Surgical, medical and psychological dilemmas of sex reassignment: Report of a 46,XY patient assigned female at birth

Peter Lee, Christopher P. Houk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This is a report of a 16 year-old 46,XY male who was reassigned female and had feminizing surgery during infancy because of what was judged to be inadequate genital masculinization. This patient had a dysgenetic testis that was shown to be producing testosterone during infancy. Although initially the reassignment appeared to be successful, psychological problems became progressively more severe during childhood to incapacitation by age 10 years. After it was verified that he had a male sexual identity, reassignment as male began, initially by living as a boy, then with testosterone therapy. Staged phalloplasty surgery was begun at age 16 years. Currently he has an adult-sized penis, although its function is not yet clear. Sadly, none of the steps to align his sex assignment to his perception as male has significantly alleviated his psychological issues and he continues to be severely impaired and socially compromised. Major issues include the crippling psychiatric disease that is resistant to psychotherapy and surgical problems with phalloplasty after surgery at infancy that involved reduction of the phallus with recession of the glans to the typical clitoral location. The glans was left intact at the anterior base of the phallus. Genital responsiveness during sexual activity and satisfaction are as yet unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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