What is metoidioplasty (gender affirming care)?

Metoidioplasty (Gender Affirming Care)

How can you care for yourself after metoidioplasty for gender affirmation?


  • Allow your body to heal. Don't move quickly, lift anything heavy, or do any strenuous activities, such as biking, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it's okay.
  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep is needed to help you recover.
  • Be active. It can help prevent problems and help you recover. Short and frequent activity is ideal. Walking is a good option for many. Tell your doctor right away if you develop discomfort, pain, or changes in your surgical area.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about sitting while you're healing. For example, you may be advised to sit only for short periods of time.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again. Do not drive if you have pain or you're taking prescription pain medicines.
  • Ask your doctor when it's okay for you to have sex.
  • Your doctor will tell you when you can return to work. This will depend on the surgery you had and the type of work you do.


  • You can eat your normal diet. Be sure to include plenty of protein. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
  • You may not have much of an appetite right after surgery. Even if you don't feel like eating, make sure you drink enough fluids and stay hydrated.
  • If your bowel movements are not regular right after surgery (this is very common), try to avoid constipation and straining. Drink plenty of water. Your doctor may suggest fiber, a stool softener, or a mild laxative.


  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines, including hormones. You will also get instructions about taking any new medicines. If you have any questions about your medicines, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.
  • If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • Store your prescription pain medicines where no one else can get to them. When you are done using them, dispose of them quickly and safely.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

Incision care

  • If your doctor gave you specific instructions on how to care for your cuts (incisions), follow those instructions.
  • You may have stitches over the incisions. Your doctor will tell you if you need to come back to have the stitches removed.
  • If you have strips of tape over the incisions, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off. Or follow your doctor's instructions for removing the tape.
  • Keep the surgical areas clean and dry. Wash the areas daily with warm, soapy water and pat them dry. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. They can slow healing. Do not apply any ointments, lotions, or creams unless your doctor says it's okay.
  • Your doctor will tell you when you can take a shower. Do not take a bath, swim, or use a hot tub for the first 2 weeks, or until your doctor tells you it is okay.
  • Ask your doctor if you can use a cold pack or warm compresses on your surgical sites.
  • While you're healing, wear the type of underwear your doctor recommends.
  • If you have a drain after surgery, your doctor will tell you how to take care of it.

After metoidioplasty for gender affirmation: Overview

Metoidioplasty (say "muh-TOY-duh-plas-tee"), or meta, is surgery to create a small penis using your clitoris. You may have had other procedures too. For example, the surgeon may have used tissue from your body to lengthen the urethra or to create a scrotum. This may be the only surgery you have. Or you may have several surgeries done over time to get the results you want.

You may need a urinary catheter for a short time. This is a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from your bladder. If the catheter is still in place when you go home, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for it.

You will probably feel better and stronger each day. But you may get tired easily or have less energy than usual. This may last for several weeks after surgery.

The surgical area will be bruised and swollen. Most of the bruising will go away in 2 to 3 weeks. Most of the swelling should go away in 6 to 8 weeks.

It's important to avoid heavy lifting while you're recovering so that you can heal. Your doctor may give you specific instructions on when you can return to your usual activities. In most cases, this will be about 6 to 8 weeks. You may need a few weeks to a few months to fully recover.

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