I'm going to write this blog entry once and not edit, tweak, and/or save it as a draft multiple times.  I'm going to write it once, make sure there isn't any complete mangling of the English language, and publish it.  I drive myself crazy with the endless tweaking.

Still feeling stressed about a bunch of things... only going into the two "biggest" here... my 91-year old grandmother had a heart attack and fell a couple days ago, and while it doesn't look like she's in immediate danger, the doctors are not able to operate on her due to her age.  I spoke with my Dad tonight and he said that hopefully at Xmas we'd see her and do what we usually do.  So that is obviously weighing on me.  My kids and I were able to spend some quality time with her at Thanksgiving, which I cherish.

I've also been spending a lot of brainpower on GCS.  I have two consultations scheduled for February, and there is a part of me that feels like I am rushing it.  The time it took from my first therapy appointment to full-time was just over a year, which in transition terms is pretty fast.  But I never felt like I was rushing it, or going too fast.  With this, I kind of do feel that way.  There's lots to think about...

  • Picking a surgeon isn't easy, as the three I am considering, McGinn, Leis, and Brassard, are all good, well-recommended, and have similar cost.  I wish that one was head and shoulders above the others.
  • I've also been putting off hair removal "down there," and I don't have anything else to say about that, other than it's going to freaking hurt.
  • Cost... the surgery will be paid for out of my rollover IRA.  Which sucks.  But at least I have the means.  Fortunately, the IRS ruled it is a deductible medical expense, so I won't incur the 10% penalty for early withdrawal.
  • I've also stressed myself out reading about some of the complications one can have... granular tissue, fistulas, but I guess that comes with surgery.
  • Mostly, though, I worry about making sure I'm getting this decision right, given the finality of it.  I talked about it some at therapy last week, and given my history and how seamless and easy my transition has been, how natural it feels, this has to be the right decision.
I can only make the best decision given the information I have, and everything points to this being my future.  I can't imagine walking around for the rest of my life with this thing.  So why wait, right?  But I still kind of feel like I'm rushing it, though.  It'd be around 2 years from first therapy session to surgery.  That's fast.  Too fast? Maybe.  I dunno.


Good luck with your search for the right doctor. I've tried to imagine how I would go about making such a final decision. There are so many stories, "urban legends" and actual truth out there that it would be hard to compare them all without going bonkers. How do you decide on one? Complications, Orgasm success rates, look and feel, einy meany minnie moe??

Neenah, Wisconsin is where JFB went for her surgery. I think Donna Rose went to Arizona for hers.

I hope you are able to make a decision that just feels right and comfortable for you. As time goes on, I don't see myself going to Thailand or Colorado. But, then again, I have to talk with a lot more girls who've actually been through it all. Oh, well.

BTW, I am glad that everything is going well between you and your children. Is is heartwarming to read of your love for each other and that it hasn't changed. You give a lot of us hope.

Good night.


" given my history and how seamless and easy my transition has been, how natural it feels, this has to be the right decision....I can't imagine walking around for the rest of my life with this thing." -Faline

Why do you think you are "rushing" this? Yes. There is no doubt that this is a monumentally momentous decision that will hugely impact and affect the rest of your life. No question about that.

The question that I would suggest to you is, "Have you considered your alternatives?" My guess is that you have, and most certainly more than just a few times.

You now find yourself at the edge of the precipice, preparing for launch. You have checked your gear. You are hooked in. You are confident in your abilities. You Future awaits. The Sky is indeed your limit.

Bon chance

On another note I transitioned in just under 14 months which included a particularly long and painul recovery from SRS. That was 1971/72. "We've come a long way, Baby." So I have to believe that the current batch of surgeons have had more practice and are more skilled in the latest techniques. I am sure you are more up on the latest recovey times and associated risks.

In terms of surgeons, I have heard good things about Brassard and experienced excellent results with Dr. Meltzer in Scottsdale AZ. for a recent, minor "tune-up".

THere is also Dr. Neal Wilson in the Detroit Area who many years ago provided me with what at the time was the "latest upgrade" in the form of vaginal canal constructed from a portion of sigmoid colon.

That procedure as some serious plus and minuses but IMO is worth considering.

@Karin... and the fact that if someone has had surgery with surgeon A, she is generally a cheerleader for surgeon A, doesn't really help... I've not talked with many people, actually, and I probably won't.

@Anne... Thanks for your comments. with respect to rushing, it's almost a "I know it when I feel it" sort of thing. Framing the question in terms of my alternatives, as you suggest, does help. As I do not feel that there are any. :)
And also thank you for being one of the true pioneers and paving the way for gals like me.

Interesting, Faline. I wrote a similar post today, but from a West Coast perspective. The fact is, the surgeons that have been doing it for a while are really good at it and I would trust most of them to do a great job. But you have to pick the one that feels best to you. I would choose McGinn, but that's because she was an astronaut and I would want to say that I had my surgery done by an astronaut. But I'm a dork like that.

Whatever you choose, it's nice to have the ability to actually start making plans, yes?


What matters in terms of surgery? What is your bottom line?

What it looks like, aesthetics?

How well it works, girth, depth, functionability?

How good it feels when you use it, a functioning clit, orgasm?

Possible downsides, granulation, fistulas?

Bragging rights? I had MINE done by Dr. "so an so".

You need to investigate your surgeon. Talk to his former patients, which is not easy, as most surgeons will give you the names of their successes if at all. I would recommend that you at least consider looking into using colon tissue for your vaginal canal. It is a more complicated procedure and neccessarily riskier and more costly. Nevertheless having experienced the results of both procedures, I must say that having a naturally self-lubricating pussy is a definate plus despite the potential for digestive problems.

Personally I have found that a few minor adjustments to a healthier diet have effectively mitigated the loss a portion of my sigmoid colon. More fresh fruits and veggies, less red meat and pizza, and plenty of exercise has also had the pleasant side effect of keeping me looking and feeling fit.

Also be sure to allow enough time for post-op recovery. Post operative after care is VERY important. Do not plan on returning to work right away. Even if things go swimningly, it is always nice to have some extra time for....whatever.

Best of luck and keep us posted.


My transition was fairly easy too. I understand waiting for the other shoe to drop, but eventually I realized it wasn't going to. :)

Sure, I'm a cheerleader for Pierre Brassard, but I think there are good reasons to be. He is among the best, he is known for keeping nerves functioning well, and I have recovered well. As well, the care house next door is wonderful. There is nothing like having 24-hour nursing care for the nine days following surgery, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the house (some don't, but you can always retreat to your room).

Since the province sends us all to Dr. Brassard, I really know nothing about any of the other surgeons. I hope your research goes well!

I know, Ariel... the conv. house is a big, big factor in my decision-making process. As one of my friends said, "brassard's recovery house ftw!" I've read a lot of good things about his results as well.

Oh, and Brassard says that "hair removal is not indicated." I shouldn't use that as a factor, but it's hard to overlook....

Oh right, I forgot to mention that. He prefers no hair removal down south. He zaps and scrapes, or something like that. Now, I have had very slight regrowth inside, but nothing problematic. I've never heard any complaints from other patients of Brassard, and I'm not complaining either. Everything works too darned well to complain. :)

Follow your heart - I find that making the big decisions quickly is just something I do, and I can't remember ever looking back and feeling I made the wrong one. FWIW, it doesn't feel fast to me - you seem very clear headed and a logical thinking woman, makes sense to just get past that piece and move on. I do find a small amount of humor in the fact that one of your big downsides with all that surgery is the pain of hair removal! Girlfriend, you are just taking the steps to get to where you are meant to be. Trust your heart and mind working together!

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