Surgeries involving flaps and grafts are associated with a high risk of complications, as when you move tissue, you typically interrupt most of its blood supply. Accordingly, many people who undergo gender affirmation surgery experience some problem with healing, and a significant percentage of these healing issues are serious. Prior to utilizing hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the post-operative management of patients undergoing gender-affirming procedures, poor healing resulted in many patients requiring several additional “revision” surgeries at an astronomical cost; financially, personally, and emotionally. Common complications include:


Any surgical incision has a risk of infection. As gender-affirming surgery typically involves a series of internal and external incisions, the risks are increased. With HBOT, the the risk of infection is dramatically reduced, as the conditions created in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber are unfavorable for the viability of pathogenic bacteria. These organisms are unable to survive in an oxygen-rich environment. White blood cells (leukocytes) also gain an enhanced ability to fight off bacterial infections infections when the body tissues develop an oxygen-enriched environment.

Slow Surgical Wound Healing

The body requires oxygen to heal properly. The disruption of blood flow to the revised body area significantly increases the risk of poor healing or excessive scarring. With HBOT, this risk is dramatically reduced as the oxygen is delivered to the tissues throughout the entire body for faster, more successful healing. This is a recovery treatment for gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco that has revolutionized the healing process.

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Urethral Fistulae

A fistula is an unwanted conduit between the urethra and other areas which typically requires surgical repair. HBOT dramatically reduces the likelihood of fistula formation and is also commonly utilized to heal fistulas if they have already formed prior to HBOT.

Nerve Injury

Peripheral nerves are commonly affected when flaps and grafts are created. The associated swelling (edema) results in numbness which (without HBOT) can last for months or years. HBOT quickly and dramatically reduces edema, commonly resulting in a far more rapid and complete recovery of sensation.

Injury to Urinary Tract

The urinary tract may develop complications such as nerve damage, incontinence, urethral stricture, or voiding problems. This may occur due to the development of excessive scar tissue or skin graft contraction. Such issues typically require invasive procedures and/or surgery to remedy. Utilizing HBOT can prevent such complications from developing altogether.

Painful Intercourse

One of the most distressing complications is experiencing painful intercourse. The newly created vaginal canal is tight and can become even tighter due to stenosis, a condition in which the newly created vaginal walls scar and contract. HBOT promotes the development of scar tissue that is more elastic (able to stretch and then return to normal length) and tensile (more able to stretch without injury). In doing so, the scar tissues normally associated with flaps and grafts become more “functional.”

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Flap/Graft Failure and Loss

The transferred tissues may fail and die, called necrosis, which is typically the result of lack of blood flow. This requires revision surgery to remove the damaged tissue and once again build the desired tissue. HBOT is a recovery treatment for gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco that dramatically reduces the likelihood of flap/graft failure.


A complication in which the blood collects and pools beneath the skin. Utilizing HBOT can help in reducing the size of the hematoma, reduce the likelihood of it getting infected, and help reduce the likelihood of recurrence if surgically repaired.

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patient receiving recovery treatment for gender affirmation surgery in san francisco

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy After Gender Affirmation Surgery: A Solution That Works

At 8th Element Hyperbaric Medicine, our clinic was established to exclusively serve the transgender community and help individuals undergoing gender affirmation surgery avoid complications. The clinical results of our treatments have proven that HBOT dramatically improves both the functional and cosmetic results of gender affirmation surgery.

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office that does recovery treatments for gender affirmation surgery in san francisco

Is HBOT Right for Me?

If you are in the process of planning your gender affirmation surgery, it is critical that you find out more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is one truly remarkable recovery treatment for gender affirmation surgery in San Francisco. You have committed yourself to the journey. It is crucial that the changes to your body heal quickly and well. With HBOT, your post-operative journey can be shorter, far less uncomfortable, and you can avoid the complications requiring additional revision surgeries – which is far too common.

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