Just because a body part is hidden under the clothes or internal does not undermine its importance or reduce our requirement for it to look or be shaped a certain way – both for aesthetic appeal and for functional purposes. This is particularly true for the female genitalia, cosmetic concerns for which are taken care of by the procedure known as female genital rejuvenation/vaginoplasty.
What is Female Genital Rejuvenation/Vaginoplasty?
Female genital rejuvenation refers to the set of cosmetic surgery procedures which are performed on the vulva or labia, outer or inner lips of the vagina, or the vaginal wall itself.
Vulvaplasty refers to the set of procedures which can be done to reshape the vulva or labia or the outer and inner lips of the vagina. This may involve reduction of the labia minora, augmentation of the labia majora, remodelling of the clitoral hood – individually or in a combination.
Vaginoplasty refers to vaginal tightening procedure – it is done to tighten the vaginal wall, which may become loose with age or childbirth.
Female Genital / Before & After
Plastic surgery is an art, and Dr Priya Bansal is an artist. With a mantra to make women feel beautiful, her work demonstrates all that is aesthetically pleasing and natural to look at. The before and after images of her procedures are testament to that, and you can request for them during your initial consultation
Who can undergo Genital Rejuvenation
Female genital rejuvenation can help women facing any of the following issues –
- Women who are not satisfied with how their genitalia looks.
- Women facing changed genital structure on account of age.
- Women who face loosening of their vaginal wall either on account of age or after childbirth.
- Women feeling excessive pain during exercise or sexual intercourse on account of a changed vaginal structure after childbirth.
- Women feeling reduced sexual gratification.
- Women facing disfiguration to the genitalia after vaginal childbirth.
The procedure of female genital rejuvenation or vaginoplasty can help with the following –
- Enhanced aesthetic appeal of the genital area.
- Restore sensation which improves sexual pleasure.
- Tighten the vaginal wall.
- Make it easier to exercise or have sex.
However, there are some myths around the procedure which need to be busted.
Busting Some Myths Around Female Genital Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty
Myth 1 – Female Genital Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty can Restore Complete Pre-Childbirth Appearance
The procedure can greatly change the appearance of the female genitalia. However, childbirth brings about many changes, especially if it is natural childbirth. These changes cannot be fully restored through this procedure.
Myth 2 – Female Genital Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty can Drastically Change the Appearance of the Female Genitalia.
The body has an inherent structure and appearance, the same holds for female genitalia. This cannot be changed with this procedure.
Myth 3 – Genitalia can be Tightened with Zero Invasion
Depending upon the extent of vaginal disfiguration, surgical or non-surgical procedure may need to be adopted by the surgeon. This will determine the extent of invasion.
Myth 4 – Female Genital Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty can Prevent Future Childbirth
This procedure is not a birth control measure. If you want to prevent future childbirth, you need to adopt birth control measures.
Female Genital Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty – The Procedure
Female genital rejuvenation procedure may be divided into four parts, starting with the decision making, moving on to planning, the actual procedure and then recovery.
The Decision-Making Phase
Every decision involves the following steps –
- Understand your problem.
- Assess the potential solutions.
- Understand the pros and cons.
- Go for the decision.
The same holds true for female genital rejuvenation.
Understanding the nature of your problems and opting for female genital rejuvenation
If you are facing problems with your genitalia, which may be aesthetic or functional in nature, then it is important for you to understand the benefits which the procedure has to offer you. For instance, problems with reduced sexual pleasure, loose vaginal wall, appearance of the vulva or labia can be addressed with female genital rejuvenation.
It is also important for expectations to be realistic and to understand what the procedure cannot do for you. Once you have all the relevant information in place, you can finalize the decision to opt for the procedure. The next important step is finalizing the where and by whom.
Finalising the surgeon and the centre
You should always opt for a gold medalist surgeon and a centre which offers good infrastructure with the latest technology and world class equipment. Benefits of opting for a board-certified surgeon –
- A gold medalist surgeon has the formal medical authority to perform this procedure, and they are equipped with the latest training. They are experts who know what they are doing.
- They can understand your requirement and guide you well, while creating a customized treatment plan to suit your needs.
- Potential medical complications and risks like bleeding, hematoma, anaesthesia risks are minimized when opting for a board-certified surgeon.
- They do not rush the procedure – they understand the importance of every step, and take care to take you through all details while addressing your concerns and eliminating any misconceptions.
While financial considerations are important, more important is the level of care and quality which the surgeon and facility has to offer. Do not compromise on that – this is a cost, one must be willing to bear to get the safest and best results.
Planning and Preparing for Female Genital Rejuvenation
Once the decision phase is complete, we move on to planning and preparing for the surgery.
Planning for the Surgery
During this phase of the procedure, the surgeon meticulously plans every step of the way – from the tests to the medication to the consultation to the actual procedure and finally the post-operative care.
- Blood tests may be prescribed to understand the readiness of the body to undergo the procedure.
- Detailed discussion of your requirement and how the procedure can address that.
- Understanding the medical history, any current medication, and allergies which the patient may have. This helps the surgeon prescribe the relevant medication and adjust the dosage of any existing medication.
- Understanding your lifestyle choices and how they impact the surgery. This may also help determine the timelines involved. For instance, if you smoke or take recreational drugs, the surgery may only be scheduled after 2 weeks to one month, since the body needs that much time to prepare without smoking or taking drugs.
- Planning the details of the surgery. This involves choosing the right procedure – Vulvaplasty, Clitoral Hood Reduction, Labia Majoraplasty, Monsplasty, Vaginoplasty (surgical or non-surgical, depending upon the extent of damage. Once the procedure is decided upon, the exact process is planned out during this phase.
Preparing for the Surgery
Once the treatment plan has been finalized, the patient must prepare for the surgery.
- Take only prescribed medication and adjusted dosage, if required.
- Stop smoking and/or taking recreational drugs.
- Avoid non-prescription medication including anti-inflammatory drugs, as they are associated with risks of bleeding during the surgery.
- Arrange for a driver to take you home after the surgery, driving is not advised.
Female Genital Rejuvenation – The Actual Procedure
This will vary depending upon which procedure you have opted for. A cosmetic surgeon and gynaecologist are both present for examination before the surgery is performed. Discretion is key.
The procedure may be surgical or non-surgical, depending upon what was decided during the planning phase. However, female genital rejuvenation is an outpatient procedure.
Vulvaplasty – to reduce the length of labia minora by removing excess tissue.
Clitoral Hood Reduction – removes extra clitoral folds. Often considered a subsection of vulvaplasty.
Labia Majoraplasty – to reduce the size of the outer, hair-bearing, labia majora.
Monsplasty – to reduce the bulging of the mons.
Vaginoplasty – brings together the separated muscles and removes excess mucosa skin from the back of the vagina for vaginal wall tightening.
Makes use of Radiofrequency technology (Arvati ThermiVA/InmodeVOTIVAfor non-surgical tightening of the vaginal wall. This does not require anaesthesia and is a 30-minute procedure.
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Recovery after Female Genital Rejuvenation
Post-surgery recovery and time involved varies with the exact procedure being opted for, however there are some common protocols which need to be observed irrespective of the procedure involved.
- Use of a sanitary napkin with a small amount of ointment, and ice packs for comfort.
- Use of Dissolvable stitches during the procedure.
- Use of peri-bottle or water bottle for cleansing while using the washroom.
- Pelvic elevation using a couple of pillows while resting to help with the swelling. This is especially important in the first two weeks after the surgery, when the swelling is at its peak.
- Around 80% of the results are expected at the 1-month mark, and 90% at the 6-week mark, though it takes up to 6 months for the entire swelling to dissipate.
Recovery time associated with the individual procedures
Recovery is fast and the patients can return to routine activities the same day. Abstinence from sexual activity is advised for a period of six weeks.
A week off is required from work, and it is important to keep the pelvis elevated to facilitate the dissipation of swelling.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
Typically done along with labiaplasty, the recovery follows the same path and timelines.
It takes about six weeks for the swelling to subside with regular use of ice packs.
Recovery time is about 1 week, with restriction on physical activity for two to six weeks.
There is one to two weeks of downtime and six weeks of abstinence after which the patient experiences enhanced sexual satisfaction.
Following all protocols, both pre- and post-surgery will ensure the best outcome and speedy recovery, while making the procedure safe.
Keep your surgeon apprised of any post-op developments. Do not neglect the post-op consultations. Meet Dr Priya Bansal, a board-certified female plastic surgeon, to learn more about the procedure and its benefits. With years of experience behind her, Dr Bansal believes in high level surgical care and meeting the patient’s needs.