Long-term Results in Patients After Rectosigmoid Vaginoplasty

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Jul;112(1):143-51. doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000066169.78208.D4.


Many methods are used for vaginoplasty, including the split-thickness skin graft, full-thickness skin graft, and inverted penile skin flap. However, these procedures are not entirely satisfactory in cases of reconstructed vaginal stenosis, inadequate vaginal length, or poor lubrication. The small intestine, ascending colon, and sigmoid colon can be used in the intestinal flap method, and the authors modified the operation first described by Baldwin in which a loop of rectosigmoid is isolated, closed at one end, and brought down on its vascular pedicle as a neovagina and then anastomosed to the perineum. Vaginoplasty using the rectosigmoid was performed in 36 patients (28 male-to-female transsexual patients, five patients with congenital vaginal atresia, and three with cervical cancer). The follow-up period ranged from 1 to 10 years. The postoperative results were analyzed through physical examination and interview regarding the patient's functional status and satisfaction during sexual intercourse. The mean depth and width of the vaginal cavity were 12.5 cm and 3.9 cm, respectively. Excessive mucosal discharge was seen in 8.3 percent, and malodor was found in 8.3 percent. All patients who had partners were able to have sexual intercourse; 2.8 percent of patients used lubricants and 5.6 percent used dilators before intercourse for more than a year postoperatively. During intercourse, 88.9 percent of the patients experienced orgasm. The cosmetic and functional results of rectosigmoid vaginoplasty were excellent. Thus, the advantages of rectosigmoid vaginoplasty are (1) rare contraction of the reconstructed vagina, (2) vaginal width and depth maintained without long-term vaginal stent, (3) spontaneous mucus production facilitating sexual intercourse, (4) avoidance of the malodor frequently accompanying skin graft, and (5) texture and appearance similar to that of the natural vagina. The authors concluded that rectosigmoid vaginoplasty is the best choice for transsexual patients who have previously undergone penectomy and orchiectomy, patients with unfavorable previous vaginoplasty, those with short vaginal length after cervical cancer surgery, and patients with congenital vaginal atresia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Transsexualism / surgery
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vagina / abnormalities
  • Vagina / surgery*