Treatment of clitoromegaly of culturally diverse patients
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OBJECTIVE: Clitoroplasty is a procedure usually performed in young children, but its long-term psychosexual importance is controversial. We present two adult women from different cultural backgrounds who desired surgery for clitoromegaly. METHODS: A similar clitoroplasty procedure with preservation of the neurovascular bundle was performed on both patients. Preoperative and postoperative interviews were conducted by an independent observer to learn about the effects of the condition and the surgery. RESULTS: The Icelandic patient had bilateral ovarian dysgerminomas and a gonadoblastoma. The Bolivian patient had a 17beta-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase deficiency. Both patients reported normal libido but sexual inactivity because they felt 'embarrassed'. Postoperatively, our patients reported normal clitoral sensation and that they were sexually active. They differed in their opinion regarding the optimal timing of clitoroplasty - one suggesting surgery soon after birth and the other recommending deferral until informed consent by the patient is possible. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of cultural background patients are affected by clitoromegaly. This is demonstrated in these cases by the reported feelings of discomfort, distress, and sexual inactivity due to embarrassment. The long-term significance of clitoromegaly and the value of clitoroplasty for young patients with disorders of sexual differentiation remain controversial.
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