Do histologic changes in the skin-lined neovagina of male-to-female transsexuals really occur?

Judith J M L Dekker, J Joris Hage, Refaat B Karim, Elisabeth Bloemena

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Controversy exists on whether or not the epidermal keratinizing squamous epithelium of skin grafts and flaps applied to line a neovagina changes histologically to a nonkeratinizing mucosal type squamous epithelium after vaginoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals. To end this discussion, the aim of this study was to objectify the short-term and long-term histologic aspect of this neovaginal epithelial lining. Biopsies were taken from the epithelium lining of the neovagina of 9 male-to-female transsexuals, from the moment of vaginoplasty up to 14 years after. These were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff stain for histologic comparison to normal vaginal biopsies. Because no changes that might have been induced by local influences or hormonal therapy were found, we concluded that short-term and long-term changes in the histologic aspect of inverted skin flaps do not occur after penile and scrotal skin vaginoplasty in male-to-female transsexuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-9
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Histology
  • Hormones/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Keratosis/therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucous Membrane/pathology
  • Penis/surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/methods
  • Scrotum/surgery
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Transsexualism/surgery
  • Vagina/anatomy & histology

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