What should I expect in a surgical planning meeting?
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The purpose of a surgical planning meeting isn’t to ‘defend’ or ‘prove’ your gender identity, it’s to ensure that you are well informed and that you have a plan in place for your recovery from surgery.
You and your physician will discuss surgical goals and expectations and which procedure(s) are most appropriate for you. You will also talk about the irreversibility of surgery and any impact on your fertility.
As with any surgery, you will discuss the benefits, risks and potential/actual side effects of the procedure(s), as well as how to prepare yourself, for example taking time off work, stopping hormone replacement for a period of time, stopping smoking, avoid physical activity for a time, etc.
You can expect your doctor to ask you questions such as:
- What are you hoping will change as a result of the procedure(s) you wish to have?
- Do you understand the range of possible outcomes?
- What challenges do you foresee?
- What will you do if the changes do not turn out as you had hoped?
Together, you will develop a plan to address any physical or mental health concerns and to address your post-surgery support needs.
These discussions make it possible for your physician to write referral letters that demonstrate you are fully prepared and that you have been given the opportunity to provide informed consent.