Vaginoplasty is a rarely discussed type of cosmetic surgery that is performed to correct vaginal abnormalities.
A vaginoplasty can also be performed to createa vagina in the case of a birth defect or in gender reassignment surgery for men who wish to transition to being women.
Who Might Benefit From Vaginoplasty
Though most women are reluctant to discuss sexual problems, having a vaginal defect can seriously affect self esteem and lessen enjoyment in life. Vaginoplasty can tighten the vagina after childbirth and correct problems such as having a large labia or hooded clitoris and can create a vagina which is absent.
After childbirth or through natural differences in each person’s body, the vaginal muscles and other tissues may be stretched or weakened and unable to respond to vaginal tightening exercises. Vaginal rejuvenation surgery can restore normal muscle tone and size to the vagina by removing excess tissue and tightening the muscles.
Some women are born with a large labia minora, which is the inner lips of the female sexual organ. Excessively large labias can rub against clothing and cause discomfort and may also be a barrier to appropriate sexual enjoyment. Vaginal repair surgery using labiaplasty or vulvoplasty procedures can remove this extra tissue.
A hooded clitoris is a condition where a layer of skin covers the clitoris which is the most sensitive area of the vagina. Having a layer of skin over the clitoris will often prevent sexual gratification by preventing sensations that lead to lubrication and eventual orgasm. A vaginoplasty known as clitoral reduction surgery can repair this problem by reducing or removing the skin covering.
Some female children are born with a birth defect that includes a missing or partially formed vagina. Others may have had a disease such as cancer or trauma which eliminated or destroyed the vagina. Vaginoplasty will create a functional vagina for these females and patients wishing to undergo transgender surgery.
Choosing the Right Cosmetic Surgeon for Vaginoplasty
As the vagina is a particularly complex and delicate area, it is important to make the right selection when choosing a plastic surgeon to complete the vaginoplasty. A board certified cosmetic surgeon who has experience and a reputation for producing satisfactory results should be chosen for all cosmetic procedures. The physician should be available for a complete and thorough consultation explaining the procedure in detail. He or she should also be able to provide clear before and after photos of previously performed procedures and will be able to explain all of the risks involved.
Risks and Recovery after Vaginoplasty
This is generally considered to be a major surgery which will require the use of a general anesthetic. Depending upon the specific type and scope of the procedure, risks generally involve infection, bleeding and scarring. It is important to follow all post surgical instructions which are often similar to those after childbirth. One will likely be advised to rest for several days and avoid intercourse or other sexual activity for several weeks. Most patients can be expected to walk comfortably and return to work after a week or so.
Though it is difficult to talk about, getting a vaginoplasty procedure completed can make a woman feel much better about her body and can increase sexual enjoyment for both partners.