Hi everyone! This is the one year update to my sex reassignment surgery. One year ago today, on March 4th, 2013, I had my SRS with Christine McGinn of New Hope, Pennsylvania. I cannot believe it has been one whole year already! If you would like to know about this and the first six months of recovery, please watch my video on it. [SRS] A lot has happened from six months to the one year mark. I had a revision surgery, my dilation has gotten easier, and sexually things have changed. If there are any more updates, I will be sure to keep you all up to date.
Appearance wise, the scars are still there and are still turning white, though there is still some redness in the scars. The scar therapy I was using for six months did absolutely nothing. There is no change between where I was using it and where I wasn’t. A complete waste. Most scars have loosened up quite a bit, but there is still some more to go. What I mean is, scars are very tight. This shapes the surgical area into having a different appearance. So once the scars loosen up and become more elastic, it begins to take an appropriate shape.
Swelling is no more, though on one side there is a ridge that is larger than the rest of the area. I think this is due to the scar still being tight there, making it look kinda weird and out of place. But, I’m not complaining. What I have now is much better than what I had before.
Also, some spots are very slow to heal. Some areas are still hypersensitive, but this does seem to be slowly improving. As well as an area that should be smooth is kinda bumpy due to how my body healed the granulation tissue. It will eventually become smooth, and less sensitive, perhaps after many months. But, for right now it is still kinda bumpy, red, and a little too sensitive.
I spoke about there being hair inside the vagina that I would use tweezers to pluck out. There is still some hair, not nearly the amount though. Very few I can feel. Though, it is much more difficult now to remove with tweezers due to the revision surgery I had. But, it’s not a big problem at all anymore.
Also, around the ten month mark, there was an issue I had regarding itching and redness. I thought it was some kind of infection like a yeast infection. The itching was terrible. It continued to spread. It started inside the vagina, and slowly began to radiate outward. The skin was very dry, red, spotted, and rough.
The surgeon said it was not an infection and was nothing to worry about. But I was like, come one what’s going on. They thought it could’ve been a reaction to the mineral oil I was using as a lubricant. That is what they suggested as a lubricant by the way. But, I didn’t understand how all of a sudden this could happen.
Sometime later, I actually figured out what was causing the issue and this is a big warning. It wasn’t the mineral oil, but the other lubricant I was using for the larger sized dilators, the lubricating jelly. I looked at the ingredients and discovered the jelly I was using contained glycerin and sodium hydroxide. Stay away from those, the sodium hydroxide especially. That is what was causing the dryness and roughness. It was drying out the area making it rough and itchy. The glycerin can also cause some irritation as well. So, be sure to look at the ingredients before buying. Because let me tell ya, I switched to a sensitive skin lubricant that doesn’t contain any of these chemicals and within a few days the problem was gone. The itching gone, redness subsided, roughness took a few weeks for it to go away. It was absolutely terrible.
The biggest thing was a revision surgery on October 7th, 2013, which was at the seven month mark. The surgery was locally done in the office, no need for hospitals or being put under. Since it was a revision to fix some things, it didn’t cost anything. Now, there was a comment on my SRS video about if the surgeon messed up my surgery and what not. I have nothing against the surgeon and her staff. They’re absolutely wonderful and excellent. There were no complications with my surgery. The reason I needed a revision is because of how I healed. The area changed as it healed and things shifted and moved into places they weren’t supposed to, the appearance changed, a lot of things.
The main reason for the surgery was to reposition the urethra. It shifted up too high. Another thing that was done was the clitoral hood was closed a little bit. It was too exposed before. It was way too sensitive because of how much it was exposed. Lastly, some excess scar tissue near and inside the vaginal opening was removed.
So, I was in the office and they numbed the area. I had a needle poking me in several spots down there and it was not pleasant, especially the one by the clitoris, that was killer. After that, she began operating and it is just so weird when you cannot feel anything. The entire procedure took a little less than an hour. Also, they said not to dilate for ten days to let the area heal.
I didn’t feel any pain until about two hours later. I got home and tried to go to bed but the pain became excruciating. I had to resort to the Vicodin again for pain relief. There was a lot of blood, swelling, and bruising as well. I had to use ice packs and wasn’t able to move around too much. It almost felt like going back to day one from SRS, except it wasn’t as major of a surgery and I should heal much quicker. But also, in a sense it was worse since I had more sensation and I could feel more pain.
I couldn’t get to sleep that night. The pain and the Vicodin kept me awake all night. Not to mention that when I would begin to doze off, the muscle would contract and it was very painful. The worst part were the sutures right below the vaginal opening. It reminded me of right after SRS when I had the packing in and the sutures were tugging at my skin. For anyone who has had SRS knows what kind of pain that is. It’s just terrible. I was in bed for like the next week trying to not move too much because I didn’t want anything to come loose. However, those sutures right below the opening started to loosen up prematurely and it opened a little bit and became very painful.
I finally started to feel better after about 10 days, but then it was time to start dilating. So, I had to start with the smallest one again, which was generally too easy before. But let me tell ya, don’t ever miss dilating for that long. OH MY GOSH! It was the worst. I spent two hours dilating, and over half of that was just trying to get it at the right depth. But, it wasn’t so much the depth that was causing the problem, but rather the width. I had this burning and itching sensation while the skin was stretching, especially near the opening where the sutures were. It was awful. There was also bleeding because of how it was stretching. Right below the opening was opening up.
I did a second dilation that day and it was a lot better. There was no blood and the width wasn’t as big of a problem as the depth was. It was difficult for it to stretch to the correct depth. It was painful. The following day, dilation became even easier. There was still some pain and difficulty, but it was ten times better than it was the first time after ten days of not dilating. So, I was dilating twice a day after the six month mark, when I should have been down to once a day.
The surgery completely changed the appearance as well. The best way to describe how it looked like before was, it was almost separated into two different parts. There was the opening, and then about an inch of space that was just skin, and then the part with the urethra and clitoris. It was like in two separate parts encapsulated by the labia.
It didn’t look bad to me or anything, I mean what right do I have to complain. But, this revision surgery completely fixed the appearance and now it looks. Now it just looks altogether which is amazing. The appearance is much better now. Some people opt for a second surgery, a labiaplasty, to fix the appearance even more. But, the surgery I had kinda fixed much of that. So, no additional surgery is really needed for me.
Regarding dilation. I have a video on dilation if you are interested, for the first six months at least. [Dilation] Anyway, at the six month mark I was allowed to go down to once a day dilation. However, I was concerned about this because it was very difficult for me to dilate prior to that. The two main reasons were that the muscle about an inch in was very tight. And, I had tearing in those areas on the sides, making it very painful. The depth wasn’t a problem, it was the width. I was unable to use the largest dilator because it would tear me even more. I had the tearing since month three, and it was treated several times but just kept getting worse.
The best way of describing the tearing is like a mouth ulcer. It is very painful, swollen, and takes a long time to heal. The only difference is that mouth ulcers seem to heal a lot quicker. I got the tearing at month three, and now it’s month 12 and it’s still there. Though, it has healed up substantially, especially since I am only dilating once a day now, and it’s not nearly as painful anymore. There is still some pain and discomfort, but it is very manageable. But, due to the tearing and granulation tissue, there is still some discharge I’m having.
I am currently dilating once a day, but am alternating between two different types of dilations. One day I will using the second and third dilators just for the depth. I have managed to maintain my original five inches of depth. Though, I think I have lost maybe a quarter of an inch total because of the revision surgery and not being able to dilate for those ten days. On alternate days I work up to the largest dilator and focus on the width, to stretch the tight muscle.
The muscle is no longer tight, making the dilation a lot easier, as well as allowing the tearing to heal up substantially. Even the largest dilator is not bad now. I can’t get it at the correct depth yet, but as things continue to heal, it will get better. A tip I have that I have been using for the width that has helped me with that tight muscle is to rotate the dilator once it’s past that tight ring. This really helps stretch out that muscle which was a very big problem for me.
Now I will discuss how things have sexually changed. I have a video dedicated to the sexual function before and during hormones, as well as the first seven months after surgery for anyone who is interested. [Sexual Function] Anyway, when everything healed after the revision surgery where the clitoral hood was closed up a bit, sensitivity increased tremendously. I guess the problem before was that the clitoris was too exposed. It just felt weird and awkward. I did not like it.
However, now that things have healed up and the nerves have reconnected and everything is good, sexually things are a lot better. There is a lot more sensation now. While it can be difficult and tedious, orgasm is possible and is definitely better than when I was a male and most definitely better than the first six months after surgery which was painful and didn’t feel pleasant at all.
There is still a lot of lubricant that is produced. Though, it takes some time. It also takes some time to actually have an orgasm since it can be difficult, especially when your mind wanders to something else. Generally like an hour or more which I don’t really have the time. So, it’s quite rare that I masturbate. I don’t even know the frequency, it’s hardly ever. Which is perfectly fine by me.
In the end, I am very pleased with everything now. Not just ascetically but everything else. Everything feels right to me now. To finally have both my body and mind synchronized. There is still more healing to go and things will continue to change until it is fully healed. If there are any more major updates I will be sure to make a video in the future about it. Perhaps maybe at the two year mark. Who knows? [2 Years Post-op]
For me, surgery was the only solution to finally be myself and be happy. There was no other way. However, there are many risks and complications that can occur so be wise, make your own decision, and do plenty of research, and talk with others who had the surgery. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman or a man, depending on what direction you are going, by having the surgery or opting out of it. It’s your choice, it’s your body, so other people have absolutely no say in what you do with it or how you choose to live your life.
So, I hope this video was informative. Thanks for watching!