There are several reasons that persuade transgender men to get a hysterectomy, ranging from preventative health care and treatment of past gynecological conditions to obtaining correct identification and anatomy of the male gender.
In regard to health care, most physicians recommend having a hysterectomy and oophorectomy during the first 5 years of starting testosterone therapy due to many reasons. One important reason is that there is a concern of developing symptoms in the ovaries that are similar to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with long-term testosterone therapy. Symptoms include but are not limited to cramping, spotting, or bleeding. Furthermore, research has shown that PCOS is linked to an increased risk of endometrial hyperplasia (overgrowth of the lining of the uterus), which may become cancerous. Because of this, physicians recommend having the uterus and ovaries removed to decrease these risks. The second important reason that many trans men chose to undergo a hysterectomy and oophorectomy is that after the ovaries are removed, there will no longer be any estrogen produced. Because of decreased estrogen, a lesser dose of testosterone therapy is usually needed. The cost of this surgical procedure can vary as some insurance companies may cover this procedure. If you are interested in receiving transgender surgery in Cleveland, schedule an appointment with our dedicated gynecologist at one of our offices in Beachwood, Westlake, or Middlefield.
What is a Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy (TLH)?
A TLH is a minimally invasive surgery, meaning the surgery is performed through small incisions in the abdomen and typically has a shorter recovery period in comparison to traditional surgery. This transgender surgery involves the removal of the uterus and the cervix by operating through small holes in the abdominal wall. These small holes provide access for a laparoscope (a tiny camera) and other small surgical instruments to be inserted in the abdomen during the procedure. The uterus is then removed by passing the tissue out through the reproductive canal, or through one of the small abdominal incisions.
In Cleveland, this transgender surgery procedure is an outpatient procedure in which the patient is discharged home the same day. The procedure itself lasts about 1 to 2 hours, and postoperative recovery in the hospital ranges from 2 to 6 hours before the patient is discharged home. After the transgender surgery, the surgeon will inject a pain-blocker in the abdominal wall to decrease post-op pain. The patient will go home with Tylenol as needed for pain as narcotics are typically not necessary for this post-op recovery. The recovery period varies from patient to patient and typically lasts about 1-2 weeks with restricted physical activity such as running, jumping, and lifting weights.
A laparoscopy is a great route of choice when undergoing a hysterectomy due to less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, shorter recovery period, and smaller incisions in comparison to traditional surgery.
What is a Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy (BSO)?
A BSO surgery involves the removal of both ovaries and both fallopian tubes. This procedure can be done by itself or is commonly performed at the same time as a total laparoscopic hysterectomy. Because of the risk of ovarian cancer occurring in the fallopian tubes, both the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed.
Risks of Surgery for Transgender Individuals in Cleveland
As with any surgical procedure, there are still risks that may occur. These risks are rare but include bleeding, need for blood transfusion, infection, reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, or injury to nearby organs. You should speak directly to your surgeon if you have any specific concerns regarding risks.
Contact a Gynecologist in Cleveland to Discuss Transgender Surgery
If you are a trans person looking to receive transgender surgery in Cleveland, do not hesitate to speak with our knowledgeable and trusting gynecologist. We offer consultations in our offices in Beachwood, Westlake, and Middlefield. We want to be there every step of your transition to address any questions or concerns you may have.