Patient-reported satisfaction and quality of life after trans male gender affirming surgery

Colton H.L. McNichols, Devin O'Brien-Coon, Beverly Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Trans male gender affirming surgery is becoming more available resulting in an increase in patients undergoing these procedures. There are few reports evaluating the outcomes of these procedures in the transgender population. This study was performed to provide patient-centric insight on self-image and other concerns that arise during surgical transition. Methods: A 22-question survey was sent to 680 trans male patients. The survey was broken down into the following sections: demographics, timing and type of surgical procedures, self-image, sex/dating life, social life, employment, co-existing psychiatric morbidity, and common issues faced during the surgical transition. Results: A total of 246 patients responded (36% response rate). Most patients (54%) waited 1–2 years after starting their transition before having a surgical procedure, and 10% waited longer than 6 years. In regard to self-image, sex/dating life, and social life there was a significant improvement (p < 0.001) after undergoing gender affirming surgery. Patients reported significantly less difficulty with employment after having gender affirming surgery (p < 0.001). If present, the following psychiatric morbidities were self-reported to have a statistically significant improvement after surgery: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, panic disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (P < 0.003). Conclusion: It is important to provide patients, surgeons, and insurance companies with expected outcomes of gender affirming surgery along with the potential risks and benefits. Post-surgical trans male patients reported a significant improvement in overall quality of life. Initial hesitations to having surgery such as regret and potential complications were found to be non-issues. Additional research should be done to include more patients with phalloplasties, trans females, and nonbinary identifying patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Transgender Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 10 2020


  • mental health
  • quality of life
  • satisfaction
  • surgery outcomes
  • trans men
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Gender Studies


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