Driven by a persistent and unchangeable need to undo the discrepancy between reality of the body and gender of the mind, most male-to-female transsexuals seek physical feminization through hormonal and surgical treatment. The authors report some rare presenting conditions and exceptional results of augmentation mammaplasty in 11 male-to-female transsexuals treated between January 1979 and January 1998, as well as describe how to treat these conditions. In patients in whom gynecomastia was treated previously, the remaining subcutaneous fatty tissue may be insufficient to cover the implants safely, and subpectoral implantation should be considered. Augmentation after unilateral correction of gynecomastia requires different sizes of implants. Although exceptional in male-to-female transsexuals, mastopexy is the treatment of choice to correct any mammary ptosis, but the patient may request augmentation mammaplasty to fill out the breasts. Previous stacking mammaplasty may have been performed subglandularly, subpectorally, or both. Stacking may not have been noticed prior to corrective surgery. Extrusion of the implant may be associated with avascular necrosis or infection, but also with the use of high concentrations of steroid placed within the lumen of fluid-filled implants. The correction involves removal of the implant, with skin graft or flap reconstruction of the affected area. Replacement of the implant may have to be delayed. Symmastia results from overzealous medial dissection coupled with overaugmentation. Combined restoration of the presternal subcutaneous integrity, and medial closure of the pocket by subcutaneous approach only, leads to satisfactory reconstruction of the presternal median cleavage. Galactorrhea may be the result of hyperprolactemia but is more often caused by stimulation of the intercostal nerve by the implants.
© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.