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Women's Health

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Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty

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Surgeries Related to Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty continued...

In fact, says ACOG, women's genitals naturally have a wide range of normal appearances that are anatomically correct. There's no one "look" or right way for a vagina and labia to be formed.

Recently, laser technology has been introduced by some surgeons for "vaginal rejuvenation" and other vaginal surgeries to replace the traditional scalpel.

Individual doctors who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) offer various "vaginal rejuvenation" procedures, but the ASPS itself does not endorse particular surgeries and cautions that "vaginal rejuvenation" surgery may need further scientific study to determine efficacy and success. None of the cosmetic vaginoplasty surgeries are considered accepted, routine procedures by ACOG.

Here are some examples of "vaginal rejuvenation" and "designer vagina" procedures:

"Revirgination." The hymen, the thin tissue at the entrance to the vagina, normally "breaks" the first time a woman has intercourse. A surgery called a hymenoplasty repairs the hymen to mimic its original, virginal state, before a woman was sexually active. Because of the strong religious convictions surrounding the importance of virginity in some cultures, this is among the most controversial of cosmetic vaginal surgeries.

Clitoral unhooding. Some surgeons are marketing a procedure called clitoral unhooding, which removes the tissue that normally covers the clitoris.

G-spot amplification. The front wall of the vagina, some experts believe, holds the highly erotic G-spot, an especially sensitive stimulation site for female arousal and orgasm. The G-spot amplification procedure involves injecting collagen into the front wall of the vagina, theoretically to increase pleasure.

Risks of Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty

Women's long-term satisfaction and complication rates from vaginoplasty and labiaplasty have not been tracked. Further, because these surgeries have not been evaluated in peer-reviewed medical journals the way other surgeries have been -- some procedures are proprietary and trademarked -- ACOG considers them "unproven."

The risks of vaginal cosmetic surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Permanent changes in sensation
  • Ongoing pain
  • Scarring

The best advice for women considering vaginal surgery: talk openly with your doctor about your feelings and concerns about your genitals, as well as your expectations for surgery and any possible non-surgical options. Targeted Kegel-like exercises can tone weak, loose vaginal muscles, for instance, and enhance sexual arousal; and counseling can address issues of sexual self-esteem and confidence.

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