At ART Surgical, we know that the decision to have gender-affirming surgery is life-changing. We are here to help you navigate this liberating process to your true self from start to finish. Our team will help assess your readiness, discuss your goals, and inform you on how to prepare for the process. Preparing for transgender surgery can be daunting, so we have compiled some key points to consider as you meet with your surgical team.
- Preparation for transgender surgery
- Personal goals for surgery and transitioning
- Support from others
- Planning for post-surgical recovery
Preparation for transgender surgery
It is essential to have open and honest discussions with your surgical team when discussing your desired transgender healthcare. Here are a few requirements that will be needed before your surgery:
- A letter from the psychologist or therapist who manages your mental health stating that you have been living as your desired gender for over a year, that you are mentally stable and that they support your decision to have the surgery. You may also need a letter from the doctor that manages your hormonal treatments. See more about these letters here.
- Confirmation of insurance authorization that includes gender affirmation benefits.
- Depending on your selected procedure, permanent hair removal by electrolysis or laser treatment (particularly for a vaginoplasty or phalloplasty).
On top of these requirements, it is best to consider the following essential factors to ensure a successful transition.
Personal goals for surgery and transitioning
There are several types of gender-affirming surgeries that can help a person transition. Two of the most common categories for these procedures are known as “top surgery” and “bottom surgery”. Top surgery is a broad term for chest restructuring procedures, while bottom surgery refers to operations changing one’s genitalia. These, however, are not the only surgical options available with ART Surgical. Our team also offers facial masculinization or feminization, body feminization, aesthetic craniofacial procedures, and more.
Each patient needs to consider their personal goals and decide whether surgical options (and which surgical options) will improve their quality of life and lessen their gender dysphoria. It is imperative to prepare mentally for your surgery. If you haven’t already done so, talk to people who have undergone gender affirmation surgeries or read first-hand accounts. These conversations and articles may be helpful to you; however, remember that not everything you read will apply to you specifically. If you have questions about whether something applies to your care, it is always best to talk to the team at ART Surgical.
Support from others
While you may have friends and family that support you in this transition, it may be challenging for some to wrap their minds around extending how to be an ally. No two transgender people are the same, and different transgender people may use different words to describe themselves. Guiding your supporters to follow your lead as your gender identity changes will help them know the best language and pronouns that suit you.
Furthermore, It is up to you to decide who you tell about your transition and how much information you choose to share. Making a list or journaling about what you want to share can help make this task easier. Explain to your friends and family that you are carefully selecting who to share this personal information with since there may be people in your life who would not be supportive if they were to find out about your transition.
Planning for post-surgical recovery
Another factor to consider is your post-surgery recovery plan. Do you have friends or family who can help care for you in the days after your surgery? Having a support system is vital to your continued health both right after surgery and in the long term. It is also crucial to set up a follow-up appointment with your therapist 1-2 weeks after surgery to discuss how your are doing mentally during your recovery. During the preparation process before surgery, the ArtSurgical team will provide detailed discharge instructions to ensure you have the support you need after surgery. Check out this article for more on what to expect and how to prepare for post-surgical recovery.
Preparing for Transgender Surgery in the near future?
ART Surgical is here to support you with all the steps of your transition from hormone therapy to surgery to post-surgical care. Dr. Rodriguez and our professional team enjoy spending time with patients throughout each state from each person’s personalized treatment. Give us a call, click (415) 680-1120, or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation to see how we can assist you in your journey! We would be honored to work with you!