Vaginal surgery can be divided into various procedures including labiaplasty and vaginoplasty. The type of vaginal surgery depends on which area of the female organ you wish to correct or beautify. Whilst labiaplasty deals with reducing the size of protruding labia minora, vaginoplasty is used to tighten the back wall of a large or loose vagina (also known as vaginal tightening).
Frequently Asked Questions
- Labiaplasty Vaginal Surgery
- Vaginoplasty Vaginal Surgery
- Other Vaginal Surgery Procedures
- Vaginal Surgery Recovery Process
- Vaginal Surgery Risks
Labiaplasty Vaginal Surgery
This is an operation to reduce the size of the labia minora (the inner lips of the vulva). These days women tend to feel ashamed and self-conscious if their vaginal folds or flaps protrude past the labia majora. Even though it may not feel that way, this formation is perfectly normal. The labia minora are usually completely hidden whilst females are still young. With age, the tiny lips grow and that’s when women often start to question their bodies.
If women are overly concerned about their appearance, they can opt for labia minora reduction surgery. The operation takes approximately an hour. If it’s combined with labia majora augmentation, the procedure can take around 2.5 hours. The surgeon simply trims away the excess tissues to the desired shape. The wound is then closed with stitches. The procedure can be performed with laser or using a scalpel. The scarring occurs along the labia lips and eventually fades.
Vaginoplasty Vaginal Surgery
Vaginal tightening is a procedure available to women to correct a loose vagina. It is often referred to as ‘designer vagina’. There are multiple causes for an overstretched vagina including childbirth, constipation, aging, being overweight and muscle deterioration. Once a vagina loses elasticity and becomes lax, this can adversely affect sexual pleasure during intercourse and also leads to vaginal flatulence (commonly known as ‘vaginal wind’ or ‘fanny fart’). This can greatly impede a woman’s sexual self-confidence.
There are surgery alternatives for tightening the vagina, including tightening creams and kegel exercises, which requires contracting and releasing the vaginal muscles. However, often these do not sufficiently alleviate the problem. This is when women turn to surgery.
The operation takes about 1 to 2 hours and may be performed under local or general anaesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision and removes a thin section of the vaginal canal. The remainder is stitched together with dissolvable stitches, reducing excess vaginal lining and tightening the muscles and supporting structure.
The operation reduces the diameter of your vagina and enhances the tightness of your muscles. After surgery you should expect greater control, strength and contraction. The aim is to restore the organ to a pre-pregnancy condition.
Other Vaginal Surgery Procedures
Vaginal surgery is a generic term for a number of different procedures. Apart from labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, here are some other vaginal procedures which have been developed:
Clitoral hoodectomy or circumcision – sometimes the clitoris may be obscured by skin, making sexual pleasure and orgasm difficult. This operation can remove or reduce the obstructing skin and in so doing exposing the clitoris and enhancing sensation.
Hymen reconstruction – the hymen can be broken through intercourse, exercise and even the use of tampons. A broken hymen can be unacceptable in some cultures. In this procedure, the remaining hymen is simply stitched back together.
Liposuction – to reduce the size of the pubic mound.
Augmentation labiaplasty – rather than trimming back the labia minora, the surgeon can increase the size of the labia majora to cover the protruding lips. This is usually done by transferring fat from your stomach. However the body can absorb this fat over time. Most surgeons would recommend both labiaplasty and augmentation labiaplasty, however this can be expensive.
Laser Vaginal Surgery – lasers can be used to rejuvenate the vagina and enhance sexual gratification. The procedure claims to enhance muscle tone, strength and control. It can be used to improve your looks and function both internally and externally.
Vaginal Surgery Recovery Process
After vaginoplasty, you will experience pain and swelling. Usually, you can walk comfortably after a few days. Sexual activities may be resumed within four to six weeks, however no penetration will be allowed until at least 6 weeks following surgery. Patients generally return to work after two to three week but can even be one week, depending on your individual recovery process.
Arrange for someone to drive you home after the operation. When you get home, it’s best to have lots of rest and sleep. You will need to avoid heavy lifting, stretching and bending. You will be given antibiotics. Take the complete course.
Your surgeon will require about 4 to 5 follow up visits to ensure you are healing properly. The final result should be visible after about 2-3 weeks. You won’t need to have your stitches removed, since they are dissolvable.
As with vaginoplasty, you will be sore and swollen after labiaplasty surgery. You will be given antibiotic and perhaps even steroid injections to reduce the risk of infection and to calm the swelling. You will need someone to accompany you home and to look after you for the first day.
When you get home, take plenty of rest and remember to keep up your hygiene. There may be slight bleeding for the first day or two. You won’t be able to shower for the first couple of days and you’ll need to avoid using tampons. You should wear comfortable (non-constricting) underwear. You should be able to resume work after about a week. You will not be able to ride a bike or go horse riding for the first three weeks following surgery. The area won’t completely heal for about 6 weeks and you will need to avoid penetrative sex during the healing time.
Vaginal Surgery Risks
Decreased sensation (possibility of preventing orgasm) if the surgery is not performed correctly.
Infection – the risk of this complication is reduced with the use of antibiotics. However, urinary infections can occur after surgery (as the anus bacteria can be drawn towards the vagina during this period). There is no guarantee you won’t get an infection even if you use antibiotics.
Adhesions – internal scarring.
Scarring – with vaginoplasty, the scarring is hidden inside the vagina and may even be placed in a natural crease on the outside of the canal. Most of the scarring fades into fine lines over time. This is also true for labiaplasty scarring.
Bleeding – this is normal for a few days after the operation. If bleeding continues contact your surgeon. If blood collects, this may need to be removed.
Haematoma - swelling caused by blood collecting within the labia. If a haematoma forms on the side of the wound, the wound may break down. This will require revision surgery.
Perforation of the bowel – although very rare, a surgeon can mistakenly penetrate your bowel during vaginal tightening (which would be a very serious complication).
Reaction to anaesthetic – this is a risk associated with any surgery.
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