The complications of surgery for intersex: Changing patterns over two decades

Thom E. Lobe, Diane L. Woodall, Gail E. Richards, Anita Cavallo, Walter J. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


To evaluate the changing patterns of complications ofsurgery for intersex, the records of 58 patients operated on for ambiguous genitalia over the last two decades were reviewed. Patients with 21-hydroxylase deficiency constitute the largest group. These patients required the fewest operations and had the fewest complications. Surgery for all other diagnoses was accompanied by a high incidence of multistaged procedures and a high complication rate. The operations associated with the highest complication rate were those for vaginal reconstruction and severe hypospadias. Stenosis of the vagina and urinary tract problems accounted for most of the problems. Before 1975, the management of intersex was associated with a later age at diagnosis and initial operation, and a higher incidence of multistaged procedures performed by multiple surgeons from different specialties. These factors contributed to a higher complication rate than that observed after 1975, when patients were diagnosed and operated on earlier and had fewer complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-652
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Intersex
  • adrenogenital syndrome
  • ambiguous genitalia
  • genital reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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