JOURNAL ARTICLE

Usefulness of free sensate osteofasciocutaneous forearm and fibula flaps for neophallus construction

N A Papadopulos, J Schaff, E Biemer
Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 2001, 17 (6): 407-12
11507685
Female-to-male transsexuals have been treated by the authors since the 1970's, using different operative methods. Since 1981, these patients have received neophallus construction with free sensate osteofasciocutaneous forearm flaps and, since 1993, with free sensate osteofasciocutaneous fibula flaps. In order to evaluate the usefulness of these flaps, the authors performed, in 24 patients (12 with forearm and 12 with fibula flaps), the following examinations: clinical and radiologic evaluations of the neophallus and its donor site, as well as patient questionnaires. In all patients, subjective findings and clinical examinations showed no significant variations in neophallus size and form. Patients with fibula flaps had better sexual intercourse, although their neophallus sensibility was minor, when compared to the forearm flap patients. Donor-site morbidity was moderate in both groups. On radiologic examination, robust, calcified bone structure, and no fracture of the neophallus bone and its donor site, as well as no instability of the ankle joint (in the fibula flap patients) were found. These findings further support the use of these free sensate osteofasciocutaneous flaps for neophallus construction. In the authors' opinion, it is the patient who must decide which method should be used for neophallus construction.

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