Surgical management of female genital mutilation-related morbidity: A scoping review

Ava G. Chappell, Rachita Sood, Andrew Hu, Susan M. Folsom, Q. Eileen Wafford, Diana K. Bowen, Lori A. Post, Sumanas W. Jordan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Over 200 million women and girls worldwide have suffered from the partial to total removal of external female genitalia for nonmedical purposes, referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM). Survivors of FGM may develop debilitating physical and psychological long-term sequelae. This is the first study to examine the scope of the extant surgical literature on the management of FGM-related morbidity. Methods: A systematic scoping review of five major research citation databases was conducted. Results: A total of 190 articles from 29 countries met the inclusion criteria. The majority (76%) were primary source articles and from obstetrics and gynecology literature (71%). Reported interventions for FGM-related morbidity were defibulation, cyst excision, clitoral and vulvar reconstruction, urological reconstruction, peripartum procedures, labial adhesion release, and reinfibulation. Conclusions: Surgery for FGM complications spans multiple specialties, which suggests multidisciplinary collaboration benefit. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons have a clear role in the multidisciplinary care team for these patients. This scoping review identified a paucity of high-quality evidence with respect to functional quality of life outcomes and long-term follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2467-2478
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Female genital mutilation
  • Multidisciplinary care for FGM
  • Reconstructive surgery after FGM
  • Scoping review
  • Surgical care for complications from FGM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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