Innervated island pedicled anterolateral thigh flap for neo-phallic reconstruction in female-to-male transsexuals

C Rubino, A Figus, L A Dessy, G Alei, M Mazzocchi, E Trignano, N Scuderi
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: JPRAS 2009, 62 (3): e45-9
Many techniques have been described to create an aesthetic and functional neo-phallus after penile amputation or in female-to-male transsexuals. Microsurgical free-flap phalloplasty seems to be the preferred method of penile reconstruction. For many years the radial forearm free flap has been considered the best procedure, but other flaps have been attempted to minimize donor site morbidity and optimize outcome. Pedicled flaps are considered to be reliable and to decrease the risk of total failure. Recently, a one-stage non-microsurgical technique was described for phallic reconstruction in a young male patient. We report successful total phallic reconstruction in a female-to-male transsexual patient using an island pedicled anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap. Urethral reconstruction was left as a possible further procedure due to patient's preference. A malleable soft silicone penile prosthesis was inserted within the flap and the lateral cutaneous femoral nerve stump was sutured to the dorsal clitoris branch from the pudendal nerve for flap sensation. After 6 months, the patient demonstrated successful aesthetic and functional reconstruction referring to satisfactory sexual activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an innervated island pedicled ALT flap used for female-to-male penile reconstruction in a transsexual patient. The pedicled ALT flap may be a reliable option to avoid visible scarring at the donor site on exposed parts of the body, and reduce the risk of total flap failure from microsurgical procedures for reconstruction of a neo-phallus in this increasing population of patients.

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