Author Topic: 3 Months Post-Op with Dr. Christopher McClung in Columbus, Ohio - Review and Pic  (Read 449 times)

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Offline BlackMoonstorm

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About 3 months ago I had full depth vaginoplasty with Dr. Christopher McClung in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Here's the details of my experience over the last 3 months, AMA!

Pictures taken each month are available upon request, or links can be posted here if allowed.

●   Demographics:
o   Age at time of surgery: 24
o   White not Hispanic
o   AMAB not intersex
●   Cost:
o   Presurgery testing:
▪   Cost: $490
▪   Covered by insurance: $433.74
▪   Amount owed by me: $56.26
o   Surgery:
▪   Estimated total cost: $97,962
▪   Estimated insurance contribution from United Healthcare Student Resources: $93,562
●   $500 deductible and 20% co-insurance for in network surgeon and hospital
▪   Estimated out of pocket after insurance: $4,400
▪   Actual amount billed to insurance: $84,682.10
▪   Actual amount paid by insurance: $51,986.12
▪   Deductible: $5,000
▪   Actual out of pocket amount charged: $1,804.66
▪   Financial aid contribution: $416.44
▪   Actual amount paid by me: $1,388.22
●   Presurgery:
o   Preop timeline and prep guidance were provided.
●   Week 1, in the hospital:
o   Pain was significant, peaking at 8 a few times, less intense after dressing was removed 4 days after surgery. It is hard to overstate how profoundly unpleasant it was.
o   There was some misgendering as masculine from hospital employees that was quickly corrected without me needing to ask. There was regular, significant misgendering as feminine from nurses, techs, etc. despite discussing with them repeatedly how my correct pronouns are they/them, and my pronouns being written on my patient information board that staff review every time they come into the room. After a few days of constantly correcting people and being gendered correctly intermittently even after correcting staff I gave up and stopped correcting staff when they misgendered me. If your pronouns are she/her or she/they, you likely won’t have problems and will be “she’d” consistently.
o   What to bring to hospital:
▪   Easy to digest media. You may be too out of it to appreciate complicated media like books or challenging TV shows, so consider having less challenging tV shows, movies, and music available.
●   Trans-positive media about the process of pursuing the correct body like Fullmetal Alchemist or BNA might be fun!
●   Music to Trans Your Gender To is a playlist of explicitly trans-positive music by mostly gender-diverse artists!
▪   Headphones and music. Playing music through speakers won’t be courteous to other people in the hospital.
▪   Chargers and cords for your devices.
▪   Toiletries and extra clothes aren’t needed, what you need will be provided by the hospital.
o   Consider your social and emotional support while in the hospital. I did not have anyone with or visit me because of COVID and it was very lonely and awful – consider if friends, family, and other loved ones will be visiting you in the hospital to help keep your spirits up.
●   Week 2, out of the hospital:
o   What to have waiting for you when you leave the hospital:
▪   2 packs of cheap panties, 1 size up from what’s normally worn. The looser size will allow wearing a pad without putting too much pressure on the surgical site. They will likely get stained and bloody within a few weeks, so choose cheap options you won’t feel bad about throwing away.
▪   Several sizes of pads and panty liners. Some pads rub uncomfortably or provide more or less absorbency than you need at the moment, so have a selection of sizes ready:
●   Small
●   Medium
●   Large
▪   A sitting desk, so you can work, eat, etc. while reclining.
▪   A donut pillow, to keep pressure off of the surgical site when sitting is required, like for the car on the way home after the hospital.
▪   Over the counter pain medicine, preferably ibuprofen because the prescription pain medicine you will be getting already has acetaminophen in it.
▪   Pajamas. You won’t really feel like going out much for the first week or so after leaving the hospital, so there’ll be a lot of time to sit around in pajamas.
o   3 episodes of urinary incontinence happened, when I really had to pee. The episodes stopped temporarily by peeing regularly, and stopped for good by the end of week 3.
●   Week 3:
o   Dilation started in week 3. There was a moderate amount of pressure and pain (4-5) for the first couple days, but by the end of the 3rd weeks the pain was closer to 2-3 and was completely manageable.
o   Soul Source dilators, lube, and antibacterial hand soap were provided. 2 tubes of lube were provided, and each tube lasted about a week and a half, not enough to last until the next check-up appointment so I bought more privately.
o   Dilator can be inserted to a depth of 5”/12.7 cm, from a pre surgery length of 6”/15.25 cm.
●   Week 4:
o   Pain continues to get better, and by the end of the 4th week post-op pain is managed by Tylenol and ibuprofen. Intermittent stabbing pain still happens, and mornings immediately after waking up have the worst pain, but not worse than about a 4.
o   The first sutures began to come out.
●   Week 5:
o   Pictures of healing show slight wound dehiscence.
o   More sutures have been coming out.
o   Returned to work in late week 5, and finally felt relatively comfortable sitting for long periods.
•   Month 2:
o   Pain and sensation:
   During week 5 my surgeon recommended very gently using a vibrator near the skin of the (still completely numb) clitoris to encourage nerve regrowth.
   By week 6 there isn’t really any pain, so all prescription and over the counter pain drugs aren’t being taken.
   I felt relatively up to returning to work at the start of week 5 post-op, and by the start of week 6 I felt completely ready to return to my (largely sedentary) office job. Pain was still present but I could get around fairly well.
   Clitoris sensation began during week 6, and so did sensation over the entire rest of the surgical site (except for small patches of numbness low on the labia majora near the thighs) and the return of arousal.
   At the start of week 8, I attempted masturbation but it did not lead to orgasm, possibly due in part to being asexual and aromantic, and not being particularly interested in masturbating.
   During week 10 I moved across the country, with over 36 hours on the road. It wasn’t awful but constantly sitting did get a little uncomfortable by the end of day 2. I had stopped using my donut pillow several weeks before but keeping it for the road trip might have been a good idea.
o   Dilation:
   Dilating decreased from 3 times per day to 2 times per day once I returned to work.
   At a 2 month visit during week 9, I saw Carina Siracusa, a pelvic floor physical therapist.
•   She prescribed Kegel exercises twice a day forever, to strengthen pelvic floor muscles that were weakened during surgery and because she said absolutely everyone should be doing Kegels anyway to prevent incontinence later in life.
•   Dilation was changed from twice/day for 15 minutes/day to twice/day for 20 minutes/day.
•   Dilation was changed to 10 minutes with smallest dilator, then 10 minutes with next dilator.
•   She cleared me for any anal insertions I want.
•   She said that by 6 months post-up I should be using the largest dilator that I want to, which can either be the second largest dilator, or the largest dilator if I really want to.
•   By the start of month 3, I was exclusively using the second smallest dilator without warming up with the smallest dilator.
•   On the anniversary of being 3 months post-op I began using the third dilator, the second from the largest.
o   Healing:
   Some discharge after dilating is still happening but is very light, so panty liners or pads are still necessary.
   During week 6 the last of the visible sutures came out, I’m not able to see any remaining.
   Wound dehiscence that appeared in the first few weeks post-up has closed, though some scarring on the opposite side has appeared.
   By week 7 urine stream is relatively normal, not spraying everywhere.
   During week 7 much more hair than normal has been falling out every time I brush it, which is about when you should notice hair loss after surgery. Hair went back to coming out at the normal rate by the start of week 9.

Offline putaringonit

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Wow! Thank you so much for such detailed information about your GCS experience!!!
The more I know, the better for when my time for GCS comes, so I greatly appreciate it!


Offline Carla68

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Thanks for the info, I have my intake appointment on Friday and needed something scary and medical to read (just not good with medical things, but needs must)

Please keep updating


FFS 22-6-21
GRS 22-6-21

Tags: SRS GCS Ohio