challenges are crucial for planning the surgery.

Surgical procedure

The surgery consists of several key steps: tissue preparation, where the skin of the penis and parts of the urethra are carefully separated and prepared for reconstruction. Next, creating the vagina by shaping the tissue into a tubular structure which is then implanted in the space between the rectum and the bladder in the pelvic area, where the new vaginal canal is formed. Further shaping and adjusting the new vaginal space may involve the use of skin grafts or other tissues to enhance functionality and aesthetic appearance.

Postoperative Recovery

Postoperative recovery requires careful attention and monitoring to ensure proper healing and to avoid infections. Patients can expect a period of rest and limitations on physical activities. Regular visits to the doctor are necessary to monitor recovery and early detection of possible complications. Patients may also require psychological support and counseling to adjust to the changes and manage the emotional aspects of the process. Vaginoplasty can significantly improve the quality of life for those undergoing gender transition or those in need of reconstruction for other reasons, helping them achieve greater alignment between their physical body and gender identity.