Let’s talk Gender-Affirming Surgery (f/k/a “SRS”, “Bottom Surgery “). Over the course of my career, I constantly find myself running into clients that have surgery dates but have not completed electrolysis. Most of the time clients are uninformed. Plus, there’s often a conflict between what the electrologist is telling you to do and what your surgeon.
So, let’s get informed:
- If you are thinking about gender-affirming surgery, then you should speak with a surgeon regarding the surgery AND an electrologist regarding the hair removal.
- For electrolysis, generally you want 18-24 months of electrolysis performed. Within those 18-24 months we should be clearing the area each time. If you would prefer to do a section at a time, then the timeframe will be extended based on the amount we are clearing and the number of sessions. I know this sounds like a lot of time, but when speaking about the rest of your life, it's not that long.
- Laser is a great service to add for more dense areas with dark hair. However, laser is NOT considered permanent by the FDA so you will need to incorporate electrolysis. In addition, you generally want to stop laser a year before treatment to avoid activating dormant hairs.
- Some surgeons are instructing clients that they need minimal amount of hair removal (i.e., 2-3 sessions of electrolysis or 6 sessions of laser). Here's my personal thoughts on that, I'm not a physician however electrolysis has been around since the 1800's and is identified by the FDA as permanent. As of today, I'm not aware of any recent studies on hair growth cycles that would indicate, minimal amounts of electrolysis would prepare someone for SRS. The concern is intra-vaginal hair growth post-surgery. Once the surgery is done and hair grows back, there's not much anyone can do. As I stated, I am not aware of any recent articles or studies but if you surgeon has some, please share. I'm always looking to educate myself and the community.
- For your electrolysis appointment, please provide the surgical dimensions. Often your surgeon will have something available.
- When you do receive a surgery date your surgeon will have your stop electrolysis 2-4 weeks prior to your surgery date so that will need to be factored in when scheduling your electrolysis appointments.
- There are some really great surgeons that understand the relationship between electrolysis and SRS that I can recommend. If you are aware of a surgeon, please share! I'm always looking to expand on my contacts.
- Finally, this will be a journey. I'm not living in your shoes and walking through your life, but I will do everything possible to get you cleared for surgery.