Gender-affirming surgeries play a crucial role in supporting transgender and nonbinary individuals’ well-being by helping them align their physical appearance with their gender identity. However, concerns about the potential for decisional regret have led to discussions about the safety and efficacy of these procedures. A recent study aimed to shed light on this issue by examining the rate of regret and satisfaction among individuals who underwent gender-affirming mastectomy.
The study, which involved 139 survey respondents, aimed to evaluate long-term decisional regret and satisfaction using validated instruments following gender-affirming mastectomy. The participants had undergone the procedure at a U.S. tertiary referral center between 1990 and 2020. The results were strikingly positive: the median satisfaction score was a perfect 5 on a 5-point scale, indicating high levels of contentment with the decision to undergo mastectomy. Additionally, the median decisional regret score was 0 on a 100-point scale, demonstrating minimal feelings of regret about the procedure.
These findings were consistent with previous studies that showed low rates of regret among individuals who underwent gender-affirming surgeries. The regret rate following gender-affirming surgery is often estimated to be around 1%. Despite concerns raised by legislators and policymakers about the potential for decisional regret, this study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that these concerns may be overblown. The results also emphasized the importance of using validated and condition-specific instruments to assess satisfaction and regret related to gender-affirming surgeries.
The study’s strengths included its use of well-established survey instruments to measure satisfaction and regret. However, it also had some limitations, such as potential recall bias due to the cross-sectional design and variation in follow-up times.
Nevertheless, the study provided valuable insights into the long-term outcomes of gender-affirming mastectomy, contributing to the ongoing dialogue about the importance of such surgeries in promoting the well-being and mental health of transgender and nonbinary individuals.