• Elijah Castle

phalloplasty myths

Due to the limited access to both knowledge about surgery as well as the surgery itself, in addition to misinformation spread throughout the community by fellow trans people as well as care providers, there is a lot of information out there about phalloplasty that is untrue.

It is important to remember that all penises are varied in appearance and function - whether they are natal or surgically created.


There’s no sensation!

Sensation is possible but not guaranteed. Sensation is a nebulous concept, and even if the nerve hookup fails or we don’t get one at all, we can still experience some sort of sensation in our genitals.

It doesn’t look “real/good/etc.”

Try not to put (your idea of) natal genitals on a pedestal. Genitals come in all different shapes/sizes/appearances; comparing genitals created through surgery to genitals people are born with does a disservice to the many people who are happy with their penises created through surgery, regardless of what others think.

It isn’t “functional.”

What does “functional” mean to you? Ability to stand-to-pee? Have penetrative sex? Different people want a penis for different reasons - “function” is subjective.

There are too many complications.

While it is true that phalloplasty has a relatively high complication rate due to the complex nature of the surgery, most complications are manageable and not life-threatening.

People regret surgery.

There will always be people who regret surgery or some aspects of it. But surgery regret is not isolated to trans surgeries. This is why it is important for us to explore all of our options and recognize that it is okay to feel regret over certain aspects, but that does not mean that surgery was not worth it.

The question isn’t, “is bottom surgery good/functional/aesthetic/etc.?”, the question is, “is one of the many bottom surgery options going to meet my wants and needs?”

Surgical choice and process is very individual - objective statements cannot and should not be made regarding outcomes, successes, and happiness of the patients after surgery.

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