The Urogynecology Wellness Clinic prides itself on contributing world-class research results to the international community. Sharing our experiences allows for advancement in knowledge about pelvic floor disorders.
At your appointments in our clinic you may be invited to participate in a research survey, clinical trial or study. We work with two research nurses who may, with your permission, reach out to tell you about various research opportunities.
Research Highlight of the Month
Research In Gender Diverse Care
Access to gender affirmation surgery in Alberta is limited, with the majority of patients
undergoing “bottom” surgery having to travel all the way to Montreal. Recognizing the need for
post-operative care for patients returning from Montreal, we initiated a gender clinic within the
Urogynecology Wellness centre to assist patients in achieving the best possible results from
We are currently conducting several research projects surrounding the care of gender diverse
patients that access our services.
Objectives: To outline the clinical environment in Edmonton for transgender patients to receive perioperative care, as well as to describe the clinical needs and complications for which patients seek care and the outcomes of treatment in the clinic.
Background: In Canada, the majority of gender-affirming surgery is performed at the Centre
Métropolitain de Chirurgie in Montreal. Transgender patients often travel far distances to
receive gender affirming care, and only remain there for a brief period of time post-operatively.
When they return home, they may not always have access to a physician who is able to address
their post-operative needs or complications. To enhance the care provided to transgender
patients in Edmonton, Dr. Cathy Flood has initiated a multidisciplinary peri-operative clinic (The
Gender Clinic) to improve patient outcomes, decrease the burden on the emergency
department, and to reduce the number of patients requiring transfer back to Montreal for post-
operative care. We hope that this paper will help to provide a framework for other centres to
develop a similar peri-operative model of care in locations where gender affirming surgery is
not yet available.
Methods: The research team will be describing the Gender Clinic and the care path for patients
referred to the clinic. A retrospective review of 138 patients seen in the clinic has been
performed to describe the patient population demographics, as well as to assess for post-
Results and Conclusions: In progress
Accessing Gender Affirming bottom surgeries in Alberta: a qualitative study
By A. Howard , C. Flood MD and J Schulz MD
Although existing research indicates that financial costs and access to culturally-sensitive
physicians represent significant challenges for transgender patients seeking gender-affirming
surgical care (El-Hadi et al., 2018), there is no literature on how long-distance travel amplifies
financial or access barriers or how it impacts the surgical experiences and outcomes of Albertan
transgender people. To address this gap, this project surveyed the transgender patient
population of the gynecology/urogynecology clinic at Edmonton’s LGBTQ+ Wellness Centre. A
qualitative survey assesses how long-distance travel for pre-operative assessment, surgery, and
post-operative care intersects with financial, social, and access barriers. Patients have been
interviewed and the qualitative data is being assembled for publication, with the long-term goal
of contributing to the development of a local surgical program for transgender care in Alberta.
Your donation through the The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation will support our research in the area of Urogynecology.
If you would like to make a donation, please use the link below and select 'Other' and dedicate to 'Urogynecology' in the designation dropdown list.
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