Our Way Ahead
In making a decision about the best pathway for our Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) we first of all investigated the information on the World Wide Web. There is a great deal there and often the problem is not so much as identifying the routes to achieve our goals but interpreting the mass of information that is available.
We set a number of parameters:
We then discussed the experiences of a number of people who had already undergone surgery and again the information we collated was varied but one message did come across loud and clear. There are very few people who will say that they made a mistake or that their surgeon did a bad job. We appreciate that there are a few but even when someone has experience significant difficulties following surgery they would still recommend their surgeon. There are many reasons for this but we believe the main one to be the fact that the surgeon resolved a problem and whether the technique was the best or the worst, it still resolved the 'problem' leaving the client happy with their new life.
We also wished to look at our SRS programme in a holistic way and therefore included other things such as breast augmentation, abdominal recontouring, liposuction and hair replacement. We had already undergone facial feminisation, permanent hair removal, dental feminisation and ophthalmic surgery (not strictly feminisation but hated specs anyway!).
Whichever route we chose we already knew that for us the National Health Service was not an option indeed we still feel that the service offered is not Patient Centred and along with a big dose of humiliation, Procrastination and Service Limitation offers a sub standard treatment when compared to those offered in other centres. I listened to a presentation at a Royal College of Nursing Seminar entitled 'Put Transgenderism on Your agenda' in which a surgeon responsible for more than 400 SRS procedures each year postulate about his out of date techniques in which the client was offered no choice in whether or not they could have a sensate clitroplasty. He described this technique as 'experimental' despite it having been performed successful in thousands of cases by other surgeons.
Having collated, interpreted and balanced all the data we made our decision and then discussed this with Dr Russell Reid to ascertain his opinion, approval and confirmation to the chosen surgeon that we were suitable candidates for SRS surgery.