Transgender woman gets revolutionary new vaginal surgery she helped to create

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A transgender woman has undergone a revolutionary vaginal surgery she helped to invent.

Hayley Anthony, a 30-year-old marketing consultant, has become one of the first people in the world to have a piece of tissue taken from the cavity of her abdomen and turned into a vagina.

And it was her idea which sparked the groundbreaking procedure.

In autumn 2015, after talking it through with her therapist, Hayley was preparing to undergo the standard procedure for trans bottom surgery.

Her doctor, Jess Ting, the director of surgery at the Centre for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai, would cut open the penis and remove most of the insides.

Dr Jess Ting (
Dr Jess Ting (

He would then fold the penile skin into the space between the urethra and the rectum. In this procedure, the outside of the penis becomes the inside of the vagina.

It’s an incredible process, but the resultant vagina doesn’t get wet when aroused, and grows hair even after the patient has undergone electrolysis.

“I had gone into the process, eyes wide open, understanding all the compromises and willing to accept them,” Hayley told WIRED.

But after falling down a rabbit hole of Google searches, she discovered there could be another option.

Hayley found a paper describing doctors in India who performed surgeries on women whose vaginas had grown abnormally or not at all.

Dr Jess Ting. Hayley Anthony is not pictured. (Robert Caplin)
Dr Jess Ting. Hayley Anthony is not pictured. (Robert Caplin)

They started from scratch, using tissue from the peritoneum – loose tissue which surrounds the inside of your abdomen.

Dr Ting had been trying to come up with an alternative for years.

“I kept thinking, there’s got to be something better,” he said.

“But where were we going to find a large amount of pink, hairless, inner skin that secretes fluid?”

Then Hayley showed him the paper.

“At first he was like: ‘What is this girl doing?’” she laughed.

“I have no medical training. I’m not a scientist. But then he looked at it and said: ‘Oh, there might be something here.’”

The New York City doctor spent the next two years developing and honing a procedure which he has now performed on 22 trans women.

Their new vaginas look, feel and secrete – that is, they get wet when aroused – like most natural vaginas.

(Flickr/Phalinn Ooi)
(Flickr/Phalinn Ooi)

Hayley got the surgery in April, and is well into her recovery.

There are more than 100 people on the waiting list for Ting’s gender affirmation surgeries who will soon join her.

The procedure she helped bring into being has shown superior results so far, and has prompted Mount Sinai to launch the US’s first medical fellowship explicitly dedicated to trans surgery.

And Hayley is delighted with the results of her surgery, which has allowed her to have orgasm-filled sex without lube.

“I know that I didn’t always have it, but the way it feels now, I just can’t imagine my body being any different,” she said.