Urethral Lengthening in metoidioplasty (female-to-male sex reassignment surgery) by combined buccal mucosa graft and labia minora flap

M L Djordjevic, M Bizic, D Stanojevic, M Bumbasirevic, V Kojovic, M Majstorovic, M Acimovic, S Pandey, S V Perovic
Urology 2009, 74 (2): 349-53

OBJECTIVES: To develop a technique for urethral reconstruction using a combined labia minora flap and buccal mucosa graft. Urethral lengthening is the most difficult part in female transsexuals and poses many challenges.

METHODS: From April 2005 to February 2008, 38 patients (aged 19-53 years) underwent single-stage metoidioplasty. The technique starts with clitoral lengthening and straightening by division of both clitoral ligaments dorsally and the short urethral plate ventrally. The buccal mucosa graft is quilted to the ventral side of the corpora cavernosa between the native orifice and the tip of the glans. The labia minora flap is dissected from its inner surface to form the ventral aspect of the neourethra. All suture lines are covered by the well-vascularized subcutaneous tissue originating from the labia minora. The labia majora are joined in the midline and 2 silicone testicular implants are inserted to create the scrotum. The neophallus is covered with the remaining clitoral and labial skin.

RESULTS: The median follow-up was 22 months (range 11-42). The median neophallic length was 5.6 cm (range 4-9.2). The total length of the neourethra was 9.4-14.2 cm (median 10.8). Voiding while standing was reported by all 38 patients, and temporary dribbling and spraying were noted by 12. Two fistulas and one urethral erosion resulted from the testicular implant and required secondary revision.

CONCLUSIONS: A combined buccal mucosa graft and labia minora flap present a good choice for urethral reconstruction in female-to-male transsexuals, with minimal postoperative complications.

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