Background: Colpectomy, removal of the vaginal epithelium, may be performed in transgender men because of a disturbed male self-image, to reduce vaginal discharge, or to reduce the risk of fistula formation at the urethral–neourethral junction in future phalloplasty or metaidoioplasty. Aim: To demonstrate that vaginal colpectomy in transgender men, either alone or in combination with, for example, laparoscopic hysterectomy, metaidoioplasty, scrotoplasty, or urethroplasty, is a feasible procedure. Methods: This single-center retrospective cohort study included 143 transgender men who underwent vaginal colpectomy between January 2006 and April 2018. Surgical details and clinical outcomes were collected from all patients. Outcomes: The primary outcome was the number of perioperative and postoperative complications, including intraoperative blood loss. Secondary outcomes were operating time, change in hemoglobin level, and duration of hospital stay. Results: In 109 patients (76%), the procedure consisted of colpectomy only, whereas in 34 patients (23%), colpectomy was combined with other procedures. In the whole group (combined procedures included), the median blood loss was 300 mL (interquartile range [IQR] = 250 mL), the mean operating time was 132 ± 62 minutes, and the mean duration of hospital admission was 3.6 ± 1.9 days. In the colpectomy-only group, the median blood loss was 300 mL (IQR = 250 mL), mean operating time was 112 ± 40 minutes, and mean duration of hospital admission was 3.2 ± 1.5 days. For the total group, 15 patients (10%) experienced a major perioperative complication (ie, bowel injury, ureter injury, urethra injury, bladder injury, hemorrhage requiring transfusion and/or intervention and conversion to laparoscopy), and 1 patient (0.7%) had a minor perioperative complication (hemorrhage). Major postoperative complications (hemorrhage, hematoma, fistula, wound infection and prolonged pain complaints) were reported in 17 patients (12%), and minor postoperative complications (urinary tract infection, urinary retention, hemorrhage, and hematoma) occurred in 50 patients (35%). Clinical Implications: This study provides a detailed description of our technique and comprehensive reporting on perioperative and postoperative complications and reintervention rate. Strengths & Limitations: Study strengths include the large number of patients included and the detailed reporting on the complications of vaginal colpectomy. The main limitation is the retrospective design, which can cause data to go missing during extraction and is prone to bias. Conclusion: Vaginal colpectomy is a procedure with a high complication rate, but its advantages seem to outweigh its disadvantages. In all but 1 case, no long-term sequelae were reported. However, the high complication rate and reintervention rate should be discussed with patients who are considering undergoing this procedure. Nikkels C, van Trotsenburg M, Huirne J, et al. Vaginal Colpectomy in Transgender Men: A Retrospective Cohort Study on Surgical Procedure and Outcomes. J Sex Med 2019;16:924–933

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-933
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Colpectomy
  • Gender-Affirming Genital Surgery
  • Gender-Affirming Surgery
  • Transgender
  • Urethral Lengthening

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