Yes, apparently not only houses and humans need to be restored to youthful vigor or appearance but the vagina does too.

Welcome to the world of female genital cosmetic surgery – where ‘stressful’ vaginas could now be rejuvenated with procedures such as vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, G-spot augmentation, clitoral ‘unhooding’ and hymen reconstruction, also known as ‘revirginization’. The past decade saw a rise in the popularity of the nether region surgery.  From women who’ve experienced multiple childbirths, married couples who are trying to ‘put the sparkle’ back into their marriage to single ladies who are trying to gain back their ‘maidenhood’ – almost any women in average physical condition and good health can be a candidate for vaginal rejuvenation. With prices ranging from USD 5,000 – 10,000, ‘Vaginal Rejuvenation’ is now a multi-million dollars industry. Health Sense managed to speak to Dr Marco Faria Correa – winner of the ‘Most Outstanding International Leader in Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery for the year 2009’, to give us some insights about this new phenomenon.

What is vaginoplasty?

DM: Vaginoplasty, otherwise known, as vaginal rejuvenation is a surgical procedure that tightens stretched vaginal muscles resulting from childbirth(s) for enhanced sexual experience. For women who’ve experienced multiple childbirths, vaginal muscles tend to experience enlargement due to stressful expansion during the delivery. Oftentimes, even after doing ‘Kegal’ exercises, the condition of the vaginal muscles may not improve hence affecting sexual experience for both partners.

What is the most common female genital cosmetic surgery that you do?

DM: I specialize in Labiaplasty – a surgery to help reduce and/or reshape the labia minora, which is the skin that covers the female clitoris and vaginal opening. At times, women with large labia can experience pain during intercourse, feel discomfort during everyday activities or embarrassed when wearing tight-fitting clothing. Others may feel unattractive, or wish to enhance their sexual experiences by removing some of the skin that covers the clitoris through liposuction in the pubis area. The aim of labiaplasty is to better define the inner labia. During this procedure the urethral opening can be redefined, and if necessary improvements to the vagina may be made. The problem can be caused by genetics, sexual intercourse or difficulties in childbirth. Sometimes the problem is related the flabbiness of the lower abdomen, where the whole pubis and growing area are drooping.

I mostly focus on the external cosmetic work. A gynecologist performs inner work of tightening the vagina like perineoplasty.

Who is a suitable candidate for labiaplasty and why?

DM: Normally for women who are in the 40s but those who had multiple pregnancies in the 30s are suitable as well. Most often than not, these groups of women are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction, embarrassment, awkwardness or pain affecting their daily activities.

While some women dislike the excess hanging skin for aesthetic reasons, others simply cannot bear the pain that they experience when the excess skin rubs against their pants or underwear. Not to mention the excruciating pain from the friction during intercourse. This caused them to lost confidence and have a low self-esteem when they are with their partners.

The actual cause for the excess hanging skin of the labia minora is unclear but it is mostly due to aging, decreasing of estrogen, menopause or even loosing weight. The major labia and the pubis area also tend to shrink and become empty when one starts to age.

With these in mind, we can assume that women opt for labiaplasty for both aesthetic and medical reasons.

How is this procedure performed?

DM: The procedure can be done as a stand-alone surgery under local anesthesia and it usually takes between one and two hours, depending on how much work to be done. Patients can be discharged on the same day. I will start by accessing the amount of excess skin that a patient has while standing. The excess skin is marked then trimmed. The wound will be closed with stitches that are absorbable. This is a very dry and bloodless procedure. The incision scars are hardly noticeable.

On the other hand, if the major labia has shrink in size and becomes ‘empty’, we would recommend fat grafting to the labia minora and also to the pubis area to rebuild the fullness of the area. This makes the pubis and labia area to have a ‘younger’ and more attractive appearance. The fat is harvested with a small session of liposuction. The excess fats can be extracted from the arms, inner thighs, and knees or wherever the patient’s feel to be suitable for a small liposuction. It is like killing two birds with one stone for the patient. Sometimes the procedure is done simultaneously with a body contouring surgery like tummy tuck and/or liposuction of the hips and the thighs.

The Tummy-tuck or abdominoplasty, when properly performed, gives a lift of the growing and pubic area that will also improve the inner thighs flabbiness. The rejuvenation acquired/ achieved in that area is very much appreciated by the patient. Oftentimes, patients are impressed with the improvements as a result of the tummy tuck.

How can labiaplasty improve a woman’s life?

DM: The purpose of labiaplasty is to improve the external appearance of the vagina. After the procedure most women have less discomfort during intercourse, feel more positive about their appearance and show overall improvement in their self-esteem. The hanging labia sometimes also interfere with the lady’s personal hygiene.

What is the recovery like and how soon can patients get back to work or assume their normal routines?

There will be some swelling around the pubis area for a few days and she will have to wash the area a few days and pat dry lightly and try to keep the area as dry as possible. When wearing underwear, patient’s advised to wear a fragrance free panty liner and to change frequently after the first days after surgery.

As with any type of surgical procedure, there is usually a period of time needed for the body to heal. Therefore, patients should refrain from any type of sexual intercourse (vaginal penetration) for a period of four to six weeks. Exercises like swimming can resume after two weeks. Patients can go back to work after three to five days.