Requirements for surgery
Before undergoing genital gender confirmation surgery, it is necessary to fulfil certain requirements, since the changes the patient will be facing are irreversible.
So the following requirements are indispensable before taking the step to genital gender confirmation surgery:
- Be a legal adult;
- Maintain contact with a psychologist or psychiatrist to dismiss the possibility that any transitory psychological alteration exists and certify that it is indeed a real transsexuality process;
- Possess a certificate issued by a psychiatrist that accredits the diagnosis of gender dysphoria (a legal indispensable requirement for undergoing the operation);
- Have undergone hormone treatment, under the supervision of an endocrinologist, for a minimum of 12 months, a year prior to the operation (with the exception of contraindications or where the patient does not wish to or cannot undergo hormone treatment);
- Sign an informed consent, of which they may request a copy, informing the patient both of the irreversibility and of complications surrounding this surgery.
The visit with your surgeon
Both the first and ensuing visits with the surgeon are highly important, so the patient must not miss any of them. During the consultation, the surgeon will compile a complete medical history and undertake the necessary examinations.
It is essential to trust the surgeon who will operate and tell them frankly what the patient expects from the operation while listening to the surgeon’s opinion and advice.
During the first consultation, the surgeon will analyse the patient’s health, conduct an exhaustive medical history and recommend the most suitable technique. The patient should say if they are taking any type of medication, and whether they smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs. The surgeon will inform the patient how the operation will proceed as well as the post-operative phase and what the expected results are. This is the moment to raise concerns and clarify doubts of any kind.
Likewise, the patient should expect the surgeon to listen to them when speaking of their symptoms, dilemmas and life. Thus the doctor-patient relationship is strengthened.
During the consultation, the surgeon will tell the patient how to prepare themselves: when and how to stop hormone treatment, what tests they should undergo, medications they must take or stop taking, etc. The surgeon will explain in thorough detail how the whole procedure will progress: type of anaesthetic to be used, risks and limitations in their specific case, etc. This is the moment for the patient to raise their concerns and clarify any doubts.