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What is Vaginoplasty?

As women age, they are changes in their vagina especially after they’ve experienced childbirth. The vagina loses its beauty over time as the muscles extend and lose its tone. It’s an undeniable occurrence, and sometimes, it can affect their confidence and sexual satisfaction.

Some women want to tighten their vagina for sexual gratification. They believe it can give them confidence and overall satisfaction.

With Vaginoplasty, the appearance of the vagina is improved, so as its muscle tone, strength, and control.

Vaginoplasty is a type of genitoplasty which is also known as posterior colporrhaphy. It’s an outpatient surgical procedure of vaginal construction or reconstruction. You may think of it as an aesthetic procedure. However, it’s designed to improve the vaginal function either for structural or medical reasons. What’s usually done here is to tighten the loose vaginal muscle tissues. Then, the extra tissue from the back side of the vagina is surgically removed.

There are various medical reasons where Vaginoplasty is required. It can be done after the removal of a tumor, an abscess, or any abnormal growth. Moreover, it can be done to correct congenital defects to the vagina, urethra, and rectum. Injuries that occur on the vagina are also repaired using this surgical procedure.

By: Lasky Aesthetics & Laser Center

Other reasons why people undergo Vaginoplasty:

  • Construction of a vagina
  • Splitting up of the congenitally fused urethra and vagina
  • Repair of a short urethra
  • Reconstruction of the vagina
  • Surgeries on the cul-de-sac
  • Cystocele and rectocele repair
  • Prolapse of vaginal vault
  • Suspension and fixation of the vagina
  • Retropubic, paravaginal repair
  • Using grafts or prosthetic materials on vaginal construction or reconstruction
  • Hymenorrhaphy
  • Uncommon growths, cysts or septums in the vagina

Vaginoplasty Techniques

Free Close Up Shot of a Clay Sculpture Stock Photo

A. Surgical Techniques

  • Reconstructive Surgery – reconstruct the vagina and other structures after a surgical removal of abnormal growths or abscesses. It can also restore the normal function of the vagina.
  • McIndoe Method – This surgical technique is used to create a canal between the urinary bladder, urethra, and the rectum. Typically, a skin graft from the thigh, buttocks or inguinal region will be used. However, other areas of the body may also be used to make the lining of the vagina. Cutaneous skin flaps, buccal mucosa, and amniotic membranes are other areas used as the vagina’s lining. The graft is first wrapped around a mold and positioned into the surgically constructed canal.
  • Wilson Method – It’s a penile inversion technique that undergoes a three-stage surgery, including a two-stage primary Vaginoplasty. At first, this surgical procedure is primarily done like a traditional penile inversion. During the creation of the vaginal vault, it’s left unfinished and is packed with a sterile stent. After 5–7 days, a skin graft harvested from the buttocks is covered on the raw surface. Then, the penile skin is used to create the labia minora, clitoral hooding, and the frenulum. The glans penis is used to make the clitoris, and the scrotum is used to create the labia majora.
  • Vecchietti Method – This method is also known as the “pull through” technique. It’s a laparoscopic surgical technique to create a neovagina. This method is usually done to treat patients with Müllerian agenesis. The resulting vaginal size is slightly bigger than the standard size of the vagina.
  • Bowel Vaginoplasty – Bowel vaginoplasty is a commonly used method to create an artificial vagina in male-to-female transgender surgery.
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery – Segments of the colon, large or small intestine are used to create a vagina. This cosmetic procedure is usually done for gender reassignment surgery.
  • Elective Vaginoplasty – It’s a cosmetic surgery of the vagina to enhance its appearance. From the word itself, it’s a medically unnecessary procedure to rejuvenate the vagina. One method of Elective Vaginoplasty is Vaginal Rejuvenation. This surgery has been labeled as “designer vagina” by most critics.
  • Labiaplasty – This procedure can be performed as a secondary procedure within a vaginoplasty. Labial irritation caused by tight clothing, sex, and physical activities are also reasons why some people undergo Labiaplasty.
  • Surgical Procedures on the Hymen – These are surgeries that involve the hymen. Hymenorrhaphy is done to reconstruct the hymen.
  • Balloon Vaginoplasty – Using laparoscopy, a Foley catheter is inserted to the rectouterine pouch, so a steady grip and distension are applied to make a neovagina.

B. Non-Surgical Technique

Ages ago, there was a non-surgical procedure done to treat the congenital absence of a vagina. The patient would wear a saddle-like device and dilators. This method would take several months to finish as the patient would use an increasing diameter of the dilator. It would cause pain and discomfort to the patient and wasn’t an effective procedure.

How much does a Vaginoplasty cost?

The average cost of Vaginoplasty in the US ranges from $3,500 to $12,000. However, it depends on the surgeon’s fee, geographical location, time of the procedure, technique used, and area to be covered. Expect that it’ll cost more if you ever have to undergo a combination of techniques.

Most health insurances can cover Vaginoplasty procedures if it’s for medical reasons. However, they won’t cover this procedure if it’s for aesthetic reasons. However, many surgeons offer financing plans that you can avail.

Who can undergo Vaginoplasty?

You can undergo Vaginoplasty if you meet the following requirements:

  • Excellent overall health
  • No underlying medical condition
  • Want to undergo sex change
  • Deformed vagina after childbirth
  • Non-smoker
  • Doesn’t have bleeding problems or not taking medications that may induce bleeding
  • Have a positive attitude about the procedure

How to choose your surgeon?

Vaginoplasty must be done by a certified and expert plastic surgeon to accomplish the best results. An unqualified surgeon may lead to surgical complications and unsatisfying results. It’s your comfort that matters more here than the total cost of the surgery.

  • Certification and Membership. First of all, make sure that a surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Memberships may not be necessary, but it could be a great indication that the surgeon is well-skilled.
  • Experience. A surgeon’s experience can tell well if he or she can give you Vaginoplasty that’s safe and less risky. If you’re up for a particular type of Vaginoplasty, look for a surgeon that has experience in performing the procedure.
  • Reputation. One way to find an excellent plastic surgeon is seeking a recommendation. If you know someone who went through Vaginoplasty, ask them. Check the doctor’s record for any malpractice complaint. This information is usually made public by state medical boards.

Initial Consultation

If you’ve chosen the perfect surgeon you can trust for Vaginoplasty, it’s time for the consultation. In this meeting, you’ll discuss your cosmetic goals and other factors that may affect the operation like medical history.

You and your surgeon will discuss your previous surgeries, allergies, current medications, family history of cancer, and recent medical and laboratory results.

How’s Vaginoplasty done?

Before Surgery

1. At least two days before Vaginoplasty, stop eating the following types of food:

  • Fruits
  • Peas
  • Red meat
  • Dairy goods
  • Coarse cereals
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Fried foods

2. On the day before your surgery, you’re required to do a bowel preparation.

  • 24 hours before the surgery, you need to take Magnesium Citrate.
  • AFTER LUNCH, you’re advised to AVOID eating solid food.
  • Drink only CLEAR liquids. These beverages are okay to drink:
    • Water – it’s better to be hydrated. So, drink as much water as possible.
    • Sports Drinks, Juices, Soda, Tea, or Coffee – but avoid drinks that are red or purple in color.
  • You can have these desserts as long as they’re not colored red or purple:
    • Jell-O
    • Popsicles
  • AFTER MIDNIGHT, don’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum.
  • You have to take TWO Dulcolax tablets the day BEFORE your surgery.
  • You have to use ONE Fleets enema the day before surgery.

Anesthesia for Vaginoplasty

Depending on the extent of the surgery, many surgeons choose to give a general anesthesia to their clients for a painless operation. However, minor surgeries may be done under local anesthesia.

Vaginoplasty Procedure

Once the amount of tightening is known, a pie-shaped wedge is marked to depict the excess skin that’s going to be removed from inside the vagina. Then, strong sutures will be done to tighten the tissues underneath the skin. The mucosal skin is also sutured well once the vaginal canal is tightened. An external skin that will protrude will also be removed or reduced to give the vagina an aesthetic result.

What happens after a Vaginoplasty?

Depending on the severity of Vaginoplasty, you may have complete recovery after one to two weeks. Usually, you’ll have general pain for the first few days. But the doctor will prescribe you with painkillers to ease the pain. You mustn’t use tampons or engage in sexual intercourse for at least eight weeks. Moreover, you may be instructed to use a dilator if needed.

What are the possible results of a Vaginoplasty?

After full recovery from Vaginoplasty, you’ll have a tighter vaginal canal, firmer labia, and younger looking vagina. This procedure will typically help you improve sexual satisfaction and better vaginal function.

What are the possible risks of Vaginoplasty?

Once you undergo Vaginoplasty, you must be careful on possible risks like infection, bleeding, and pain, along with rare complications. In children as well as adults, reconstructive vaginoplasty holds the potential risk of superinfection.

Other risks:

  • Necrosis
  • Unable to urinate or defecate
  • Incontinence
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