Isolated and combined breast augmentation in transgender patients: Multi-institutional insights into early outcomes and risk factors

Samuel Knoedler, Leonard Knoedler, Benedikt Geldner, Iman Ghanad, Bong Sung Kim, Michael Alfertshofer, Hans Guenther Machens, Peter Niclas Broer, Bohdan Pomahac, Martin Kauke-Navarro, Angie M. Paik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The increasing demand for gender-affirming surgery (GAS) in transgender and gender-diverse healthcare highlights the importance of breast augmentation surgery (BAS) for transfeminine patients. Despite its significance, there is a lack of research on postoperative outcomes of BAS. Methods: We analyzed the multi-institutional American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) (2008–2021) database to identify female transgender individuals (TGIs) who underwent BAS surgery, both isolated and combined with concurrent GAS procedures. We evaluated 30-day outcomes, including the incidence of mortality, reoperation, readmission as well as surgical and medical complication occurrence. Results: Of 1699 female TGIs, 92% underwent isolated BAS and 7.7% underwent combined BAS. The mean age and body mass index (BMI) were 36 ± 12 years and 27 ± 6.6 kg/m2, respectively. Isolated BAS showed a 2.8% complication rate, while combined BAS had a higher rate with 9.1%. Specifically, all complications occurred in patients undergoing BAS with concurrent genitourinary surgery (n = 85; 14%), whereas no adverse events were recorded after combined BAS and facial feminization (n = 19) or chondrolaryngoplasty (n = 19). In patients seeking combined BAS, advanced age (p = 0.05) and nicotine abuse (p = 0.004) were identified as risk factors predisposing to adverse events, whereas American Society of Anesthesiology class 1 was found to be protective (p = 0.02). Conclusions: Isolated BAS in TGIs demonstrates a positive safety profile. Combined surgeries, particularly with genitourinary procedures, pose higher risks. Identifying risk factors such as smoking and advanced age is crucial for patient selection and surgical planning. These findings can aid in refining patient eligibility and inform surgical decision-making for BAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast augmentation surgery
  • Gender affirmation surgery
  • Transgender care
  • Transgender individuals


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