Canada opens its first 'vaginoplasty' post-op clinic to deal with high rate of complications

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Canada has opened its first vaginoplasty postoperative care clinic in Ontario to deal with the myriad of serious complications that frequently occur following the surgical procedure.

A recent study by a team of researchers from Women’s College Hospital in Toronto outlined the symptoms and adverse outcomes seen in “Canada’s first vaginoplasty postoperative care clinic.” According to the paper, approximately 200 biological males in Ontario undergo this procedure every year, and although Ontario now offers this radical surgery, capacity is not meeting demand, causing many to seek out-of-province care.

A review of the first 80 patients seen at this new clinic showed that common concerns were pain (53.8 percent), dilation concerns (46.3 percent), and surgical site/vaginal bleeding (42.5 percent). 

Dilation is needed because the radical surgery involves using the penile tissue to fashion a cavity that is intended to resemble a vagina. This cavity is an open wound, and without dilation, the body would heal itself and the wound would close. 

In a resource for primary care providers put together by Women’s College Hospital, there is a “dilator care” schedule. For the first three months post-op, the patient must dilate three times a day. Then twice a day for the next six months, after which the frequency can be reduced to once a day for the following three months. Then, if all is well, the patient can reduce the dilation frequency to once or twice a week for life.

Further adverse effects include concerns about sexual function. 11.3 percent experienced anorgasmia, the inability to achieve orgasm, and 11.3 percent reported dyspareunia, painful intercourse. 

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