These photos were taken about 6 months after
surgery and were graciously sent by the patient, who also provided extensive
comments. She wrote, "My urination stream angles off to the right, but I can
usually go to the bathroom without making too much of a mess. The vaginal
introitus is kind of tight and it is difficult to start dilation. However,
once I penetrate, things loosen up fairly quickly. I have not been able to use
the 1.5 inch (38 mm) diameter stent, but the 1.4 inch (35 mm) stent works just
fine. I have about 5-3/4 inches (14.5 cm) of depth."
"I'm mostly numb on the surface between the scars
that run up the left and right sides. I can't really feel being touched or the
hair being pulled. There is a tiny spot of sensation in the area where my labia
come together at the top. I think that is where Dr. Bowers intended my clitoris
to be and I think there used to be a bump there that has since pulled back under
the skin. When I'm aroused, there is a small bump under there that becomes
slightly engorged but does not become visible. Through pressure there I can have
an orgasm. Light touch, however, doesn't feel like much of anything at all."
This close-up view shows the amount of pink
urethral mucosa that has been retained. The patient wrote, "The pink really
doesn't bother me, and it does lubricate when I'm aroused, but I do think it
extends too far up. During the six months prior to surgery, I had one session of
laser hair removal and then five sessions of thermolysis electrolysis [to the
genital area]. I thought the area was cleared, and Dr. Bowers said she scraped
the scrotal tissue that was used for the graft, but I recently discovered hair
growing deep inside my vagina. None of it is visible from the surface, and
doesn't start until after about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in."
© 2011 by Anne A. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D. All rights reserved.