Phalloplasty or penis construction surgery costs $8,000 to $30,000 in Australia. The price of this procedure depends on its extent and technique. Travel expenses and other fees can also increase this figure.
Since phalloplasty is mostly an elective surgery, many insurance companies think twice before covering it. Talk to your provider first before undergoing this surgery.
Now that you know phalloplasty surgery’s range of prices, you will learn vital information and details about this operation. This article will also teach you the relevance, risks, and recovery plans of this procedure.
As mentioned earlier, phalloplasty involves either creating or improving a penis. This surgery is appealing to aspiring transgender people.
But this is not entirely cosmetic. Sometimes, phalloplasty helps people whose penises got damaged by accidents, tumours, or defects.
Phalloplasty is thorough and complex like other transplant and reconstruction procedures. Surgeons will strive to craft a realistic penis with a satisfying size. With this, the patient can pee while standing and feel pleasure from this new penis.
As it becomes trendy in the LGBT community, phalloplasty continues to improve.
The surgeon first cuts out an excess skin flap from different parts of the patient’s body. Then, he will build this into the urinary tract and penile shaft. The surgeon will attach this tract to the bladder so urine can pass through the new penis.
Ultimately, the pieces of skin will get developed into the phallus. The clitoris will stay at the base of the penis.
For transgender people, phalloplasty means transitioning to manhood based on their beliefs and values. So it comes with other separate operations that destroy the female reproductive system or introduce other male body parts. These include:
- Hysterectomy. It is the removal of the uterus. Consequently, the patient can never get pregnant again after this surgery.
- Oopherectomy. The surgeon extracts the ovaries. Research shows that women who had this surgery experience menopause symptoms and hormonal imbalance that leads to depression and severe mood swings.
- Vaginectomy. Here, the birth canal gets removed.
- Scrotectomy. Once the surgeons install the penis, they may build and attach a new scrotum as well. For transgender people, the surgeons will convert the external female genitalia into a sac that resembles the scrotum.
- Glansplasty. This procedure crafts the glans of the penis.
It is up to the patient if she wants to undergo these additional surgeries. Usually, the surgeons plan the sequence of procedures.
They consider that these involve other surgical specialties and departments. During phalloplasty and similar operations, urologists, plastic reconstruction surgeons, and gynecologists collaborate.
In choosing between these surgeons, the patient should think about her ability to bear children and get satisfied sexually.
Surgeons have different techniques in performing phalloplasty. These depend on where the skin grafts come from and how they compose the new penis.
Throughout the development of this procedure, the grafts have come from the thighs and abdomen. Currently, surgeons typically take the skin from the forearm.
These are the examples of phalloplasty surgery:
In this procedure, the surgeon grafts the skin from the patient’s forearm. Then, he will attach the nerves and vessels from this skin to the new phallus. This process is so delicate, precise, and microscopic.
This form of phalloplasty is famous because the new penis is sensitive and realistic. Moreover, radial forearm free-flap phalloplasty allows for erection pumps and more implants.
Aside from these advantages, the patient can stand while peeing. But this surgery leaves an ugly scar on her forearm.
This procedure is cheaper because it is quicker and more straightforward. However, the patient still has to sit while peeing because the bladder does not connect to the new penis. The clitoris will stay in place, yet the new penis cannot feel pleasure.
Another disadvantage is a long scar on the hips. On the other hand, since this does not involve the urethra, there are fewer risks.
During this operation, the surgeon removes tissues from the arm. The larger size of the crafted penis also allows for urethra improvement and the installation of erectile mechanisms.
Penis construction surgery is more dangerous compared to other procedures. Aside from the increased threat of bleeding, infections, and tissue rejection, the urethra can also become damaged.
The following are the other potential complications of phalloplasty surgery:
- Fistula. This issue arises if the new penis does not connect to the rest of the body. Fistula brings painful and disgusting ulcers, sores, and swelling.
- Stricture. The assembled urethra might close, blocking the passage of urine.
- Tissue failure. The new penis might become rejected and die, leading to gangrene and necrosis.
- Wound rupture. Since the penis dangles and changes its size, the cuts and incisions might open.
- There can be injuries and scarring in the bladder, pelvis, rectum, and the source of the flap.
- The patient can suffer from unbearable pain, irritation, and discolouration.
The patient may return to work after one and a half months. Those working in physically demanding occupations might need to rest longer.
During the initial weeks of recovery, the patient should not exercise or carry heavy objects. She should also use a catheter to pee.
Other stages of transitional procedures will take place after two to three months. The erection implant can get installed a year after the first phalloplasty surgery.
It will take at least two years for the new penis to recover completely.
As the phallus heals, the patient should not apply pressure on it. It must stay dry and clean. She may also elevate the penis to assist blood circulation and relieve inflammation. However, using ice is a big no-no.
The patient must remember the surgeon’s direction about hygiene. She must wait for the go-signal to pee with the phallus and wash the penis with water and soap.
Phalloplasty surgery patients should expect itching, constipation, and traces of blood in the urine in the following days.