Published: 05-12-2016 14:10 | Updated: 07-12-2016 11:52

New thesis on the outcome of gender confirming surgery (GCS) for transgender women

Hannes Sigurjónsson from the group Reconstructive Plastic Surgery will defend his thesis "Outcome and Refinements of Gender Confirming Surgery" on December 16, 2016. Main supervisor is Associate professor Kalle Lundgren.

Hannes Sigurjonsson

What's the main focus of your thesis?

The aim was to examine the outcome of gender confirming surgery (GCS) for transgender women. The efficacy and benefit of GCS has been advocated to effectively resolve the patient’s gender dysphoria as well as improve quality of life (QoL), sexual and psychosocial functioning. We assessed the surgical techniques, complications after surgery, quality of life and functional outcomes of GCS.

Which are the most important results?

Male-to-Female GCS can be performed with a low rate of major complications. Adhering to a dilation protocol after surgery is crucial to attain the acquired vaginal depth. Quality of life among MtF patients is improved one year after GCS, but then declines in line with the decline of QoL of the general population. The sensate neoclitoris which is reconstructed from the glans penis has a protective tactile sensation, gives the patient erogenous sensitivity and the ability to reach orgasm in the majority of patients. Over all, the vast majority (86%) of patients who undergo MtF GCS are satisfied.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

Transgender women report lower QoL compared to the general population. This confirms the vulnerability of transgender patients, and emphasizes the necessity of suitable care and treatment both before and after GCS.

We saw a decline in operation time and complications during the study period. This indicates that the best probable outcomes will likely come from centers with extensive experience in treating transgender patients and that with increased experience the results will get even better with time. So managing transgender patients should be localized to a few specialized centers in countries with small populations, such as Sweden, to optimize competence.

What are your future ambitions?

I am a specialist in reconstructive plastic surgery at Karolinska University Hospital. The plan is to continue my clinical work there with focus on microsurgical reconstruction and urogenital reconstructive surgery after cancer, trauma and congenital malformations. In regards to science and research I am a part of a KI team conducting research on reconstructive surgery after female genital mutilation as well as ongoing studies on the transgender population.


December 16, 2016 at 09:00 in the Rolf Luft auditorium, L1:00, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Solna, more information in the calendar


Outcome and refinements of gender confirming surgery