Reply To: General Discussion of Transgender Issues


Need your help!

I am a concerned nurse that is trying to advocate for a non English speaking Trans Woman who has absolutely no family support because she has kept her identity and recent surgery a secret from all her family. (Ex wife, children, elderly parents, siblings and friends).

She underwent vaginoasty surgery recently. She has not had and continues to have a very poor experience with after surgical care from her medical team due to the language barrier.

Her first post op appt at the surgeon’s office was 16 days post op. Her indwelling foley was removed at that visit. She was given a follow up appt 3 weeks out and was instructed not to start dilation until after that appointment. That would make it 37 days of no dilation after surgery. She was never given an explanation as to why she cannot dilate and the doctors sent her home with a bag of non-sterile gauze and instructed her to wet the gauze with tap water and place the gauze outside the neo vagina to keep the area moist until her next visit. When I called the doctor’s office for her, the md office informed me the reason for delayed dilation is because of rectal injury repair. When I probed further to ask if the patient was informed of this injury and if the injury had happened during surgery, the md staff became quiet and said, “I can’t answer those questions for you.”

My suspicion is the patient has not been told about the rectal injury. Hence the medical team did not give her a reason for her delayed foley removal and delayed dilation schedule. I am not at liberty to disclose this information to the patient per my company. I told her that if she doesn’t understand why they are delaying her dilation schedule, she has the right to ask the medical team to give her a detailed explanation, until she understands.

She said she would reach out to the surgical coordinator liason and her hormonal MD to help advocate for her. I’ve also requested through her insurance for a social worker to be assigned to help her but I am not sure how versed the social worker is about transgender services.

That’s what led me to this forum which I found through a google search. I am hoping the members on this forum could give me some resources that are available in NYC that could help advocate for her. I could pass those resources to our in house social worker if her insurance approves placement.

She is extremely worry about vaginal closure. Due to the language barrier and her zero support system, I am trying to help her find a support group that has someone that speaks Chinese (Mandarin), that may be kind enough to go with her to her next md appointment. She is currently residing in the lower east side of Manhattan.

In the meantime, I will call the surgeon’s office and request that a clinician calls the patient using their language line to explain the rationale for the delayed dilation schedule.