Outcomes of masculinizing gender-affirming surgeries: Towards personalised transgender care

Research output: PhD ThesisPhd-Thesis - Research and graduation internal


SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Gender-affirming medical interventions contribute substantially to improvement of long-term comfort in transgender individuals. Currently, there are many developments in society, and also the technical aspects of gender-affirming surgical techniques develops. Still, there is a lack of solid knowledge on both the clinical and patientreported outcomes of these treatments. Therefore, in this thesis we investigated clinical and patient-reported outcomes after different types of surgical interventions in transmasculine persons, an umbrella term that refers to people who were assigned female at birth but identify with masculinity, with the ultimate aim to improve this care. PART I CHEST SURGERY In chapter 2, we compared the safety of the mastectomy as a stand-alone procedure with that of the mastectomy performed in a combined procedure with total laparoscopic hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The effect of the order of the procedures in the combined session on safety outcomes was also assessed. We found that the combined procedure was associated with an increased risk of postoperative hematoma (11.3%) and reoperations (7.5% )of the chest. The order of procedures in the combined group did not have significant effect on the occurrence of postoperative hematoma of the chest (p = 0.856), and reoperation (p = 0.689). In chapter 3, the surgical indications and outcomes of masculinizing mastectomies were assessed. Clinical and self-reported outcomes after mastectomy were assessed and surgical decision-making with regard to the operation technique was evaluated. The results showed that surgical decision-making in this cohort matched closely with the decision algorithm of Monstrey et al. based on breast size, ptosis and skin elasticity. Despite being performed in a group with favourable preoperative breast quality, concentric circular mastectomy showed a higher rate of secondary corrections, and lower cosmetic satisfaction compared with the inframammary skin resection group. Based on these results, surgeons may want to choose more frequently to perform an inframammary skin resection in case of doubt. Besides, preoperative counselling for concentric circular mastectomy candidates should moderate the individual’s expectations. The effectiveness of gender-affirming surgery is best evaluated based on patientreported outcomes (PROs). To date, no valid patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for the transgender population exists. In chapter 4 we used the BODY-Q, a questionnaire newly designed to measure outcomes in weight loss and/or body contouring surgery, to measure the health-related quality of life and satisfaction with the chest in transmasculine person after undergoing subcutaneous mastectomy. The present findings indicate that chest and nipple satisfaction differences in transmasculine person undergoing mastectomy can be detected using the BODY-Q chest module. PART II GENITAL SURGERY Gender-affirming surgery in transmasculine persons can include genital reconstruction (‘genital surgery’). Reconstruction of the phallus (phalloplasty) is meant to create a sensate and cosmetically acceptable phallus. In chapter 5 the safety and effectiveness of pre-expansion before phalloplasty was assessed. Thirty-three transmasculine persons were included and underwent phalloplasty, of whom 15 (51.5%) underwent flap pre-expansion. A chart review was performed to obtain patient demographics and expander-related. We concluded that donor-site expansion before phalloplasty was associated with high rates of expander-related complications and expander failure. Primary closure of the donor site was achieved in less than a third of the cases. Primary closure may potentially lead to smaller scars and greater satisfaction; however we concluded that the potential advantages of pre-expansion do not outweigh the high risk of complications and lack of success. The study described in chapter 6 addressed another important outcome of phalloplasty; the sensitivity. This study evaluated experienced tactile and erotic sensation of the neophallus in transmasculine persons and investigated how this experienced sensation was related to objective tactile sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Mullender, M.G., Supervisor, External person
  • Bouman, Mark-Bram, Supervisor, External person
  • van de Grift, Timotheüs Cornelis, Co-supervisor, External person
Award date16 May 2023
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs9789464197228
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2023

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