Prospective assessment of the quality of life and nipple sensation after gender-affirming chest surgery

Anoujat Kanlagna, Julien Oillic, et al.
Prospective assessment of the quality of life and nipple sensation after gender-affirming chest surgery
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Abstract

Background: In the existing literature, assessing transgender patients' quality of life after surgery, especially using standardized surveys, is rare. The nipple sensation regarding the operating technique has neither been studied in a prospective nor standardized way.

Methods: For one year, we prospectively assessed transgender patients operated on for a gender-affirming chest surgery in our unit. Each patient answered the BREAST-Q© survey and the BODY-Q© chest module survey before and six months after the surgery. In addition, a measure of nipple sensation was performed using Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments pre-and post-operatively to compare surgical techniques.

Results: Fifty-one patients (102 breasts) were included in our study. The average age was 23.1 years and the average BMI was 24.8 kg/m2. Twenty-one patients (45%) had double incision and free nipple graft mastectomy, 14 (27%) patients had double incision and inferior pedicle mastectomy, while the 14 (27%) other patients had a semi-circular technique. Our study shows an improvement in all the scores of the surveys after surgery (p < 0.0001). Patients with double incision and inferior pedicle mastectomies rated a significantly higher satisfaction with nipples (p = 0.013) and significantly better sexual well-being (p = 0.007) than other techniques. In addition, preservation of nipple sensation was shown in patients operated by semi-circular technique (p < 0.001) and inferior pedicle technique (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Our prospective study confirms the significant improvement in the quality of life of transgender patients after chest gender-affirming surgery. Double incision with inferior pedicle seems to provide better satisfaction with nipples, higher sexual well-being, and preservation of nipple sensation.

Find the full article here: Prospective assessment of the quality of life and nipple sensation after gender-affirming chest surgery

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