Funny you should mention it…

Well, you didn’t, really. But reality is starting to break through. The operation, last week, collided ever so slightly in my psyche with the one that i am now starting to think about next year.

Lying there after the anaesthetic, drifting back up towards consciousness, aware that some surgeon had been chopping around between my legs. There had been the inevitable jokes beforehand: if you cut a bit too much, i won’t sue. But now, serious….

I think until recently the operation, the big one, the gender re-assignment one…has hovered at the edges as theoretical possibility. No more. But with every week it solidifies a little more.

First advice i had was go to Thailand. World class surgeons. Significantly lower cost than the UK. What could be better? Or Canada? Ah, but the pound is too weak: you’d pay a fortune.

Medical advice from someone who is now long post-op: there is a technical difference to the Thai surgical technique which – i won’t go into the gory details – may leave one with slightly less “depth” down there, and possibly a far longer need to dilate.

Oh, yes: i’ve learnt that one. Even post-op i will need to dilate every so often, else disaster is quite capable of striking. On the other hand, Thai surgeons, reputedly, seem more interested in preserving some sexual function post-op.

So there are pros and cons to Thailand. Another friend now chips in with: “riots and after-care”. Yep. Heard that too. Maybe not ideal to have major surgery in a country prone to armed insurrection – and where i would need to hire post-op nursing separately? What if? What if they turned out to be awful?

Which starts to point me back to the UK, and two names begin to be repeated by those who know: Tim Terry at Leicester; Phil Thomas over at Brighton. Some say one, some say t’other.

And mustn’t forget: must, must, MUST get sensitive areas electrolysed at least six months before the op.

No. Nothing is final yet…but options are defining and narrowing. Anyone else who knows, who has experienced, or faced the same choices, please feel free to pitch in.



7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rachel said,

    Hi , just a quick reply to say I am 2 &1/2 years post op by Phil Thomas at Brighton & very happy with the results. 😉 any questions feel free to email hugs x Rachel

  2. 2

    Lucy Melford said,

    I’ve met Mr Phil Thomas three times now: once (briefly) when visiting another girl at the Nuffield Hospital in Brighton; once when accompanying another girl to her pre-op consultation at the Charing Cross Clinic (unexpectedly, for five minutes, and we discussed referals and pre-op matters); and last Monday at the London Mulitidisciplinary Transgender Conference at Nutford House off Edgware Road (when I explained my current surgical plans to him after he gave an illustrated lecture). He does seem good at his work, seems in fact to be getting better all the time, and his manner was fine. He operates at the Brighton Nuffield, which would be just a 20 minute taxi ride for me. An important point to consider, although not completely decisive of course.

    I know nothing about Mr Tim Terry.


  3. 3

    Stace said,

    When they did the information evening at the VU in Amsterdam they discussed Thailand. Basically their concern was not about the quality of work, but about what they actually do. Or rather knowledge of what they do. Apparently they are quite secrative about their procedures and so the surgeons here will not provide aftercare, as they do not know *what* has been done. They did go over to discuss it with the Thai surgeons, but were not allowed to view a procedure, or get any technical information. They say if they do not know what has been done then they can’t provide the right aftercare. emergency care would still be on offer of course.

    As to the UK surgeons the only thing I know of Mr Terry is from my mum who used to work with him in the urology ward of the Leicester General Hospital (she knows more about the surgery than I do having seen it first hand…). Just that he seems professional, and the patients she looked after seemed happy enough with him. But then in blogs I have read quite the opposite as well…


    • 4

      janefae said,

      What other options might be worth looking at? What about the Netherlands?


      • 5

        Stace said,

        You know I don’t actually know what private options there are over here… From the information that was given most people who choose not to go the VU route go the Thailand route…

        I have to say the care at present has been great – even if the waiting list is so long. At least they put me in contact with a good therapist so I can continue my development whlist waiting.


  4. 6

    Big Kate said,

    the problem with tim terry apparently is when he is good he’s really good and when isn’t… i heard lots of god things about thomas and lots of bad things about bellringer. i have also heard generally good things about suporn and cherawutt. I suspect the Thai surgeons don’t want to discuss surgical technique because they don’t want to be copied, this is after all a closed market with only so many patients to go round.

    • 7

      janefae said,

      the more the merrier (in terms of views): i am starting to information gather and willslowly circle down,now, towards a decision.

      At present, tending to move away from Thailand as an option…but we’ll see.


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