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Gender-Affirming Surgeries: A National Surgical Quality Improvement Project Database Analyzing Demographics, Trends, and Outcomes

Ann Plast Surg. 2022 Jun 1;88(5 Suppl 5):S501-S507. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003157.


BACKGROUND: Gender affirmation surgery is an exponentially growing field within plastic surgery. The aim of our study is to analyze demographics, procedure type, trends, and outcomes in the surgical management of gender identity disorder in the past few years.

METHODS: The American College of Surgeons NSQIP database was queried for the years 2015 to 2019. International Classification of Diseases codes were used to identify all gender-affirming cases. Patients were categorized by procedure type using Current Procedural Terminology codes for feminizing/masculinizing top, bottom and head/neck procedures. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and postoperative complications were analyzed using SPSS statistics software. A comparative analysis was performed among the procedure type.

RESULTS: From 2015 to 2019, 4114 patients underwent a gender-affirming surgery (GAS) increasing the number of surgeries by over 400%, according to the NSQIP database. Demographics include age (mean = 32 years), body mass index (mean = 28 kg/m2), race (60% White, 22% unknown, 13% African American, 4% Asian, 1% other). Female to male procedures represented the most commonly performed (n = 2647; 64%), followed by male to female (n = 1278; 31%) with head/neck procedures representing 5% (n = 189) of all procedures. Top surgeries were also the most common (n = 2347, 57%), followed by bottom surgeries (n = 1578, 38%). The overall complication rate was 6% (n = 247), 2.1% (n = 4) for head/neck procedures, 8% (n = 134) for bottom procedures, and 3.5% (n = 84) for top surgeries.A reoperation within 30 days and related to the initial GAS occurred for 52 patients. Postoperative complication rates were statistically different between bottom surgeries compared with the top and head/neck procedure groups (P < 0.001). Increasing age and body mass index showed a significantly higher odds of having a complication.

CONCLUSIONS: Gender-affirming procedures have significantly increased over the past 5 years. Increased exposure through literature and research, as well as an improvement in social climates, including increasing insurance coverage have contributed to the expansion of these procedures. Low serious complication rates within 30 days prove GAS to be safe.

PMID:35690947 | DOI:10.1097/SAP.0000000000003157

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