Article

Psychosocial outcome and quality of sexual life after sex reassignment surgery: An Italian multicentric study

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Abstract

Objective: Sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in the treatment of Gender Dysphoria has been shown to be followed by high levels of postsurgery satisfaction, improvement in quality of life and in the general psychosocial functioning of clients, both on a short and long-term perspective (Michel et al., 2002; Landén et al., 1998; Lawrence, 2003). More recent studies based on a cohort design (Dhejne et al., 2011), however, show that after surgery, transsexuals clients are still at higher risk of mortality, psychopathology and suicidal behavior than the general population. Aim of the present study is assessing long-term outcome of SRS, through a multicentric design which involved three Italian centers specialized in the treatment of gender dysphoria (Milan, Florence, Bari). Methods: Transsexual clients who received SRS were contacted and asked to complete a comprehensive assessment (adaptation from Lawrence 2003) including: levels of satisfaction for SRS, regret after surgery, psychosocial functioning, quality of sexual life, clinical history of gender dysphoria. Also, all participants completed the Italian version of the PsychologicalWell-Being questionnaire (Ryff, 1995, Ruini et al., 2003). The battery was completed either online or in a paper-andpencil format. 28 FtM and 49 MtF transsexuals persons from the three centers completed the questionnaires, from 1 to 31 years after surgery. Results: In both samples we found high levels of satisfaction in all the areas explored (including sexual life after surgery), and levels of psychological and social well-being comparable to those of the general population. Conclusion: Our results support previous studies suggesting that SRS not only alleviates gender dysphoria but also improves quality of life and psychosocial functioning in transsexual persons.

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