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BJU Int. 2001 Sep;88(4):396-402.

Male-to-female transsexualism: a technique, results and long-term follow-up in 66 patients.

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Department of Urology, University of Essen, Medical School, Essen, Germany.



To report experience of a new surgical technique in male-to-female transsexual patients, the complications, and the functional and psychosocial long-term results.


From April 1995 to July 2000, 66 male patients underwent gender-transforming surgery at our institution and were registered prospectively. The operation should result in a normal appearing introitus, a vaginoplasty allowing for sexual intercourse and a sensitive clitoris. This was achieved by preserving the neurovascular bundle. The glans was transformed into a clitoris, the phallic cylinder used as a vagina and labia were formed from the scrotal folds.


Major complications during, immediately and some time after surgery occurred in nine of the 66 patients (14%), including severe wound infections in six, a rectal lesion in three, necrosis of the glans in three and necrosis of the distal urethra in one. Minor complications, e.g. meatal stenosis in seven patients, occurred in 24 (36%) of patients. Ten patients with insufficient penile skin had the phallic cylinder augmented with a free-skin mesh graft, but in three of these patients an ileal augmentation was finally constructed because scarring occurred at the suture line between the penile skin and the augmented graft. A long-term follow-up questionnaire about the functional and psychosocial aspects was completed by 31 patients. More than 90% of the patients were satisfied with the cosmetic result and capacity for orgasm; 58% reported having sexual intercourse.


Male-to-female surgery can achieve excellent cosmetic and functional results. Although the operative technique is partly standardized, surgery remains challenging because of several possible complications. None of the present patients claimed to regret their decision to undergo gender-transforming surgery.

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