Remember when breast enhancement and liposculpting were the most popular procedures in plastic surgery? Well the scalpel has found its way below the belt; the demand for labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, and even hymenoplasty is growing fast. What exactly do these surgeries achieve and are they a good idea?
Lets begin by defining them. Labiaplasty is the reduction and “beautification” of the labia. It is touted as “fixing” large or asymmetrical labia minora and majora (the outer and inner lips of the vagina). Vaginoplasty or “vaginal rejuvenation” tightens the vagina and makes it more sensitive. Women who have had multiple births may opt for this procedure. Hymenoplasty claims to restore virginity. Doctors rebuild the remnants of the hymen to replicate that of a virgin. Other vaginal cosmetic procedures, include clitoral unhooding or “hoodectomy” and mons pubis (the outer top of the vagina that grows hair) liposuction.
The vagina is often the most sensitive part of a woman’s body; why voluntarily put stitches in it? Just consider the inherent risks of any surgical procedure – danger of infection, possible scarring – add to that pain and recovery time (two weeks to two months for vaginal procedures) and this is looking like something to be avoided, not elected.
I’m not attempting to dissuade readers who are seriously considering these procedures. Adults can and will do as they choose. But think about it. There is no perfect-looking vagina. Yours may look a certain way because of your mom’s family, your dad’s family, or several little bundles of joy and all of these things are beautiful. But if the appearance of your vagina has become a source of pain or stress, at least be sure to consult a qualified surgeon. You can start by checking the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website at www.plasticsurgery.org.