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Urethral complications after gender reassignment surgery: a systematic review


The aim of the present systematic review is to evaluate the impact of gender reassignment surgery on the development of urethral complication. A systematic search in accordance the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses statement for original articles published up until June 2019 was performed using the Pubmed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science databases. Pooled analyses were done when appropriate. The bibliographic search with the included terms ((“Transsexualism”[Mesh])) AND (“Sex Reassignment Surgery”[Mesh]) produced a literature of 879 articles altogether. After removing papers of not interest or articles in which the outcomes could not be deduced, 32 studies were examined for a total of 3463 patients screened. Thirty-two studies met our inclusion criteria and were evaluated, and references were manually reviewed in order to include additional relevant studies in this review. Female-to-male (FtM) surgery and male-to-female (MtF) surgery was discussed in 23 and 10 studies, respectively. One study discussed both. Varying patterns of complications were observed in FtM and MtF surgeries, with increased complications in the former because of the larger size of the neourethra. Meatal stenosis is a particular concern in MtF surgery, with complication rates ranging from 4 to 40%, and usually require meatotomy for repair. Stricture and fistulization are frequently reported complications following FtM surgery. In studies reporting on fistulae involving the urethra, 19–54% of fistulae resolved spontaneously without further surgical intervention. High rates of complications are reported in the current literature, which should be understood by patients and practitioners alike. Shared decision making with patients regarding incidence and management of urethral complications including stricture disease and fistulae, particularly after FtM surgery, is critical for setting expectations and managing postoperative outcomes.

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There was no funding source for this study. The corresponding author had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.

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Correspondence to L. R. Doumanian.

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Nassiri, N., Maas, M., Basin, M. et al. Urethral complications after gender reassignment surgery: a systematic review. Int J Impot Res 33, 793–800 (2021).

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