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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

JAMA study shows high satisfaction, low regret from gender affirming mastectomy surgery

Flummoxed by the study, conservatives shoot the messenger

A new, albeit small-scale survey published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” belies hysteria that recipients of gender-affirming care and surgeries will regret the choice (1).

Flummoxed by the findings, conservatives and the anti-trans lobby attacked medical journals in general, and even denigrated scientific research itself (2).

According to the survey of 139 respondents who underwent gender-affirming mastectomies, aka “top surgery,” showed a high degree of satisfaction with the operations years after the surgery, and a low degree of regret.

In fact, the degree of regret was so low, that it rendered certain statistical analyses incalculable. “A invariable regression analysis could not be performed to identify characteristics associated with low satisfaction with decision or high decisional regret due to the lack of variation in these responses,” the article reports. In other words, nearly every respondent reported zero degree of dissatisfaction.

One anti-trans group issued a non-peered-reviewed response, calling medical journals “platforms for politically driven research.”

Another anti-trans activist, Matt Walsh, actually said that scientific research holds little value. He suggested that the low regret rates reported by the study appeared because “transgender people are just not admitting their regret” and are “lying to themselves.” (2)

235 patients were eligible for the study, and 139 responded, an extremely high 59.1% response rate. Patients all had undergone gender-affirming mastectomy in the US between Jan 1, 1990, and February 29, 2020. Therefore, some patients had received the operation more than 30 years ago. The survey was sent to patients in the first half of 2023.

The first clue that the patients were pleased with their results is that none of the patients, whether they responded to the survey or not, requested a reversal procedure, the paper says.

The median satisfaction score was 5.0 on a 5-point scale, where higher scores indicate higher satisfaction. Conversely, the median “decision regret scale” score was 0.0 on a 100-point scales. The lower the score, the lower the level of regret, reinforcing the finding of happiness with the result.

A discussion of the survey is available on the podcast “Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe,” beginning around the 50-minute mark or so (4).

The paper is “Long Term Regret and Satisfaction with Decision Following Gender-Affirming Mastectomy,” by Lauren Bruce, BA; Alexander N Khouri; MD, Andrew Bolze, BA; et al.


4 Podcast “Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe,” beginning around the 50-minute mark

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