Vaginaplasty is a cosmetic/reconstructive surgical procedure that improves structural weakness of the vaginal entrance or canal. A related procedure, neovaginaplasty, refers to procedures of reconstruction or recreation of a woman’s vulvovaginal complex.
When someone asks for vaginaplasty one must find out what condition the patient wants to improve. There are a number of procedures done on the vagina depending on what the problems are. One may feel very lax and has a very large introitus. Here simple tightening of the muscles around the vagina and entrance to the vagina will bring great improvement. Some patients have a stricture or band on entry to the vagina from previous episiotomy or other possible procedures and here simple release of the band may be enough. Sometimes for severe scarring or after surgery where large amount of vagina was removed, bringing or rotating adjacent tissue to reconstruct the missing structures and parts of the vagina will result in great improvement. Occasionally skin grafts from other body areas like the mouth are used to fix the defects or reconstruct injuries to that area.
During a simple vaginaplasty, the vagina is tightened as the surgeon takes away excess streched tissue and tightens the tissues and muscles surrounding the vagina. The procedure itself is fairly straightforward and fast. Typically, it will take one or two hours, and afterward, the patient spends about an hour in a recovery room, usually supervised by a registered nurse.
Following the surgery, the patient may experience some discomfort for a few days which is treated with pain medication. The patient is also discharged home with a prescription for antibiotics. Complete healing takes about six weeks.
For many, the big question with vaginaplasty is “Why?”
Here’s the number one reason for most women. When a woman gives birth, her vagina and the surrounding muscles and tissues become stretched. She may also have a cut called episiotomy at the entry to the vagina to facilitate delivery of baby’s head. The vagina will often return to previous dimensions after one delivery but if more large babies are delivered the vagina may remain stretched out and sometimes its upper end may fall through the entrance to hang down. Some women may experience a decreased sensation and less sexual satisfaction during sexual intercourse. The reason? Lack of friction. The woman may be concerned that her partner also notices the laxity and that he may also feel less satisfaction.
To treat these problems, doctors often recommend Kegel exercises. But truthfully, in most cases, these exercises do not fully restore the woman’s vaginal tightness. A vaginaplasty procedure tightens the woman’s vagina and the surrounding tissues, resulting in a tightness similar to that before the woman’s pregnancies. This, naturally, leads to increased friction during sexual intercourse. Ideally, the woman will consequently experience more satisfaction in her sex life–as will her male partner. There are a few risks associated with vaginaplasty, as there are with any surgery. Most commonly, these risks include infection, bleeding or scarring. However, when done by experts these are quite rare. The doctor should control bleeding at the time of the operation, and following the procedure, antibiotics are given which prevent infection. We have many patients who opted for this procedure and are thrilled.