Multidimensional Assessment of Patient-Reported Outcomes After Gender-Affirming Surgeries Using a Validated Instrument

Ann Plast Surg. 2023 Nov 1;91(5):604-608. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003652. Epub 2023 Aug 12.


Introduction: Limited literatures used validated instruments to evaluate patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for transgender and gender-diverse population undergoing gender-affirming surgeries (GASs). This study aimed to evaluate PROs using a newly validated psychometric instrument, Vanderbilt Mini Patient-Reported Outcome Measures-Gender (VMP-G).

Methods: Vanderbilt Mini Patient-Reported Outcome Measures-Gender assesses 4 scales: quality of life, self-concept, satisfaction, and gender dysphoria. Scores range from 20 to 100, with higher scores representing superior PROs. Descriptive analysis was performed, and outcomes were compared in different races/ethnicities, gender identities, age, types of GAS, and time. Patients seeking GAS at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from October 11, 2021, to October 11, 2022, were included. Data were collected anonymously via the Research Electronic Data Capture survey tool at preoperative or postoperative clinic visits.

Results: A total of 207 patients completed VMP-G. Average age was 31.8 years (SD, ±11.5 years). Fifty-three percent of patients were postoperative GAS. In bivariate and linear regression analyses, postoperative patients scored higher on all scales compared with preoperative patients ( P < 0.001). After adjustment, postoperative patients scored 12.5 higher on VMP-G compared with preoperative patients ( P < 0.01). In subset analyses, GAS was associated with improved PROs in White, non-White, binary, and nonbinary and patients younger than 21 years ( P < 0.05). After GAS, patients younger than 21 years reported similar outcomes, compared with patients older than 21 years ( P > 0.05). No PROs differences were reported between patients who underwent top versus bottom surgery ( P = 0.2). Postoperative patients reported low rates of regret (2.8%). Scores on the VMP-G were sustained even 1 year after GAS. Each month after GAS was associated with a score improvement of 0.02 in the gender dysphoria domain after adjusting for patient demographics ( P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Using a validated GAS-specific measure, we found that surgery sustainably improves patients' self-reported outcomes including gender dysphoria.