Your transgender surgeon will do his/her best to provide you with a pleasing cosmetic outcome. Whether this is a first time vaginoplasty or a revision.
Yet an incision does not gain full tensile strength until 7 to 8 week after surgery. To keep
things together steri-strips may be applied over your sutures, as well as a compression dressing. Drains may be used to reduce fluids from accumulating under your incision lines.
If you weigh 165 pounds you may have a torso weight of 75 to 80 pounds which when applied
to a small perineal incision can pop the incision open. For this reason we recommend a generous amount of bed rest for a few days with lower extremity exercises. Bend and extend your knees, pedal up and down with your feet and curl and extend your toes. Use the ring pillow at all times when seated. It’s simple hydraulics. Fluids tend to accumulate downstream, so when you are vertical you will have more swelling down there.
A medical term is called “third spacing.” The first space relates to fluids in the cells (normal), the second space relates to fluids in the circulatory system (where it belongs) and the third space is fluids outside the circulatory system, such as edema. Yes, brief periods of ambulation are encouraged.
Patient who have pelvic surgery and for reasons of economy, insist on returning back home the next day or so may be compromising a good cosmetic result. Your doctor will want to do a dressing change in a few days. It’s good for hygiene. If separation is noted, this can be corrected ASAP.
Harold M. Reed, M.D.
The Reed Centre for Transgender Surgery – Miami