Research Article| Volume 17, ISSUE 3, P379-386, June 2021

Post-operative complications following masculinizing genitoplasty in moderate to severe genital atypia: results from a multicenter, observational prospective cohort study

Published:February 18, 2021DOI:



      Differences of sex development (DSD) are congenital conditions in which there is atypical chromosomal, gonadal and/or phenotypic sex. A phenotype of severe genital atypia in patients raised as male is a relatively rare occurrence and standards for management are lacking. Decision making for early surgical planning in these rare cases includes, but is not limited to, degree of atypia, location of testes, and presence of Mϋllerian remnants. In this study we describe surgical approaches and short-term outcomes for masculinizing genitoplasty in moderate to severe genital atypia in young patients raised male, for whom parents opted for early surgery.


      This NIH-sponsored study is an ongoing, observational, multicenter investigation assessing medical, surgical and psychological outcomes in children and their parents affected by atypical genitalia due to DSD. Participants were prospectively enrolled from 12 children's hospitals across the United States that specialize in DSD care. Criteria for child enrollment were a Quigley score of 3–6 in those with a 46, XY or 45,X/46, XY chromosome complement, age <3 years with no previous genitoplasty; patients were included independent of whether genitoplasty was performed. Cosmesis was graded according to a 4-point Likert scale and complications per the Clavian-Dindo classification.


      Of the 31 participants, 30 underwent hypospadias repair and 1 patient did not undergo a genitoplasty procedure. The majority of participants (22) received a staged hypospadias repair. Seventeen complications were identified in 12 of the 31 children (41%) at 12 months of follow up. Glans dehiscence and urethrocutaneous fistula were the most common complications. Orchiopexy was performed in 14 (44%) and streak gonads were removed in 4 (13%) participants. Both parents and surgeons reported improved cosmesis after surgery when compared to baseline.


      Summary Figure
      Graphical AbstractRiver plot comparing Likert cosmesis score over time for mothers, fathers, and surgeons. Panel A includes all patients in the cohort.


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