Transgender Vaginoplasty

ART Surgical and Dr. Angela Rodriguez provide gender-affirming care for trans women in San Francisco, California and across the country. For transgender vaginoplasty, Dr. Rodriguez meets with each patient to understand their goals and needs.

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What is Vaginoplasty for Transgender Individuals?

Vaginoplasty creates or reconstructs the vagina. It is often chosen by transgender individuals as part of gender affirmation surgery. It helps match physical characteristics with gender identity. Vaginoplasty is a complex procedure. It requires skilled surgeons specializing in transgender healthcare.

Vaginoplasty Surgery Options

When considering vaginoplasty, consult with an experienced gender-affirming surgeon to understand the options. There are a range of options, including vaginoplasty, zero depth vaginoplasty or minimal depth vaginoplasty, and phallus-preserving vaginoplasty. Each approach reflects the diverse needs of transgender individuals.

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Vaginoplasty is the creation of external and internal genitals, including the vulva and  neovagina. The surgery typically includes the removal of the penile tissue and reshaping it into a vagina. It may also involve the use of additional tissue grafts for lining and support. Vaginoplasty procedures may involve removal of the penis (penectomy), scrotum (scrotectomy) and testicles (orchiectomy).

Zero Depth Vaginoplasty / Vulvoplasty:

Zero depth vaginoplasty, also called vulvoplasty, is the creation of external genitals. This procedure creates an external vulva but does not include constructing a vaginal canal. Zero depth vaginoplasty may be preferred by transgender individuals who do not desire a functional vagina.

Some transgender individuals choose minimal depth vaginoplasty, which involves creation of a shallow vaginal canal. This achieves a more feminine appearance with limited functionality.

Phallus-Preserving Vaginoplasty:

Phallus-preserving vaginoplasty involves creation of a vagina while keeping existing male genitalia. The surgeon constructs a vagina without removing the penis. The genitals are reshaped to create a feminine appearance. This includes the labia and clitoral hood while preserving the penis. This procedure allows individuals to maintain their original sexual function.

A patient in a surgical setting with medical equipment in the background, depicting the preparation phase of gender-affirming vaginoplasty surgery. This image illustrates the care and precision taken by Dr. Rodriguez and the ART Surgical team to ensure a safe and successful procedure for transgender individuals.

Preparation and Considerations for Vaginoplasty

If you’re considering gender-affirming vaginoplasty surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rodriguez to understand your options. She will discuss your goals and the surgical technique that is right for you. To reduce risks, you may be told to stop certain daily habits. This includes smoking or taking certain medications. Maintaining good hygiene and fasting before surgery are also common requirements. Dr. Rodriguez and the ART Surgical team will share pre-operative instructions to help you prepare for successful surgery.

Postoperative Care and Recovery

After vaginoplasty, taking care of yourself is important for a smooth recovery. You might initially feel discomfort, swelling, and bruising, but the medications your doctor gives you will help. Follow the instructions on how to care for the surgical site and keep things clean to prevent infections.

Plan follow-up appointments with our team to ensure everything is healing well. Emotional support and counseling can still be helpful as you get used to the physical changes and work through the mental side of recovery. Being patient and following Dr. Rodriguez’s thorough advice will help you recover well after vaginoplasty. Depending on your specific vaginoplasty procedure, you may need to begin a daily dilation regimen. Our team will provide extensive postoperative care instructions tailored to your needs.

Each patient is on their own transformation journey with Dr. Rodriguez as their guide. If you'd like to see vaginoplasty results, click below.

A doctor with a tablet discusses recovery with a patient in a hospital gown, representing ART Surgical's commitment to attentive postoperative care and personalized guidance from Dr. Rodriguez during the vaginoplasty recovery process.
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Compassionate Gender-Affirming Care with Dr. Angela Rodriguez

Patient Stories

At ART Surgical in San Francisco, California, we aim to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients. Under Dr. Rodriguez’s compassionate care, each patient begins a personal transformation journey. Listen as our patients share their experiences in their own words, expressing the meaningful effects of our services.

See All Patient Stories

To learn more about vaginoplasty and how Dr. Angela Rodriguez and her team will guide you through the process, book a one-on-one consultation.

Vaginoplasty Surgery FAQs

What is vaginoplasty?

Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure that creates or reconstructs the vagina for transgender women or individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB) who wish to align their physical characteristics with their gender identity.

How does vaginoplasty work?

Vaginoplasty involves various surgical techniques, but the most common approach is penile inversion, where the penile skin is used to create the vaginal lining. The procedure may also include the removal of the testes, creating a clitoral hood, creating the labia majora and minora, and repositioning the urethra.

What are the benefits of vaginoplasty?

Vaginoplasty offers several benefits, including physical alignment with one’s affirmed gender, the potential for improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and a reduction in gender dysphoria—a distressing disconnect between one’s gender identity and physical characteristics.

Is vaginoplasty reversible?

Vaginoplasty is generally considered irreversible, as it involves the removal or alteration of genital tissue. It’s crucial to thoroughly discuss the procedure’s implications with a qualified healthcare provider before making a decision.

What is the recovery process like after vaginoplasty?

Recovery after vaginoplasty varies, but most individuals can expect several weeks of healing. You will have weekly follow-up appointments for the first couple weeks and be provided with extensive postoperative care instructions including a dilation regimen to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Our team at ART Surgical is available 24/7 during your recovery period.

Are there any risks associated with vaginoplasty?

Like any surgical procedure, vaginoplasty carries some risks, such as infection, scarring, or complications related to anesthesia. However, with a skilled surgical team and proper postoperative care, these risks can be minimized.

Can vaginoplasty be covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for vaginoplasty varies depending on the policy and provider. Some insurance plans now recognize the medical necessity of gender-affirming surgeries and may cover a portion or all of the costs. It’s essential to contact your insurance company to understand your specific coverage.

What steps should I take to prepare for vaginoplasty?

Preparing for vaginoplasty involves consultations with healthcare professionals, mental health assessments, and discussions about hormone therapy. Your surgical team will provide personalized guidance to ensure a smooth preparation process.

How long does it take to see the final results of vaginoplasty?

The final results of vaginoplasty may take several months to fully develop as swelling subsides, and the tissues settle. It’s essential to be patient during the healing process.

How can I find a skilled surgeon for vaginoplasty?

Finding a skilled surgeon for vaginoplasty involves researching experienced healthcare providers who specialize in transgender healthcare. Recommendations from trusted sources and consultations with potential surgeons are essential steps in selecting the right surgical team. Here at ART Surgical, we’d love to be your guide through this process. Tell us your story and how we can help by contacting us today.