A vaginoplasty is the term given to any surgical procedure that results in either the reconstruction or complete construction of the vagina. Although it is usually conducted following a trauma or injury to the area, vaginoplasty treatment is also offered as a cosmetic procedure with the purpose of tightening the vagina, reducing the size of the vaginal opening or to alter the appearance of the vulva. Vaginoplasty treatment is offered through various techniques which we will unravel in this article.
When is a vaginoplasty conducted?
Women who suffer a pelvic organ prolapse often require numerous surgeries to repair their vaginal area. Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs as a result of gynecological cancer treatment, childbirth or heavy lifting. A vaginoplasty is often part of this process as it restores the vagina’s structure and function. Treatment conducted to remove growths or abscesses that occur in the vaginal area may need to be followed up with a vaginoplasty treatment to restore the vagina to its former state and even restore sexual function. Other instance that may necessitate a vaginoplasty is the case of congenital defects of the vagina. Disorders like adrenal hyperplasia affect the vaginal structure and its proper functioning. In extreme cases, the vagina is absent and requires construction, either partially or fully through vaginoplasty. Lastly, this procedure is conducted on women who choose to have surgery for cosmetic purposes as well as to assist in combating urinary incontinence and loss of sexual feeling as a result of looseness of the vagina.
How is a vaginoplasty performed?
A vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia and is adjusted depending on whether the procedure is being carried out as a medical necessity or if it is a cosmetic treatment. Women undergoing an elective vaginoplasty often combine the procedure with other genital cosmetic procedures such as a Labiaplasty or G Spot amplification. The full procedure takes around 2 hours and involves pulling the muscles of the pelvic floor closer together and removing any excess and or damaged skin. The result, a restructured and tighter vagina. The gynaecologist or plastic surgeon performing the procedure will decide which method will best suit the patient’s needs. Although it is generally a day procedure, post-op car is emphasised with bruising and swelling at the point of the incision expected. The patient is required to abstain from sex for at least 6 weeks and will also be unable to use a tampon during this time. Kegel exercises are advised to strengthen the muscles.
What are the alternatives to a Vaginoplasty?
In the case of medical necessity there is no real alternative to vaginoplasty treatment. With elective procedures however, options do exist to tighten the vaginal area without going under the knife. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which, with time, can enhance sexual feeling and improve the bladder tone as well. Vaginal laser is another rejuvenation method which combats vaginal laxity. The CO2 laser technology gently heats vaginal tissue to stimulate the formulation of new collagen which in turns boosts lubrication, building strength and elasticity. Dr Natalia Novikova, South Africa’s only certified Aesthetic Gynaecologist, talks about the difference between vaginoplasty and vaginal laser treatment stating that ‘Vaginoplasty treatment provides more long-lasting and pronounced results in comparison to vaginal laser treatment for vaginal tightening. However, it is associated with a higher risk of complications. Your doctor will diagnose your personal condition and taking into account your medical history, advise whether vaginoplasty is the appropriate procedure for you’
So there you have it. All the nitty gritty details you need to consider before venturing into the world of genital surgery. Whatever path you take, ensure its one taken with the support and guidance of a registered health practitioner.