Female-to-male genital reconstruction surgery has a high negative outcome rate, including urethral compromise and worsened mental health.

Female-to-male genital reconstruction surgery has a high negative outcome rate, including urethral compromise and worsened mental health. Expand
Female-to-male genital reconstruction surgery has a high negative outcome rate, including urethral compromise and worsened mental health.

The results of a 2021 international survey [1] of 129 female-to-male patients who underwent genital reconstruction surgery support anecdotal reports that complication rates following genital reconstruction are higher than are commonly reported in the surgical literature. 

Complication rates, including urethral compromise, and worsened mental health outcomes remain high for gender affirming penile reconstruction. In total, the 129 patients reported 281 complications requiring 142 revisions.

Another paper [2] found a 70% complication rate in one type of female-to-male genital reconstruction surgery.

Even with the “radial forearm free flap” method of creating a synthetic penis — “considered by many as the gold standard for phalloplasty” [3] — there are high rates of complications, with up to 64% urethroplasty related complications [4].

REFERENCES

[1] Robinson, I.S., Blasdel, G., Cohen, O., Zhao, L.C. & Bluebond-Langner, R. (2021). Surgical Outcomes Following Gender Affirming Penile Reconstruction: Patient-Reported Outcomes From a Multi-Center, International Survey of 129 Transmasculine Patients. J Sex Med 18 (4): 800-811. [Link]

[2] Bettocchi, C., Ralph, D.J. & Pryor, J.P. (2005). Pedicled pubic phalloplasty in females with gender dysphoria. BJU Int. 95:120–4. [Link]

[3] Rashid, M. & Tamimy, M. S. (2013). Phalloplasty: The dream and the reality. Indian J Plast Surg 46 (2): 283-293. [Link]

[4] Fang, R.H., Lin, J.T. & Ma S. (1994). Phalloplasty for female transsexuals with sensate free forearm flap. Microsurgery 15: 349–52. [Link]