Jump to content

Gender-affirming surgery (female-to-male)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gender-affirming surgery for female-to-male transgender people includes a variety of surgical procedures that alter anatomical traits to provide physical traits more comfortable to the trans man's male identity and functioning.

Often used to refer to phalloplasty, metoidoplasty, or vaginectomy, sex reassignment surgery can also more broadly refer to many procedures an individual may have, such as male chest reconstruction, hysterectomy, or oophorectomy.

Gender-affirming surgery is usually preceded by beginning hormone treatment with testosterone.

Chest reconstruction[edit]

Chest reconstruction ("top surgery") is an important component of transition in the transmasculine population that can substantially improve gender incongruence.[1] This might be done as a step in the process of treating distress due to a difference between experienced or expressed gender and sex assigned at birth (gender dysphoria). The procedure can help transgender men transition physically to their self-affirmed gender. Surgeries for female-to-male transgender patients have similarities to both gynecomastia surgeries for cisgender men,[2] breast reduction surgery for gigantomastia, and the separate mastectomies done for breast cancer.[3] Top surgery involves more than a mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer.[1] Special techniques are used to contour and reduce the chest wall, position the nipples and areola, and minimize scarring.[1]

If the breast size is small, surgery that spares the skin, nipple and areola (subcutaneous nipple-sparing mastectomy) may be performed. This procedure minimizes scarring, has a faster healing time and usually preserves sensation in the nipples. During this surgery, incisions are made around the borders of the areolae and the surrounding skin. Breast tissue is removed through the incisions and some skin also might be removed. Remaining skin is reattached at the border of the areola.[citation needed]

Research suggests that most transgender men are satisfied with their surgical results, with only 1% experiencing regret after the operation.[4]

Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy[edit]

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the uterus. A total hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and cervix, and a sub-partial hysterectomy involves removal of only the uterus. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) is the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

According to the ACOG, symptomatic uterine leiomyomas are the most common indication for hysterectomy in the US, followed by abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis and prolapse.[5] Risk-reducing hysterectomy is also performed for patients with high-risk of endometrial cancer, including patients with germ-line BRCA1/2 mutations, Lynch Syndrome and family history. Hysterectomy can also be performed for male-identifying patients with uterus in conjunction with testosterone therapy.

Hysterectomy can be performed through three methods: abdominal, laparoscopic, vaginal.[6] Abdominal hysterectomy is performed with incision into the abdominal wall, whereas laparoscopic and vaginal hysterectomies are minimally invasive procedures.[7] Current ACOG guidelines recommend minimally invasive procedures, specifically vaginal hysterectomy, over surgical hysterectomy due to faster recovery time, shorter procedural time, shorter hospital stays and better quality of life.[7][8][9] Discharge from minimally invasive hysterectomy can occur as fast as one day post-operation, in contrast to five days post-operation for abdominal hysterectomies. Following discharge, patients often experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation or urinary tract infections, as well as vaginal bleeding or discharge. These symptoms should be temporary and resolve within six weeks.[10] Follow-up visits with a gynecologist is recommended six-weeks following hysterectomy.

Follow-up care for male-identifying patients with uterus should still see a gynecologist for a check-up at least every three years. This is particularly the case for patients who:

  • retain their vagina (whether before or after further genital reconstruction,)
  • have a strong family history of cancers of the breast, ovary, or uterus (endometrium,)
  • have a personal history of gynecological cancer or significant dysplasia on a Pap smear.
  • develop vaginal bleeding post-operation and hormone therapy

Complications of hysterectomy involve infection, venous thromboembolic events, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract injury and nerve injury. The most common of these complications is infection, which occurs at a rate of 10.5% of abdominal hysterectomy, 13% of vaginal hysterectomy and 9% of laparoscopic hysterectomy.[11] There is also a low risk of long-term complications, which can include chronic pain, sexual dysfunction and bowel dysfunction.

Genital reassignment[edit]

Also known as genital reconstructive procedures (GRT).[12]


Example of stage 1 female-to-male sex reassignment prior to glansplasty penis with tissue grafting scar on the left hip

Phalloplasty is the process of constructing a neopenis using a flap (graft) from the patient's arm, thigh, abdomen, or back.[13] Compared to metoidioplasty, phalloplasty provides a larger penis which may more closely resemble a natal penis.[medical citation needed] A neopenis created through phalloplasty relies on penile implants to achieve erection.[13] Sexual sensation varies in location and intensity, but is usually preserved at least at base of the penis, where the original clitoris was.[medical citation needed]


Example of completed metoidioplasty including neourethra and scrotoplasty, two years post-operation.[14]

Metoidioplasty is done after enlarging the clitoris using hormone replacement therapy, where a neopenis is constructed from the enlarged clitoris, with or without extending the urethra to allow urination while standing up. The labia majora are united to form a scrotum, where prosthetic testicles can be inserted. The new neophallus ranges in size from 4–10 cm (with an average of 5.7 cm) and has the approximate girth of a human adult thumb.[15] Sexual sensation and erectile function are usually completely preserved. Specialized metoidioplasty penile implants may be an option in those who cannot achieve penetration during sex.[16]

Penile implants[edit]

Penile implants are usually used in phalloplasty surgery due to the inability of the neophallus to achieve proper erection. The penile implants are used in cisgender men to treat erectile dysfunction, and in transgender men during female-to-male sex reassignment surgery. Although the same penile implant has been used for both cisgender and transgender men, specialized penile implants for transgender men were recently developed by Zephyr Surgical Implants (Switzerland), in both inflatable and malleable models.[17] During phalloplasty, the tissue flap used to build the neophallus is wrapped around the implant either in the same surgery, or in separate surgeries. Penile implants are less commonly used in metoidioplasty due to how the process is done.

Facial masculinization[edit]

Facial masculinization also alters anatomical features to achieve an appearance that aligns more closely with gender identity. This can be achieved surgically, which might entail reconstruction of the forehead, nose, upper lip, or chin.[18] Non-surgical options include injections to alter the jawline and chin.[19] Non-surgical methods can be combined with surgery or used alone when subtle changes are desired. In addition to alteration of facial structure, hair transplantation can be used to achieve more permanent masculine hair growth patterns such as sideburns, mustaches, or beards.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "What is Top Surgery? A Guide to the Reconstructive Chest Procedure for Transmasculine Individuals". Insider. October 14, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "What is Gynecomastia?". NHS. 26 June 2018. Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Cuccolo, Nicholas G.; Kang, Christine O.; Boskey, Elizabeth R.; Ibrahim, Ahmed M.S.; Blankensteijn, Louise L.; Taghinia, Amir; Lee, Bernard T.; Lin, Samuel J.; Ganor, Oren (2021-06-02). "Mastectomy in Transgender and Cisgender Patients: A Comparative Analysis of Epidemiology and Postoperative Outcomes". Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 7 (6): e2316. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000002316. PMC 6635198. PMID 31624695.
  4. ^ McNichols, Colton H. L.; O'Brien-Coon, Devin; Fischer, Beverly (2020-06-17). "Patient-reported satisfaction and quality of life after trans male gender affirming surgery". International Journal of Transgender Health. 21 (4). Informa UK Limited: 410–417. doi:10.1080/26895269.2020.1775159. ISSN 2689-5269. PMC 8726650. PMID 34993519. S2CID 225704571.
  5. ^ "Choosing the Route of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease". The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. June 2017. Archived from the original on September 13, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Clayton, R.D. (1 February 2006). "Hysterectomy". Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 20 (1): 73–87. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2005.09.007. ISSN 1521-6934. PMID 16275095.
  7. ^ a b Pickett, Charlotte M.; Seeratan, Dachel D.; Mol, Ben Willem J.; Nieboer, Theodoor E.; Johnson, Neil; Bonestroo, Tijmen; Aarts, Johanna Wm (2023-08-29). "Surgical approach to hysterectomy for benign gynaecological disease". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2023 (8): CD003677. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003677.pub6. ISSN 1469-493X. PMC 10464658. PMID 37642285.
  8. ^ "Choosing the Route of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease". Archived from the original on 2021-09-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  9. ^ Garry, Ray (February 2005). "The future of hysterectomy". BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 112 (2): 133–139. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00431.x. ISSN 1470-0328. PMID 15663575. S2CID 36424081.
  10. ^ "Recovery - Hysterectomy". NHS. 14 May 2018. Archived from the original on 13 September 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Clarke-Pearson, Daniel L.; Geller, Elizabeth J. (March 2013). "Complications of hysterectomy". Obstetrics and Gynecology. 121 (3): 654–673. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182841594. ISSN 1873-233X. PMID 23635631. S2CID 25380233. Archived from the original on 2021-09-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  12. ^ Frey, Jordan D.; Poudrier, Grace; Chiodo, Michael V.; Hazen, Alexes (March 2017). "An Update on Genital Reconstruction Options for the Female-to-Male Transgender Patient: A Review of the Literature". Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 139 (3): 728–737. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000003062. ISSN 1529-4242. PMID 28234856.
  13. ^ a b Kang, Audry; Aizen, Joshua M.; Cohen, Andrew J.; Bales, Gregory T.; Pariser, Joseph J. (June 2019). "Techniques and considerations of prosthetic surgery after phalloplasty in the transgender male". Translational Andrology and Urology. 8 (3): 273–282. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.06.02. PMC 6626310. PMID 31380234.
  14. ^ Bordas N, Stojanovic B, Bizic M, Szanto A, Djordjevic ML (2021-10-13). "Metoidioplasty: Surgical Options and Outcomes in 813 Cases". Frontiers in Endocrinology. 12: 760284. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.760284. PMC 8548780. PMID 34721306.
  15. ^ Metoidioplasty as a Single Stage Sex Reassignment Surgery in Female Transsexuals: Belgrade Experience Djordjevic, Miroslav L. et al., Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 6, Issue 5, 1306 - 1313
  16. ^ Littara, Alessandro; Melone, Roberto; Morales-Medina, Julio Cesar; Iannitti, Tommaso; Palmieri, Beniamino (2019-04-19). "Cosmetic penile enhancement surgery: a 3-year single-centre retrospective clinical evaluation of 355 cases". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 6323. Bibcode:2019NatSR...9.6323L. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41652-w. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 6474863. PMID 31004096.
  17. ^ Pigot, Garry L. S.; Sigurjónsson, Hannes; Ronkes, Brechje; Al-Tamimi, Muhammed; van der Sluis, Wouter B. (January 2020). "Surgical Experience and Outcomes of Implantation of the ZSI 100 FtM Malleable Penile Implant in Transgender Men After Phalloplasty". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 17 (1): 152–158. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.09.019. ISSN 1743-6109. PMID 31680006. S2CID 207890601.
  18. ^ Deschamps-Braly, Jordan (2020), Schechter, Loren S. (ed.), "Facial Gender Affirmation Surgery: Facial Feminization Surgery and Facial Masculinization Surgery", Gender Confirmation Surgery: Principles and Techniques for an Emerging Field, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 99–113, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-29093-1_12, ISBN 978-3-030-29093-1, S2CID 241880496, retrieved 2021-09-11
  19. ^ a b Ascha, Mona; Swanson, Marco A; Massie, Jonathan P; Evans, Morgan W; Chambers, Christopher; Ginsberg, Brian A; Gatherwright, James; Satterwhite, Thomas; Morrison, Shane D; Gougoutas, Alexander J (2018-10-31). "Nonsurgical Management of Facial Masculinization and Feminization". Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 39 (5): NP123–NP137. doi:10.1093/asj/sjy253. ISSN 1090-820X. PMID 30383180.

General sources[edit]

External links[edit]