Mastectomy and Chest Masculinization in Transmasculine Minors: A Case Series and Analysis by Ethical Principles

Rachita Sood, Sumanas W. Jordan, Diane Chen, Ava G. Chappell, Noopur Gangopadhyay, Julia F. Corcoran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mastectomy for chest masculinization is a commonly performed gender-affirming surgery in minor patients, a vulnerable population with unique developmental and psychosocial needs. We aimed to use principles of medical ethics (eg, autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice) as a framework to analyze preoperative clinical decision making by pediatric plastic surgeons who work with transmasculine and nonbinary adolescents designated female at birth presenting for chest masculinization. Two patients were selected for inclusion in this case series based on the senior author's (J.F.C.) clinical experience. A retrospective chart review was conducted to extract relevant psychosocial and clinical information from clinic notes and supplemental documentation (eg, letters from outside providers) available in the electronic medical record. In case A, a 17-year-old patient presented to a plastic surgery clinic with mixed parental support and restrictive insurance requirements. In case B, a 16-year-old patient presented to the emergency room after an attempt to remove his own breasts. The cases highlight the role of the plastic surgeon in advocating for adolescent autonomy and justice by facilitating shared family decision making and navigating barriers to care. In addition, we recommend multidisciplinary care, including trusted, transcompetent mental health professionals, to ensure beneficence and nonmaleficence by providing timely care when appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-145
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • adolescents
  • gender dysphoria
  • medical ethics
  • surgical decision making
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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