Vaginoplasty

Cosmetic vaginal surgery

Vaginoplasty applies to two different procedures: a form of cosmetic surgery with the aim of rejuvenating or tightening the vagina, or as the formation or reconstruction of the vagina after trauma or as part of the male-to-female transgender process. This surgery is increasingly targeted by mothers that suffer from an enlarged vagina after multiple childbirths and are interested in vaginal tightening surgery.

Cost of Vaginoplasty Surgery

The average costs of vaginoplasty surgery range from $4,500 to $8,500. Since vaginal cosmetic surgery can range from minor modifications of the vaginal lining to major corrections of the pelvic floor, the patient's actual price may be lower or higher than those listed.

Patient Evaluation

The decision to have vaginoplasty surgery is at the sole discretion of the patient. A consultation with the specialist will help determine whether vaginal rejuvenation or vaginal reconstruction is required. This process will involve an examination of the area to properly assess the patient's situation. Patients should be in good health without any heart or circulatory problems and be mentally stable. Those who smoke, are overweight or have diabetes may have added surgical complications or be refused treatment.

The Vaginoplasty Procedure

The steps involved in a typical vaginoplasty procedure will vary greatly from one patient to the next. If increased friction during intercourse is the main goal, excess lining may be removed in the vaginal canal. If there is a larger sense of "looseness," as described by the patient, accompanied by bowel or incontinence problems, more extensive surgery to the pelvis may be required. Depending on the surgeon and the requirements of the surgery, lasers may be used along with or in place of a scalpel. The duration of the procedure can last from one to several hours.

Risks of Vaginoplasty Surgery

While labiaplasty is more cosmetic in nature, vaginoplasty is can be an extensive form of body surgery with a longer recovery time. Besides the risks of infection, blood loss and complications due to the use of anesthesia that accompany any major surgery, vaginal surgery also has specific risks that include:

  • Scarring
  • Sexual numbness, inability to orgasm

These risks are often temporary, but the risk of permanent nerve damage is real. It's important to note that vaginoplasty and vaginal rejuvenation procedures are discouraged by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists because of the potential risks (known and unknown) and unproved methods.

Recovering from the Operation

Bruising, swelling and small amounts of bleeding are normal symptoms within the first few days of the surgery. While you can expect to feel sore, many patients are able to return to light-duty work within two days. Vaginoplasty recovery usually lasts for up to two weeks, but strenuous exercise, sexual intercourse, douching and tampon use should be avoided for up to six weeks.

Alternative Procedures

A non-surgical alternative to vaginal plastic surgery are Kegel exercises. These exercises can help keep the vaginal and pelvic area strong and more elastic. They can also help tone up the bladder, which may benefit those with urine incontinence. Vaginal cones are another way to strengthen the vagina. Each cone is the approximate size of a tampon and comes in a progressive series of weights. The woman inserts the cone and simply flexes the vaginal walls to hold it in place; the next heaviest cone is used when any cone can be held for up to 15 minutes.

Other exercises exist and should be explored before deciding to opt for surgery. Since vaginoplasty is relatively new and unapproved by large sections of the medical community, you should take extra care before choosing to undergo the surgery. As always, talk to you doctor before you make a decision.