Meeting with the surgeon

Meeting with the surgeon

Being as prepared as possible for your surgical consult will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself.  

What is a surgical consult?

Your first  appointment with the surgeon is called a surgical consult. During the surgical consult, the surgeon will ask about your goals for surgery and provide you with information about your surgical options. It’s also an important opportunity for you to ask questions. 

What to expect during your surgical consult

Before the appointment for your surgical consult, you’ll receive information about what to expect during this appointment. Each surgeon does things a bit differently, but generally the surgeon will:

  • Ask questions about your gender, general health and family history
  • Conduct a physical exam, which may or may not include a internal genital exam
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Explain possible surgical outcomes
  • Explain potential risk and complications 
  • Give instructions for aftercare, including returning to physical activity
  • Ask you to get blood work done before surgery
  • Depending on age and risk factors, the surgeon may ask for an anesthesia consult

As part of the consult, the surgeon will recommend what they feel is suited to your goals. Their recommendation may not align with what you had hoped for. If this happens, you can:

  • Discuss your preferences with the surgeon.
  • Reach out to your primary care provider A person’s main health care provider in non-emergency situations such as check-ups and referrals. Family doctors, general practitioners (GPs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are all primary care providers. for help to come up with a new plan. 
  • Request a second opinion. To do this you can discuss a referral to another specialist with your primary care provider. 

Depending on age and risk factors, the surgeon may also ask for a blood test or other investigation such as ECG or an anesthesia consult.

And finally, you might book the date of your surgery at the consult or the surgeon’s office might call you later with the date.

Preparing for a surgical consult

Being as prepared as possible for your surgical consult will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself.  

A few things you can do to prepare include:

  • Understand the procedure by reading our information on the surgical procedure, risks and complications.
  • Prepare a list of questions (see below) and bring along a pen and notebook to the appointment. You may also want to ask a support person to attend the appointment and take notes so you can focus fully on the conversation. 
  • Prepare a complete list of any current medications and supplements (including traditional medicines, herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc.) including the dose and frequency.

Sometimes this appointment may take place on Zoom (or a similar platform). It’s still helpful to prepare in advance and have a list of questions and a way to take notes.

Here is a list of questions you may want to ask your surgeon:

  • What are the complications that could occur after the surgery? 
  • What are the surgeon’s complication rates for each procedure?
  • When should you arrive at the surgical centre for surgery? When can you return home? 
  • How long will the pain, swelling, discharge or bleeding last? 
  • What should you do if you experience a new symptom after you return home? 
  • Can you take [medication/vitamin/supplement] before surgery? 
  • When can you return to work? 

Next steps after your consult

If you choose to go ahead with surgery, the surgeon’s office will:

  1. Complete the operating room booking package — The next step is for the surgical team to fill out the operating room booking package. This is done when someone is medically ready A state where an individual is physically and psychosocially healthy enough to undergo a medical procedure or treatment without significant risks or complications, as assessed by health care professionals. to proceed with surgery. 
  2. Get your surgery date — Once your surgery date is available, the hospital or surgical centre will reach out to you to confirm your surgery date and location. 
Need support?

Contact our team of experienced health navigators for information about gender-affirming care in B.C.