Video of Sexual Reassignment Surgery, Male to Female

The video below features extremely clarifying,  eye-opening, unsensationalized, medically matter-of-fact, step-by-step footage of the procedure for transforming the skin and tissues of a penis into a vagina. I think it is must-see. Of course, this is footage of graphic surgery and obviously features genitalia. So, be advised if you are too squeamish about blood and other bodily tissues. But personally, I think anyone trying to overcome default ingrained mental habits of thinking that there is an absolute difference between penises and vaginas needs to see this. It will help you really process how the same basic skin and tissues, etc. can be transformed from the one into the other and make for real working genitals; genitals which, post-op, are indistinguishable to the naked eye from those which grow on their own. It also, for me, is worth marveling at from a technical standpoint to see and wonder at the techniques and surgical skill required to make this happen.

I found this video as part of an “IAmA” at Reddit begun by a cisgendered man in a relationship with a transgendered post-op woman. Early in the questions, at least the ones that appear at the top of the page based on voting, another transgendered woman who is not the original poster’s girlfriend, does most of the answering. And she gives a really illuminating 101 on all things trans, including both how her personal experience is different as a woman, on the one hand, and some of the ins and outs of how the physical transformation occurs. You can skip the back and forth with commenters and focus on her comments by clicking on her name, isleepinahammock. In particular, here are a few well-put points everyone should understand:

Hormones rewire things so even before SRS, people often report a shifting in the way orgasms work. I know mine have changed a ton. They’re a lot harder to get and are more of a wave rather than a spike. They’re more spread throughout the entire body rather than just centered on the groin. They also can repeat. :3 I haven’t had SRS yet, only hormones.

A key thing to realize is that there is no such thing as male tissue or female tissue. There’s not male muscle and female muscle. There’s no penile tissue and vaginal tissue. The different set of genitals have the same kinds of tissue, just in a different configuration. With SRS, the tissues are just reconfigured.

And

People really don’t realize how much of their bodies and feelings are dependent on their hormonal balance.

Hormone therapy isn’t magic. It’s all pretty mundane really. All they do is adjust the hormone levels in your body to match those of the sex you’re transitioning to. Testosterone level too high? Take androgen blockers to bring it down. Estrogen levels to low? Take the same estrogen pills they give to post-menopausal women.

Just by changing the hormone balance, all the following happen:

*Your skin changes. It gets softer, any remaining acne from adolescence disappears. Body hair thins and becomes thin and clear.

*Your entire musculature changes. If you have well-developed upper body muscles like pecs or biceps, these melt away. I suppose you could keep them up with constant vigorous use, but without this they rapidly diminish

*Your fat distribution changes. It’s like your body just flips a switch and says, “oh! I should store my fat on my bust and hips/butt instead of around my midriff.” Slowly, your body fat just starts moving to a female distribution.

*Mental changes. Orgasms change. Emotions don’t necessarily become more intense, but they become more visible. It’s like before I was viewing them through a curtain and now they’re clear as day. Consequently, it’s now a lot easier to get happy or to cry.

*Breast development. Very much a YMMV thing, but it triggers the same breast development as in any other girl. It’s not like the pure-fat manboobs a fat guy would get. They’re the regular female breasts with all the supportive and ductile tissue. Nipples size and shape dramatically changes. They’re not just for looks either. Eventually, my partner and I will have kids. I won’t be able to give birth, but I’m really looking forward to being able to nurse. :3 <3

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • barbrykost

    Wow. It was interesting, and fascinating.

  • fort nerd

    Woah. My mind is officially blown. I will never need this surgery, but it’s awesome to think I was born in a small window of time/geographical location where science has made it even this far.

  • Nepenthe

    Video: amazing. Mindblowingly awesome. Elevator music background: very disturbing.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      That’s why I listened to Metallica’s One instead.

  • marcus

    I’m not usually squeamish, I had to stop watching, I was beginning to feel light-headed. ZOMFG! (These guys are artists in flesh.)

  • RowanVT

    That was fascinating to watch. I am friends with a woman who went through that surgery, and it was a life altering experience for her, and one I’m so very happy she was able to do. And I teased her regularly for having (naturally!) “better” hips and boobs than I did! She’s doing really well in her life now and I’m so proud of her.

  • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

    Gross.

    I came for a post about atheists strategies in the next decade, and I got this. Tricky transsexuals…

    • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

      -DEATH GLARE-

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      You can’t shame the shameless.

  • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

    I may never stop being fascinated and surprised (and grossed out by) the things cis people find fascinating and surprising (and gross).

    • yellowsubmarine

      I don’t find it fascinating because I’m cis, I find it fascinating because I’m a med nerd! Minus the med degree. Medicine yay!! Also I find brains fascinating and this is tangentially related.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

      Don’t mind me, I just have a “thing” for weird medical stuff. (This is just on the edge of “weird” simply for being something you don’t get to see every day. It’s not, like, weird-weird.)

      I’m always amazed at what people do to their bodies. Though, uh, usually, this involves removal of foreign objects from various orifices, bizarre injuries, injuries from bizarre accidents, and the things some people do when they’re stoned and/or drunk.

    • embertine

      Hey, I may not find it surprising (and certainly don’t find it gross) but I do think it is fascinating. It’s entirely possible to look at SRS as amazing and cool from a cis person’s perspective and not be all “hey, look at the freaky trannies, isn’t that weee-erd!” about it. Science rocks.

      Particularly because so many people don’t know about foetal development of genitalia, and are genuinely astonished to find out that the tissues are the same and can be re-appropriated.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      Particularly because so many people don’t know about foetal development of genitalia, and are genuinely astonished to find out that the tissues are the same and can be re-appropriated.

      Or, in my case, you’ve heard this many times but it’s helpful to see it being reappropriated to have an idea of how it works to retain genital sensations, etc.

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      I find the term “cis” offensive.

      /sarcasm

    • debbie

      Let’s not SPLIT HAIRS. Reassignment, change. No diff.

    • Jessie Alexander

      Nat… do you cis people being facinated and surprised by the surgery? Or by our existance? Or…

      Debbie, unfortunately words do matter. If I were to call you a bitch, do you think you’d care… I think you probably would. So what we call people, call things does matter.

  • http://www.freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed Natalie Reed

    Also, Dan, “Sex Change Surgery” and “Sex Change Operation” are very archaic, misleading and insulting terms. Please use “sexual reassignment surgery”, “genital reconstruction surgery”, “lower surgery”, “bottom surgery” or “vaginoplasty”.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      Okay. I named the blog post after the name of the video. My first instinct was “sexual reassignment surgery”.

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      What about “genital mutilation?”

    • David Simon

      That’s a little bit like comparing a gut-shot with an appendectomy. Yeah, they both involve a hole in the belly, but the latter is (a) done with surgical care by (b) people with medical know-how and (c) for the benefit of the patient.

  • yellowsubmarine

    That was seriously riveting! And I’m eating! I don’t know how they keep track of which tissue is what. It all started looking like meat to me about half way through. But seriously, humans are awesome. All of our best leaps forward give a giant “fuck you” to nature. Fuck you nature! You’re not the boss of me!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    Okay, so I just watched the video.

    Mind. Blown.

    Wow.

    Just… Wow.

  • Nicoline Smits

    That was amazing! I’d realized of course there was probably a lot more to sex reassignment surgery than just lopping the thing off, but I had no idea surgeons can make a vagina out of a penis that would look just like my vagina (I’m a cisgendered woman). I also found the comments above from the person who had the hormone therapy illuminating, especially that her body changed so much from that already, even without surgery. Is there a similar movie about female to male reassignment surgery?

  • r.t.

    That was wonderful.

    I’ve always found the fact that human bodies, male and female, intersexed, are the same with only small differences in the expression of certain organs and gonads fascinating, and I find it fascinating that we all start out female until hormones turn some of us male.

    Thank you for sharing that video, it was very illuminating and those surgeons are artists. I wish getting the surgery was easier for trans* people I know who want it but are unable to afford it (poverty because of discrimination against Trans* people is rampant in US society) or have the chance to get it at all, as US society has decided it’s better to put trans* people through hell, plus beatings and murder, rather than respect and embrace them as human beings.

  • lordnord

    male to female means penis cut into half and inserted

  • ahmmed

    i thiink god is best a man who is i know that but if have chanege sex well i hope u will needfully hope fill beter now love u see u

    • Jessie Alexander

      Ahmmed… you will never “have” to get this surgery unless you are transsexual and you feel you won’t be able to live without transitioning… You’re words are confusing and silly. If you are happy being a man, then you really probably shouldn’t even be thinking about getting this surgery. If you aren’t, well you have some soul searching to do.

  • Mark

    I had to watch a video of this in my Bio A&P class… Only guy in there… Nobody understood why I was fidgety and put my head down as they started hacking the penis up….. NOBODY UNDERSTOOD!!!

  • Nomad

    I consider myself a very liberal and free flowing person.

    However, as awesome as this is, to me, in my opinion, it should not change the true gender of the person. Being born male, means you’re male, and the chromosomes do not lie on this. Same for female, obviously. It’s just biology.

    If a man gets the surgery, I’m fine with that. But, if he says that he is a woman, through and through, and gets angered at being called a man, that’s where my problem is.

    When science can change chromosomes, I’ll agree that the once-man is now a woman, but until then, to me, this surgery shouldn’t allow someone to register themselves as the gender that they are not.

    *Once again, this is my opinion, and once again, it will not change until science can change chromosomes.*

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      Nomad, there is much more to sex than chromosomes and much more to gender than sex. Check out this piece by Natalie Reed before presuming to know whether or not trans people are as wrong about their sex and gender as you think they are.

      Trans people deal with a lot of discrimination because of views like yours. You should consider whether you are certain enough about your opinions before you promulgate them when they have such serious deleterious consequences for other people.

    • Nomad

      I did read the article, and follow many of the posters on FTB. Natalie Reed is one of my favorite, as his (her, for you) works show the side of life that I would never consider for myself, and know of nobody who has done it.

      I also did not presume that they were wrong. They’re right to them, they’re right to you, they’re right to a lot of people. Just not entirely to me. That’s what the whole disclaimer about my opinion meant.

      I do not mean to discriminate, and I do dislike that people do.
      It more than not comes down to reproductive biology.

      A man who becomes a woman can not give birth like a woman, at all, not in this time. A woman who becomes a man can not create sperm. The strawman argument arises that a natural man who ceases to do this is no longer a man to me, but that is wrong. Likewise for females who can no longer use their eggs. What it comes down to is that they genetically have or had the potential to utilize their sex cells.

      I am all for humoring the person by calling them Mr or Mrs if they so desire, but if the once-male has F on their drivers license, that is just going a little too far. Likewise for official documents.

      I’m not here to promote anything that would harm someone. I was hoping for a more neutral ground on the subject, but then again, it is an older post, so I also didn’t expect much, if any, response.

      Perhaps my opinion was formed as a biology major, as a science, it’s much less loose than an arts major.

    • Jessie Alexander

      No, Nomad, you’re opinion was formed as a cockheaded pseudo-liberal idiot… We needed to be slaves to what lies between our legs at birth.. I’m a science student too, maybe not a biology maybe… but I do a lot of reading and I’m intensely interested in this stuff… But I’m also trans*, and I’m seriously considering the fact that surgery like this could change my life for the better, even make it a lot more worth living…

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/ Daniel Fincke

      I understand your anger, Jessie, in that Nomad’s remarks are pretty selfishly obtuse. But please refrain from calling people abusive names. My reasons for insisting you don’t use the word “idiot” can be understood from this post. My general rule against name-calling is in this post. And here are my requests for how people deal with others who say offensive things to them. Here is why I don’t think someone even saying particularly ignorant things warrants abuse.

    • Jessie Alexander

      I meant “needn’t” not “needed”… total freudian slip of the fingers… I think I do feel like a slave to my genitals… And it makes me cry or want to cry sometimes…

      Trans women are women Nomad… grow up and learn to be compassionate as well as be a biology major… Ever heard of Complete androgen insufficiency syndrome… They have XY chromosomes, and yet born with organs that even you probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish from a vulva… infact… they are the same… gonads and the lack of a period… and maybe some differences in hormones are virtually the ONLY difference. They live as women and have undoubtedly done so for centuries… Because THEY ARE women…

    • Blah

      At least you are nice about it, You are free to have an opinion. Most of the things I see are so hateful. Like I said at least you were nice about it.

  • ja

    Tak todle me jednou ceka :)

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      hodně štěstí!

  • anymous

    I am a male. i want to do this surgery to become a female. anyone can you help me to do this

    • Jessie Alexander

      If this is really what you want… You will need to talk to a doctor or psychiatrist. You should talk about wanting to do this obviously as this is a life changing decision, but if this what you want, then it could be life saving, as well as life changing.

      Do you feel deep down that you are, should be or want to be a woman? How long have you felt this way? Is this who you are, and do you feel that you aren’t really a man even though you have a male body? These are all questions you need to answer for yourself and sort out.

      This kind of surgery happens as part of a process which takes years. You would go on hormones which will cause you to develope breasts and cause you to essentially go through a second puberty which is essentially the same as that which women do. However, it will not be able to change some things.

      You need to understand that the surgery will not completely change your sex, in terms of ordinary biological functions such as having periods and falling pregnant. But you will have a functioning vulva, including a clitoris, urethra and vagina which will allow your experiance of sex to imitate that of someone born female.

      Having feelings like those which would lead to you wanting to have this surgery can be hard and you should probably seek out some support. Best of luck with everything if you decide this is really right for you.

      And if you are a troll or wrote this comment as a joke, as I have considered… you need to realise that there are people in the world who want, and in fact NEED this surgery, as these feelings can be intense enough to make such people contemplate suicide if they cannot change their bodies, because they truly and deeply know that they are women, despite their anatomy.

  • http://sushmacosmeticandplasticsurgery.com SEX CHANGE SURGERY/GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

    5. PHALLOPLASTY/PENILE LENGTHENING SURGERY :- phalloplasty requires an implanted erectile prosthesis to achieve an erection (and enable sexual penetration). This is usually done in a separate surgery to allow time for healing. There are several types of erectile prostheses, including malleable rod-like medical devices that allow the neo-penis to either stand up or hang down. Penile implants require a neophallus of appropriate length and volume in order to be a safe option. The long term success rates of implants in constructed penises are less than the success rates of reconstruction in cisgender men. Good sensation in the reconstructed penis can help reduce the risk of the implant eventually eroding through the skin
    6. Sex reassignment surgery (initialized as SRS; also known as gender reassignment surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, sex affirmation surgery, sex realignment surgery or sex-change operation) is a term for the surgical procedures by which a person’s physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that of the other sex. It is part of a treatment for gender identity disorder/gender dysphoria in transsexual and transgender people. It may also be performed on intersex people, often in infancy and without their consent.
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  • Airelyn

    Wow… Thank God I’m not squeamish lol but in all seriousness. As a transgendered person I have to say… I am SO glad I’ll be asleep for this!!

  • http://www.adickenshendrickson@Facebook.com Ashley Hendrickson

    Wow…. God bless the person that had,this,done……..you,are a,very strong and courageous woman..

  • Jet Alexis Armstrong

    As a Post Op transgender I have to agree with Nomad that although once I have had grs I will not strictly speaking be a woman for no other reason than I will not have ovaries or a womb , I will do appear outwardly to be a woman female , I am legally recognised as such and my medical card states that I am female , it is an outward appearance , so he makes a valid point , however could I remind Nomad that generally chromosomes have no or little bearing on the subject , the majority of mf transgender people have the normal chromosome structure , it is generally recognised by the scientists that Transgenderism is a result of the breakdown or total lack of the SRY gene , ( the gene that is set in the 8th week of gestation and instructs the brain of male children to follow male developmental pathways ) , in my case they think that my SRY gene broke down completely in later life and this is why I came out so late , a fairly usual scenario . but Nomad does make a good point xxxx

  • Hugo Drax

    Incredible. This stuff should be illegal. Because what protects some poor guy from having sex with this person, who is now masquerading as a woman? He won’t know. He is being deceived. You can bet this guy who got a fake vagina is not going to be lesbian. He will use his new toy to have sex with the very straight men he couldn’t have sex with while he was still obviously a man. But now, with his new outward appearance, he can fool those guys. So this person is not a woman. He is a homosexual. This is one step further from a transexual or cross dresser. At least with a crossdresser, taking off the clothes reveals the reality. Not a single one of these men who have had this procedure go on to have lesbian sex with women. Why not? If it wasn’t about being gay, then you should have that as well, but you don’t.

    You can change the outward look of the body, but that doesn’t make it so. You can graft horns onto a head, but that doesn’t make somebody a bull. If technology allowed for a person to be made to look like a dog, would that make it a dog? No, it would make it a very disturbed person that was butchered by a surgeon to look like something very different.

    Rather than butcher these men, these men need counseling. They will never be straight, but at least they can go through life as gay men and not gay men with a fake vagina.

    This is more disturbing than Michael Jackson becoming white. Sure, he felt white. He always wanted to be white, but his medical procedures didn’t make him white, did it? No, it made him a freak.

  • Love Extreme Peace

    you are who you are, born boy then that is what you are. It is funny to see how the word discrimination is elasticized, when we want something we just use this word and it is becoming an accomplice killing what God has made


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