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Hair, Tattoos, and Phalloplasty. Oh My!

Top 5 reasons to manage hair and tattoos on your radial forearm before phalloplasty

By Alex Friedman PA-C, Crane Center

  1. Convenience of skin on arm: Whether you have lots of hair on your forearm or an intricate tattoo that you don’t want transferred to your phallus, it will be more convenient and less socially and ergonomically awkward for your laser technician to work on your forearm than your phallus. 

  2. Hair growth in the urethra: While finer hair generally doesn’t cause issues within the urethra, coarser/denser hair can contribute to higher risk of urethral complications, such as blockage, fistula development, urethral urine retention, post-void dribbling. Currently there are no ways to remove coarse hair from within the phalloplasty urethra.

  3. Distorted tattoo transferred to phallus: If you’re concerned about your forearm tattoo being transferred to your phallus, either in part or whole, then getting it removed as much as possible will help reduce the aesthetics of your new phallus. 

  4. Keeping options open for different hair removal methods: There are a multitude of ways to permanently or temporarily remove and/or reduce hair regrowth and some methods work better for certain hair types and skin types. Having enough lead time to manage your forearm hair before surgery will allow you the best method for your particular hair situation.

  5. Tattooing after surgery: We have come across patients wanting to cover up their donor site with tattoos and even tattooing their phallus to make it look more aesthetic with veins and different skin coloring.

Alex Friedman PA-C is a certified Physician Assistant specializing in Reconstructive Plastic and Urologic Surgery, and brings over half a decade of experience working in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Alex works primarily assisting Dr. Michael Safir in the Crane Center San Francisco office. He is a graduate of the University of California of Davis and Samuel Merritt University in Oakland.

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