Facial feminization surgery (FFS) remains inaccessible to many transgender patients. Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) was among the first public, safety-net hospitals to perform FFS. The purpose of this study is to examine the postoperative outcomes of patients who underwent FFS at ZSFG and describe barriers to providing FFS in a public hospital setting.
A retrospective review identified patients who underwent FFS at ZSFG. Demographic data, comorbidity profiles, postoperative outcomes, and hospital utilization data were collected from the medical records. FACE-Q modules (scored 0–100) were used to survey patient satisfaction at least 1 year postoperatively.
Seventeen patients underwent comprehensive FFS surgery at ZSFG. The median age was 41 years [interquartile range (IQR): 38–55], median body mass index was 26.4 (IQR: 24.1–31.3). Patients underwent a median of 9 procedures, the most common of which included frontal cranioplasty (n=13, 77%), open brow lift (n=13, 77%), rhinoplasty (n=12, 71%), and mandible contouring (n=12, 71%). There were no complications, readmissions, or reoperations within 30 days. Patients reported high satisfaction with the surgical outcome (median: 87, IQR: 87–100), excellent postoperative psychological functioning (median: 100, IQR: 88–100), and low levels of appearance-related distress (median: 3, IQR: 0–35). An estimated 243 operating room hours and 51 inpatient bed days were required to cover all FFS procedures.
Performing FFS in a public, safety-net hospital was associated with zero postoperative complications, few revision procedures, and excellent patient satisfaction. Limited operating room hours and inpatient availability represented barriers to providing FFS in this setting.