Reconstructive and Cosmetic Options for Your Most Private Parts
Vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries designed to repair or alter the appearance or function of the vagina and/or labia. While some women have medical conditions that might be improved by these surgeries, most of the time vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are performed purely for cosmetic reasons.
- Vaginoplasty is reconstructive or cosmetic surgery of the vagina.
- Labiaplasty is reconstructive or cosmetic surgery of the labia (the area outside and surrounding the vagina).
When performed for reconstructive or legitimate medical reasons, vagino/labiaplasty can repair birth defects, damage from female circumcision, or other injuries. Occasionally, these procedures are performed to repair severe damage caused by childbirth or pelvic organ prolapse.
Some cosmetic surgeons have begun to market these surgeries as the latest in rejuvenation procedures. They claim they can tighten the vagina or change the shape of the labia to enhance sexual performance and pleasure. They may offer procedures such as: "revirginization" to replace hymenal tissue, G-spot amplification to build up tissue in the front wall of the vagina, or surgery to remove skin that protects the clitoris. They may reshape or resize the labia to make it appear "more youthful."
But are these procedures necessary or safe? Not at all, says the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In fact, ACOG strongly advises against cosmetic vaginal procedures. They say these procedures are not medically necessary and there isn't any documentation to prove they're safe and effective.
According to the ACOG, women who are considering these surgeries should be aware that there's no evidence they're effective and lots of evidence they might lead to complications. These can include: infection, altered sensation, pain, adhesions, and scarring. There are no studies that document the long-term effects of these surgeries.
When patients are concerned about their sexual satisfaction or appearance, gynecologists and mental health specialists say that a frank discussion and serious physical evaluation with their doctors and possibly some counseling would benefit them more than going under the knife.
Patients that decide they want vaginoplasty or labiaplasty regardless of risks or benefits should be aware that insurance providers likely won't pay for the procedure.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
ACOG News Release
ACOG Advises Against Cosmetic Vaginal Procedures Due to Lack of Safety and Efficacy Data
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