History of the American Academy of Phalloplasty Surgeons and its International Phalloplasty Institute

The American Academy of Phalloplasty Surgeons was founded in the United States in 1994. The Academy has approximately 80 members from countries around the world. The membership of the Academy is comprised of highly qualified professionals who perform penile plastic/cosmetic augmentation surgery. The membership includes an approximately equal number of urologists and plastic surgeons.

The AAPS Board of Directors regulates all Academy activities. The Academy President, Dr. E. Douglas Whitehead, is a Board-certified urologist and a former Associate Professor at Albert Einstein Hospital in New York. He is recognized for developing several procedures in the phalloplasty surgery field.

Members of the Academy meet once a year for the purposes of professional development, networking, and policy making. The annual meeting agenda usually includes an invited speaker who presents new achievements in this field of medicine. Academy members and meeting attendees present their surgical experience in urology, plastic surgery, sexual medicine, cosmetic surgery, and related areas.

At the 2002 annual meeting of the American Academy of Phalloplasty Surgeons, following many years of the development of phalloplasty surgery as a surgical procedure, Academy members discussed the existing permanent graft technology available to the United States market (DFGs and AlloDerm®). They concluded that phalloplasty surgery with permanent grafts should be considered a safe and medically-accepted plastic/cosmetic surgical procedure, and should no longer be considered experimental surgery.

On February 2, 2002, at that same meeting, a position statement to this effect (AAPS Enhancement Phalloplasty authored by Dr. E. Douglas Whitehead) was presented and approved. The position statement included international standards and guidelines for the safety of male cosmetic genital surgeries, including the identification of indications, operative strategies, surgical techniques, and the assessment of results. The statement specified that phalloplasty surgeries are considered safe and effective under these standards and guidelines only if performed by a qualified surgeon who has completed special phalloplasty surgery training.

This position statement, along with its standards and guidelines, was subsequently presented at the Chicago meeting of the American Urological Association, Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgery Section, on April 28, 2003. These standards have now been in effect since 2003, and when qualified surgeons have followed them, these surgeries have been successful.

At their annual meeting in 2008, the Academy voted to establish an educational branch: the International Phalloplasty Institute, or IPI, and to work with insurance companies to create an insurable teaching program in the United States and abroad. It is the Academy’s goal to teach phalloplasty surgery to other medical specialists, and to help them to become eligible for affordable phalloplasty malpractice insurance by completing this program. The program is open to all surgeons who would like to learn how to perform phalloplasty surgery procedures correctly and safely. A registration form and course learning objectives and content are available on this website. The seminar will be conducted at the Penile Cosmetic Surgery Center in La Jolla, California at 7946 Ivanhoe Ave., Suite 106, La Jolla, CA 92037.

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