Background: The frequency of gender identity disorder is hard to determine; the number of gender reassignment operations and of court proceedings in accordance with the German Law on Transsexuality almost certainly do not fully reflect the underlying reality. There have been only a few studies on patient satisfaction with male-to-female gender reassignment surgery.
Methods: 254 consecutive patients who had undergone male-to-female gender reassignment surgery at Essen University Hospital's Department of Urology retrospectively filled out a questionnaire about their subjective postoperative satisfaction.
Results: 119 (46.9% ) of the patients filled out and returned the questionnaires, at a mean of 5.05 years after surgery (standard deviation 1.61 years, range 1-7 years). 90.2% said their expectations for life as a woman were fulfilled postoperatively. 85.4% saw themselves as women. 61.2% were satisfied, and 26.2% very satisfied, with their outward appearance as a woman; 37.6% were satisfied, and 34.4% very satisfied, with the functional outcome. 65.7% said they were satisfied with their life as it is now.
Conclusion: The very high rates of subjective satisfaction and the surgical outcomes indicate that gender reassignment surgery is beneficial. These findings must be interpreted with caution, however, because fewer than half of the questionnaires were returned.