"We believe that harm reduction is a justification for treatment and for recommendation of surgical intervention, particularly since this patient has never experienced puberty in the male gender.”
Los Angles. California (PRWEB) September 05, 2014
September 3, 2014, Los Angeles, California: Plastic surgeon and urologist Gary Alter, M.D. and his surgical team at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, recently performed a male-to-female sex change on the youngest patient ever to undergo the procedure in the United States.
The sexual reassignment was performed as staged procedures within the last three months,which culminated in the creation of a vagina and clitoris during a 6 hour procedure on July 24, 2014. The patient was on female hormones since age 11 and never a developed normal penis and scrotum size.
Dr. Gary Alter first removed the testicles and inserted a tissue expander (similar to an internal balloon) in the scrotum several months prior to the final sex change. The expander was progressively filled with fluid through a port during several follow-up visits in order to stretch the scrotal skin and yield enough skin as a graft to line the neovagina. The expander thus enabled the patient to avoid taking skin harvested from the flanks with the resulting unsightly scars. After 2.5 months, the expander was removed during the vaginoplasty and clitoral creation.
The patient, a California high school student who began administering estrogen and anti-androgens to transition from male to female at the age of 11, is the youngest transgender patient in U.S. history to completely avoid male puberty and subsequently undergo gender reassignment surgery at the age of 16. She transitioned socially at the age of 10 and underwent legal name change at age 12. For the privacy and protection of a minor, no information will be released on the patient or her family.
The surgery, while successful, was not entirely without controversy. The WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) stipulates in its Standards of Care that Sex Reassignment Surgery is an irreversible procedure and should not be performed on adolescents under 18 years of age.
The patient’s psychotherapist, Christine Milrod, Ph.D., who referred the teenager for the surgery, stated: “Much like female-affirmed transitioning adults, transgender teenagers who experience puberty with atypical genitals often find the exploration of sexual self-pleasuring, romantic relationships and engaging in physical contact with a romantic partner extremely difficult, if not impossible. The avoidance of any such activities until the age of 18 may cause a delay in healthy age-appropriate emotional development due to dysphoria or discomfort with incongruent genitals. Thus, we believe that harm reduction is a justification for treatment and for recommendation of surgical intervention, particularly since this patient has never experienced puberty in the male gender.”
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