Feminizing genitoplasty in adult transsexuals: early and long-term surgical results

Jonathan C Goddard, Richard M Vickery, Assad Qureshi, Duncan J Summerton, Deenesh Khoosal, Tim R Terry
BJU International 2007, 100 (3): 607-13

OBJECTIVE: To examine the early and late surgical outcomes of feminizing genitoplasty (FG) in adult transsexuals in a UK single surgeon practice over a 10-year period.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Computerized and manual databases were searched over the period 1994-2004 to identify patients who had undergone male to female FG. Case-notes were retrieved and analysed to identify epidemiological data, the number and type of perioperative problems, early results at outpatient review, late occurring problems and patient satisfaction. A telephone questionnaire was then conducted targeting all FG patients in our series. The questions were directed at identifying surgical complications, outcome and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: In all, 233 case-notes were identified and 222 (95%) were retrieved. All patients had penectomy, urethroplasty and labiaplasty, 207 (93%) had formation of a neoclitoris, and 202 (91%) had a skin-lined neovagina. The median (range) age was 41 (19-76) years. The median hospital stay was 10 (6-21) days. A record of the first outpatient visit was available in 197 (84.5%) cases. The median time to follow up was 56 (8-351) days. Over all, 82.2% had an adequate vaginal depth, with a median depth of 13 (5-15) cm and 6.1% had developed vaginal stenosis. Three (1.7%) patients had had a vaginal prolapse, two (1.1%) had a degree of vaginal skin flap necrosis and one (0.6%) was troubled with vaginal hair growth. In 86.3% of the patients the neoclitorizes were sensitive. There was urethral stenosis in 18.3% of the patients and 5.6% complained of spraying of urine. Minor corrective urethral surgery was undertaken in 36 patients including 42 urethral dilatations, and eight meatotomies were performed. At the first clinic visit 174 (88.3%) patients were 'happy', 13 (6.6%) were 'unhappy' and 10 (5.1%) made no comment. Of the 233 patients, we successfully contacted 70 (30%). All had had penectomy and labioplasty, 64 (91%) had a clitoroplasty and 62 (89%) a neovagina. The median age was 43 (19-76) years and the median follow up was 36 (9-96) months. Overall, 63 (98%) had a sensate neoclitoris, with 31 (48%) able to achieve orgasm; nine (14%) were hypersensitive. Vaginal depth was considered adequate by 38 (61%) and 14 (23%) had or were having regular intercourse. Vaginal hair growth troubled 18 (29%), four (6%) had a vaginal prolapse and two (3%) had vaginal necrosis. Urinary problems were reported by 19 (27%) patients, of these 18 (26%) required revision surgery, 14 (20%) complained of urinary spraying, 18 (26%) had an upward directed stream and 16 (23%) had urethral stenosis. The patients deemed the cosmetic result acceptable in 53 (76%) cases and 56 (80%) said the surgery met with their expectations.

CONCLUSION: This is largest series of early results after male to female FG. Complications are common after this complex surgery and long-term follow-up is difficult, as patients tend to re-locate at the start of their 'new life' after FG. There were good overall cosmetic and functional results, with a sustained high patient satisfaction.

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