Gender Affirmation Surgery: A Synopsis Using American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program and National Inpatient Sample Databases


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Abstract

BackgroundGender affirmation surgery (GAS) is a heterogeneous group of body transformational procedures to match one's gender identity. There is a paucity of literature on the outcomes and safety profile of GAS. This study aims to examine trends and outcomes of GAS from 2010 to 2015 using the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Program and National Inpatient Sample databases.MethodsPatients with a primary diagnosis of gender dysphoria at the time of surgery were identified in both databases. Thirty-day complication rates were determined using the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program database. Patient socioeconomic status and hospital characteristics were examined using the National Inpatient Sample database.ResultsThe number of cases per year increased from 5 in 2010 to 231 in 2015. The overall 30-day complication rate was 5.5%. Younger age was an independent risk factor for overall complications and reoperation. Total operating time was an independent risk factor for overall complications and infection. Black/African American race was associated with an increased risk of reoperation and readmission. Most patients (80%) had income at or above the national median income level; most were self-pay or had private insurance (90%). The typical hospitals providing GAS were large, urban, nonteaching, private nonprofit institutions in the US West Coast and Northeast.ConclusionsGender affirmation surgery has an acceptable safety profile. The marked increase in case numbers likely reflects recent improvements in social climate and access to care. However, there are socioeconomic disparities in utilization and surgical outcomes among this already vulnerable patient population.

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