Outcomes of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery

January 01, 0001

Outcomes of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery

The treatment for transsexualism is sex reassignment, including hormonal treatment and surgery aimed at making the person's body as congruent with the opposite sex as possible. There is a dearth of long term, follow-up studies after sex reassignment. The aim of this population-based matched cohort study by researchers from Sweden was to estimate mortality, morbidity, and criminal rate after surgical sex reassignment of 324 sex-reassigned persons (191 male-to- females, 133 female-to-males) in Sweden, 1973-2003. Random population controls (10:1) were matched by birth year and birth sex or reassigned (final) sex, respectively.

The overall mortality for sex-reassigned persons was higher during follow-up (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR, 2.8) than for controls of the same birth sex, particularly death from suicide (aHR 19.1). Sex-reassigned persons also had an increased risk for suicide attempts (aHR 4.9) and psychiatric inpatient care (aHR 2.8). Comparisons with controls matched on reassigned sex yielded similar results. Female-to-males, but not male-to-females, had a higher risk for criminal convictions than their respective birth sex controls.

The researchers concluded: "Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group."

How much of the psychomorbidity precedes the reassignment?

For the full abstract, click here.

PLoS ONE 6(2):e16885
© 2011 Dhejne et al
Outcomes of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Cecilia Dhejne, Paul Lichtenstein, Marcus Boman et al. Correspondence to Mikael Landen: [email protected]

Category: X. Female Genital System, Breast, Y. Male Genital System, Breast Keywords: transsexual, sex reassignment, surgery, outcomes, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 4 March 2011

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.