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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Apr;17(4):581-7.

Anatomical studies of the female genitalia: surgical reconstructive implications.

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Pediatric Urology, UCSF Children's Medical Center, University of California, Children's Hospital, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Surgery for patients with genital ambiguity must be based on an accurate diagnosis, thorough understanding of the genital anatomy and realistic expectations for the patient, family and treating multi-specialty team. The goal is to create a functional and cosmetic outcome consonant with the gender assignment with the least amount of morbidity to the patient and family. An understanding of the normal genital neuroanatomy is essential for a successful surgical approach and outcome. Based on fetal human specimens, we have refined the three-dimensional relationship of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris, the female cavernosal nerve and the vaginal plexus. The surgical approach to patients with severe clitoral virilization should preserve erectile function and the neural innervation of the clitoris. When indicated, surgery should be performed in infancy to minimize psychological trauma and surgical complications from scarring. Herein, we review the neuroanatomy of the female genitalia and the implications for the rare patient who needs surgical reconstruction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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