Recommendation of Genital Hair Removal

 

One of the SRS patients’ concerns is the possibility of hair growth inside vagina after sex reassignment surgery. Since the skin graft which WIH SRS surgeons use for his non-penile inversion technique is absolutely hair free so we can assure you that the hair growth inside the vagina after sex reassignment surgery will not happen.

Unlike the skin graft inside vagina, the original skin of your external genitalia (penile and scrotal skin) can possibly contain some hair roots and then produce a further hair growth after surgery in the vulva area (the vulva is the outer part of the female genital). However, WIH SRS surgeons do not suggest the genital hair removal on either penis or scrotum before sex reassignment surgery as either electrolysis or laser hair removal can induce post-inflammatory reaction which causes skin to become thick or have less elasticity.

The ideal skin being used in SRS operation should be appropriately thin and pliable so any procedure which may impact the quality of your original skin should be avoided. There is only one area of skin which WIH SRS surgeons allow the patients to consider hair removal before SRS which is the perineal skin (the skin between anus and base of scrotum as shown in the figure).

If you have a lot of perineal hair, it is possible that there will be some hair growth around the vaginal opening after SRS as WIH SRS surgeons use this skin to become the floor of vaginal opening. The hair around vaginal opening can be potentially pushed further inside the vaginal canal and oftentimes misinterpreted as hair growth from the skin graft.

To address this concern regarding the hair, WIH SRS surgeons recommend SRS patients to undergo perineal hair removal before or after the surgery.

If you choose to do the hair removal (only in the perineal area) before the surgery, you need to complete the full course of hair removal before SRS at least 4 months. The better alternative is to wait and make a decision after SRS at least 6 months if there is any particular area of your external female genitalia which you really need hair removal or not.

An experienced technician or specialist can do hair removal procedure after sex reassignment surgery without any problem as all possible treated areas including the vaginal opening can be easily accessed.

There are 2 methods of hair removal which is electrolysis and laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal employs pulsating light beams. The light is aimed at the hair follicle where it heats the melanin (the pigment in the hair) and then causes the hair follicle to temporarily stop producing hair so the laser hair removal can only be used on those with light skin and dark hair.

Electrolysis which uses electric energy to permanently destroy follicles can be used on anyone despite their skin or hair color because it attacks the hair follicle itself, and not the pigment in the hair.

During electrolysis, a tiny needle is inserted into the skin. The needle is placed deep into an individual hair follicle that holds one hair and a low-level electrical energy pulse is sent into the follicle to destroy it.

For laser hair removal or electrolysis, it is necessary to consult and be treated by a licensed technician or specialist who is trained to perform these procedures and can ensure your safety. To address this concern regarding the hair, WIH SRS surgeons recommend SRS patients to undergo perineal hair removal before or after the surgery.