The Dangers of Discounted Transgender Surgery
The costs and wait time for approval for sex reassignment surgery can be brutal. In many cases, waiting to pass real life tests and get letters of recommendation can feel like an impossible task, particularly when a person can't fathom being forced to live with unwanted anatomy for another day. Because of these difficulties, there is a market for cheap sex reassignment surgeries with little oversight. Many have sought out such surgeons and have been satisfied with their results, perhaps bragging about them on transgender communities you're a part of. Those who have satisfactory results are very lucky, but they cannot tell the whole story.
Cost alone is not the best way to judge a surgeon. Some of the best surgeons are on the lower end for cost, while some mediocre surgeons are on the higher end. A history of good results, not just a few anecdotes online, will speak for itself. When a surgeon is known by name in the community and commonly singled out for praise, regardless of his or her price you're likely looking at someone who will give you results worth waiting for. Many reputable surgeons today now have websites with information so you can educate yourself on the technique used ahead of time, as well as look at post-surgery pictures. Surgeons who cannot provide you with such information are not reputable.
Some offering discounted surgery will not even be able to speak in the same terms as other surgeons specializing in SRS. When trying to compare different techniques, you'll find that they aren't describing things the same way and are not aware of current developments in the field of SRS. This ignorance can translate into surgical ignorance as well.
Common complaints include complete absence of erotic sensation, inability to achieve orgasm even with some erotic sensation still remaining, urinary incontinence, toughness of scar tissue making the vulva uncomfortable or deformed, neo-vaginas that are painful or cannot be dilated properly, and overly large clitorises that have not been properly surgically sculpted. Infection, hemorrhage and death are serious risks as well, which are best avoided by going to reputable surgeons who have a history of good, safe outcomes.
Even if the surgery itself is a success, those who have sought out discounted surgeries have found that followup care is poor or non-existent. Maintaining dilation after the surgery is very important, but it's not uncommon for women to have difficulty with it. Without access to followup care, what might have been a minor difficulty for someone who had a good surgeon could turn into a complete loss of vaginal depth. This would then require a second surgery, made all the more difficult by scar tissue and greatly reducing chances or erotic sensation remaining.
It's important to remember that this wonderful surgery is also an extremely invasive one. Some of the most sensitive nerves in your body are being sliced through and grafted into new positions. Reproductive organs are being inverted or turned into vaginal lips. An enormous wound within your lower abdomen is formed, lined and requires your maintenance to keep it from closing again. Amazing outcomes are possible and happen every day, but are best brought about by experienced and well-educated surgeons.
Finding a good surgeon is difficult. It can be daunting and, because of costs, potentially entirely out of reach. Keep in mind, though, that the person you choose to do your surgery literally has your life in their hands.
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