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Nasal Surgery Feminizes Transsexuals' Facial Profiles

Small study shows that extensive surgery can be performed without affecting nasal valve function

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In male-to-female transsexuals, nasal feminization surgery may play an important role in the gender reassignment process, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

S.A. Reza Noureai, of Charing Cross Hospital in London, U.K., studied 12 male-to-female transsexuals who underwent rhinoplasty to feminize their appearance between 1998 and 2004.

Two independent observers determined that all 12 patients had a significantly more feminine nasal profile, with mean changes in the nasofrontal angle of 141.6 degrees to 150.5 degrees, the nasolabial angle of 107.4 degrees to 115.2 degrees, and the supratip angle of 1.7 degrees to 12.8 degrees. No cases of post-surgical valve insufficiency were observed and all but one of the patients expressed high satisfaction with the results immediately post-surgery and at a one-year follow-up. Five patients reported that the surgery was one of the most significant factors in their self-perception of being female.

The surgery "requires tissue resections that are frequently well in excess of standard rhinoplasty procedures," the authors conclude. "It should therefore be performed only by experienced nasal surgeons, and particular attention must be paid to the preservation of nasal function, especially the nasal valve mechanism."

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