Primary Total Laparoscopic Sigmoid Vaginoplasty in Transgender Women with Penoscrotal Hypoplasia: A Prospective Cohort Study of Surgical Outcomes and Follow-Up of 42 Patients

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Abstract

Background:

In young transgender women previously treated with puberty-suppressing hormones, penoscrotal hypoplasia can make penoscrotal inversion vaginoplasty unfeasible. The aim of this study was to prospectively assess surgical outcomes and follow-up of total laparoscopic sigmoid vaginoplasty as primary reconstruction in a cohort of transgender women with penoscrotal hypoplasia.

Methods:

Baseline demographics, surgical characteristics, and intraoperative and postoperative complications of all performed total laparoscopic sigmoid vaginoplasty procedures were prospectively recorded.

Results:

From November of 2007 to July of 2015, 42 transgender women underwent total laparoscopic sigmoid vaginoplasty as primary vaginal reconstruction. The mean age at the time of surgery was 21.1 ± 4.7 years. Mean follow-up time was 3.2 ± 2.1 years. The mean operative duration was 210 ± 44 minutes. There were no conversions to laparotomy. One rectal perforation was recognized during surgery and immediately oversewn without long-term consequences. The mean length of hospitalization was 5.7 ± 1.1 days. One patient died as a result of an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase–positive necrotizing fasciitis leading to septic shock, with multiorgan failure. Direct postoperative complications that needed laparoscopic reoperation occurred in three cases (7.1 percent). In seven cases (17.1 percent), long-term complications needed a secondary correction. After 1 year, all patients had a functional neovagina with a mean depth of 16.3 ± 1.5 cm.

Conclusions:

Total laparoscopic sigmoid vaginoplasty seems to have a similar complication rate as other types of elective laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Primary total laparoscopic sigmoid vaginoplasty is a feasible gender-confirming surgical technique with good functional outcomes for transgender women with penoscrotal hypoplasia.

CLINICAL QUESTIO/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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