Male-to-Female Genital Reassignment Surgery: A Retrospective Review of Surgical Technique and Complications in 60 Patients

J Sex Med. 2015 Aug;12(8):1837-45. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12936. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Background: Patients with male-to-female gender dysphoria (GD) require multidisciplinary assessment and management. Nowadays, more and more patients decide to undergo genital reassignment surgery (GRS) to have aesthetic and functional external female genitalia. Different techniques of this procedure have been described. Orchiectomy, penile disassembly, creation of a neovaginal cavity, repositioning of urethral meatus, and clitorolabioplasty may be identified as the five major steps in all of these techniques.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 60 patients who underwent genital reassignment procedure for male-to-female GD at our department between November 2008 and August 2013 with a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Data were collected on surgical technique, postoperative dilations protocol, complications, and functional and aesthetic outcomes. We describe and critically evaluate the surgical technique used in our department.

Results: Follow-up ranged from 14 to 46 months. Two patients developed late neovaginal stricture, and two patients experienced rectovaginal fistulae (one required surgical revision with dermal porcine graft placement). Minor complications occurred in 13 patients and included urethral stenosis, partial wound dehiscence, and minor bleeding. Secondary aesthetic revision surgery was performed in 13 cases.

Conclusions: GRS can provide good functional and aesthetic outcomes in patients with male-to-female GD. However, despite a careful planning and meticulous surgical technique, secondary procedures are frequently required to improve the function and appearance of the neovagina.

Keywords: Feminizing Vaginoplasty; Genital Reassignment Surgery; Male-to-Female Surgery; Orchiectomy; Vaginoplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Penis / innervation
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Perineum / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery*
  • Rectovaginal Fistula / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery* / methods
  • Surgically-Created Structures
  • Transsexualism / surgery*
  • Urethra / surgery
  • Urethral Stricture / surgery
  • Urogenital Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Vagina / innervation
  • Vagina / surgery*