Sex Reassignment Surgery
No, not me.
Today, I performed a sex-change on a cat named Ray Charles. Ray Charles came to me on Monday morning after a rough night at the EC. Ray was blocked and unable to urinate. He had been blocked for quite a long time, perhaps over 24 hrs. When I laid my eyes on him, I couldn't believe what I saw. He looked like a black and white prune with his head tucked into his chest because he was in so much pain. His potassium blood level was so elevated that he was at risk of developing a serious heart condition, his kidney levels were sky-high, and the pH of his blood was too acidic.
I hospitalized Ray Charles, put him on IV fluids, pain meds and antibiotics for three days. All of his blood levels were back to normal, and he tested negative for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. He was peeing normally, eating well and actually became a bit frisky, which can be very telling about a cat's overall health.
So today was the day I was to amputate Ray Charles' manhood. He was to become a she, and live the rest of his life at a significantly lower risk of urethral obstruction.
Hima (one of the nurses) took some pictures of the surgery, so I thought I'd share them with you!
Fig. 1. This is showing the elliptical skin insicion around the prepuce and scrotum. A urinary catheter was placed prior to surgery. The anus is sutured shut and is visible above the incision under the base of the tail. The penis can be seen between the two metal towel clamps at the bottom of the picture. Kiss it goodbye!
Fig. 2. This is the open surgery site. I had to remove alot of fatty tissue in order to find the underlying muscles that attached to the bony pelvis that needed to be cut off the bone in order to expose more of the penis during the surgery. The white powder is a product called Hemablock. It helps to clot blood and stop bleeding. There are many tiny blood vessles in fatty tissue, so it tends to bleed just a bit. No problem!
Fig. 3. The same view after the Hemablock stopped the small leaky vessel.
Fig. 4. SNIP-SNIP! :)
Fig. 5. The closed incision. Right under the anus is the new hole where Ray Charles will pee from. The penis is removed because this is where most cats are blocked.
As of tonight, Ray Charles looks great. He's awake and pain-free, peeing a normal amount of urine at normal intervals. He's eating and drinking and feeling WHOLE LOT BETTER!
Do you understand how much agony that cat was in?
I, for one, had this done on my cat -- vet said it probably saved his life.
I REALLY wish fellow veterinarians, who should know better, would quite presenting PU surgery as some sort of "sex reassignment" surgery. It is ignorant and factually incorrect.
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