What is bottom surgery? A trans person explains gender-affirming procedure

A non-binary trans femme individual has explained the trials, tribulations and steps of having gender-conformation surgery, also known as bottom surgery.

Bottom surgery refers to one of three surgeries which alter a person’s genitalia to best match their gender identity.

Cara, who underwent vaginoplasty – the surgical reconstruction of a penis into a vagina – was on the waiting list for more than four years before undergoing the procedure.

“It’s obviously not every trans femme and trans woman’s experience, everyone’s transition is different,” they said.

“I decided to go ahead with bottom surgery because dysphoria was something that I always kind of battled. I just decided that the only way I was going to feel comfortable with my body was by undergoing this procedure.”

While explaining her decision to medically transition, Cara insisted that being valid as a trans person is in no way tied to medical procedures or treatments.

“Obviously you don’t need to medically transition to be trans, but for me, and my body, that’s what felt right.”

The anticipation of going through the bottom surgery procedure, which can be intensive, was incredibly emotional for Cara.

“You go through every emotion possible,” they said. “You go through fear, you go through excitement, you go through happiness.”

Following the successful procedure, Cara said the after-care was “very elaborate” and includes having to go through a strict set of tasks throughout the day.

“They give you a leaflet on what you’re supposed to do,” they said. “It’s a very strict regimen for the first few months. You’ve got to follow it precisely.

“I still need to be careful and take things slow, the sensation’s still not 100 per cent there but it’s slowly coming back.”

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