We identified complex genomic rearrangements consisting of intermixed duplications and triplications of genomic segments at the MECP2 and PLP1 loci. These complex rearrangements were characterized by a triplicated segment embedded within a duplication in 11 unrelated subjects. Notably, only two breakpoint junctions were generated during each rearrangement formation. All the complex rearrangement products share a common genomic organization, duplication-inverted triplication-duplication (DUP-TRP/INV-DUP), in which the triplicated segment is inverted and located between directly oriented duplicated genomic segments. We provide evidence that the DUP-TRP/INV-DUP structures are mediated by inverted repeats that can be separated by >300 kb, a genomic architecture that apparently leads to susceptibility to such complex rearrangements. A similar inverted repeat-mediated mechanism may underlie structural variation in many other regions of the human genome. We propose a mechanism that involves both homology-driven events, via inverted repeats, and microhomologous or nonhomologous events.