Monday, 11 August 2014

That notorious surgery, one year on

Regular readers may recall how I took a friend to Charing Cross hospital last summer for her gender surgery (because her lousy boyfriend let her down at the last minute - you’ll be pleased to know she’s since dumped him) but how her operation went drastically wrong and she all unravelled and got a dreadful abdominal infection. She’s recovered well from the ordeal and is working full time again but obviously where she has been operated is not quite as it should be so she is now undergoing corrective treatment. I am so sorry for her, partly for what she has suffered and also because she’s one of the girls who is looking for a nice male partner, but may be unable to make love as she’d like. I appreciate that sex isn’t everything, but it’s often important in a relationship nevertheless.

The reason to post this is not to delve into another’s life – my friend remains strictly anonymous – but to say to my fellow trans people, if you feel that surgery is the way forward for you, just be aware of the many, many complications. It’s a serious and major op. I have heard more than once that 97.5% of those who have had surgery are very satisfied, yet I know several transsexuals whose surgery has gone badly wrong in one way or another and, although they may be happy to be ‘complete’, are definitely unhappy with what has happened to them. Either I just happen to know a high number of those for whom it went wrong – a highly unlikely statistical probability – or the sort of information that transitioners are being fed is wrong. I can’t help getting the impression sometimes that this sort of enthusiasm for encouraging people to have surgery may be propaganda put about by the unscrupulous for reasons of their own. Please be very aware and properly informed of what you are letting yourself in for. Good luck to my friend here, and to another friend who has decided, after many years of living full-time as a woman and going to the gender clinic, that she has taken things as far as she wants and surgery will not now be an option for her.  

Sue x


  1. A wise post, if I may say so. Of the few folk I know who've had surgery, all of them said they were scared and worried that they were doing the right thing. One of them - again, no names :-) - reported that her doctor retorted with a smile and: "If you weren't worried, that would suggest something wrong." :-)

    1. Thanks, Lynn. The surgery is a very major operation indeed - I'd liken the care needed and the post-surgical recovery as not entirely dissimilar to those following open heart surgery. I have heard of more than one person who thinks the whole thing will just be a walk in the park. And of one who was dismayed to hear, when handed her first dilator, that she was going to be using it regularly for many years to come. How people have been allowed into the operating theatre when still thinking like that bothers me. Sue x