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Phalloplasty refers to the (re-)construction of a penis or, sometimes, to artificial modification of the penis by surgery, often for cosmetic purposes. It is also often used to refer to penis enlargement. The first phalloplasty done for the purposes of sexual reassignment was performed on transman Michael Dillon in 1946 by Dr. Harold Gillies, which is documented in Pagan Kennedy's book The First Man-Made Man.
Additional recommended knowledge
A complete reconstruction of a penis is done on both cisgendered men who have lost their penis through either illness or accidents, and transmen, that is, female-to-male transgendered or transsexual people.
The basic procedures are the same, (except in extreme cases of micro/macropenis) although surgery on cisgendered men is usually a lot simpler, since the urethra still ends in the front of the genital area, whereas the urethra of transmen ends near the vaginal opening and has to be lengthened considerably. The lengthening of the urethra is the most difficult part of phalloplasty, and also the one where most complications occur.
An erectile prosthesis can be inserted into the neo-phallus to replace the erectile tissue and enable sexual penetration. This is usually done in separate surgery for healing reasons. There are several types of erectile prostheses, ranging from simple rods that have a hinge so that the neo-penis can either stand up or hang down, to elaborate pumping systems.
There are three different techniques for phalloplasty:
Free graft from the arm or leg
This technique involves using a free graft of tissue, usually from the inner side of the forearm, sometimes from the upper arm or the leg. This tissue is removed from its original place, rolled up, with a part of it forming the new urethra, and grafted to its new place between the thighs.
For transmen, the urethra up to this point is formed from the inner labia. Often, this is done in a separate procedure, sometimes a full-scale metoidioplasty is done a few months before the actual phalloplasty to prevent complications or make intervention easier when they occur.
Sensation is retained through the clitoris which is at the base of the neo-phallus; also, often a large nerve in the graft is connected to nerves either from the clitoris or other nearby nerves. Also, nerves from the graft and the tissue it has been attached to usually connect after a while, thereby allowing additional sensation.
This is by far the most common surgical technique for phalloplasty today, and also the one which produces the best results in both function and aesthetics.
Abdominal fatty tissue
Another option for transmen is metoidioplasty, where a small penis is created from the clitoris that has been enlarged by hormone replacement therapy.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Phalloplasty". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|