Effects of feminizing surgery for ambiguous genitalia - a novel scale for evaluation of cosmetic and anatomical results.

INTRODUCTION: Ambiguous genitalia always present diagnostic and therapeutic problem. Long-term results of feminizing operations are unsatisfactory in some cases and reports from follow-up after feminizing genitoplasty are rare in the literature. Systematic studies are needed to evaluate ultimate function of all girls undergoing feminizing surgery. In our opinion, the lack of worldwide-accepted scale for the assessment of long-term effects of feminizing genitoplasty, enabling the possibility of comparing outcomes between institutions and countries, may contribute to this deficit of reliable data.

AIM: The aim of the study was the evaluation of the outcomes of surgical management of masculinization using a novel scale developed by the authors.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We examined 43 patients aged 3-24 years (mean age 15,4 years) operated due to ambiguous genitalia. Most of the patients were females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) diagnosed in 38 of subjects (88.4%).The patients were operated at the age from 10 months - 15 years (mean age 4,5 years). Five patients had to be reoperated. The effects of surgical management in ambiguous genitalia were assessed using our own scale. We evaluated five anatomical and cosmetic parameters (general appearance, size of pudendal labia, symmetry of pudendal labia symmetry, size and position of clitoris, size of introitus and position of urethra opening), each of them was scored 0-2 points.

RESULTS: In 36 of examined patients the result of the surgery was considered good, in 4 patients - satisfactory and in 3 - poor. The most common complication of feminizing genitoplasty in our patients was stenosed vagina (in 10 patients, 23.8%). Location of urinary coil in anterior wall of vagina was found in 6 patients (13.9%) and in 1 patient it was invisible (2.3%). Post-operational clitoral enlargement was found in 3 cases (6.9%).

CONCLUSION: Taking into consideration controversial data about the results of feminizing genitoplasty, a standarized, well-defined and commonly accepted scale enabling comparison between methods and institutions is necessary. In our opinion scoring scale makes the evaluation more precise and the results are more comparable.

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