Doctors suspended after removing a trans man’s vagina in irreversible surgery
Two doctors have been suspended for removing a trans man’s vagina against his wishes and then faking his consent to the procedure, a tribunal has heard.
After finding out his vagina had been removed during the irreversible gender confirmation surgery, the man was left in floods of tears.
He had consented to two other forms of surgery as part of his transition, but only discovered his vagina had been removed a week after the surgery.
The disciplinary panel heard that Dr Giulio Garaffa, a renowned Harley Street penis consultant, carried out the surgery after Dr Marco Capece altered a form to say that consent for the vagina removal had been given.
The patient repeatedly made clear that he did not want his vagina removed, the tribunal heard.
Identified only as Patient A, he described to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) how the “unwanted surgery” had a “profound impact in all aspects of his life including his mental well-being”.
Garaffa worked at St Peter’s Andrology Centre in Harley Street, which is a private practice specialising in gender confirmation surgery.
Patient A had consented to a hysterectomy and a metoidioplasty, which would have given him a penis, but had not consented to vagina removal.
Capece, who like Garaffa is from Italy, failed to obtain consent for the vagina removal prior to the operation being carried out at Highgate Private Hospital in October 2016.
Following the operation, Capece added the word “vaginectomy” to patient A’s consent form to give the impression it had been planned from the outset.
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Garaffa, who is renowned across Europe for penis enlargement and reconstruction surgery, was criticised by the panel for failing to check in with Patient A before the operation.
Speaking at the tribunal, MPTS Chair Tim Bradbury said: “His failures were serious and numerous… The consequences of these failures were grave, Patient A underwent life changing and irreversible surgery which (he) did not want.”
Bradbury added that Capece maintained a “false narrative” by insisting he had not altered the consent form.
He said: “It is significant that having amended the consent form, Dr Capece did not admit his wrongdoing despite numerous opportunities to do so either subsequent to Patient A’s complaint, during the investigation or in the course of this hearing, and he has maintained what the Tribunal has found to be a false narrative.”
Garaffa was found guilty of four charges of misconduct and given a five-month suspension, while Capece was found guilty of three misconduct charges and suspended for 12 months.