Vaginoplasty - what it is, how it works and how much it might cost
Given the body part it involves, and the fact that approximately 50 per cent of the world’s population have one, there is very little available information about vaginoplasty out there.
In short, the definition of vaginoplasty is that it’s a surgical procedure that aims to construct or reconstruct the vagina. But what are the reasons for having one? And what should you know if you are considering one?
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In this article:
Duration of results
Back to work
Full recovery time
14,700 AED to 35,000 AED
1 to 2 hours
Local and General anaesthetic
What is a vaginoplasty?
A vaginoplasty can be deemed a reconstructive or rejuvenating surgery, depending on your reasons for having it.
As a rejuvenating procedure, it can tighten the vaginal canal. Also referred to as vaginal recontouring, it can be popular with women who have lost firmness in their vagina, usually because of pregnancy.
However, a huge amount of vaginoplasty surgeries are carried out for medical reasons, such as organ prolapses or the removal of malignant growths that may have affected function. There may also be a need for reconstruction after an accident or some trauma.
How does the procedure work?
Understanding what occurs before, during and after the procedure is important to determine if this treatment is right for you. Vaginoplasty works by tightening the vaginal muscles and improving skin sagging.
How does vaginoplasty differ from labiaplasty?
While vaginoplasty is often performed in conjunction with a labiaplasty, they are two different procedures. Vaginoplasty focuses on tightening the vaginal canal, or improving overall function, while a labiaplasty involves shaping the labia.
Before the treatment
A qualified, professional clinician will always offer a consultation and then a cooling off period to decide if the procedure is for you.
You’ll likely need to have a physical exam to determine if you’re a good candidate for vaginoplasty, to check the current function and muscle control of the vaginal canal. You may also be asked to undergo some blood tests to check for anemia or any risk of blood clotting.
During the treatment
You can expect the following steps to occur during your vaginoplasty:
- You’ll either be placed under general anaesthetic or, if the procedure will not be too extensive, given a local anaesthetic to the area about to be treated.
- If you’re undergoing a labiaplasty alongside your vaginoplasty, excess skin will be removed from the labia.
- Next, the vaginal membrane inside the vaginal canal is separated from the muscle. These are then brought back together in a way that reduces sagginess and tightens the canal. The muscles located at the vaginal opening will also be tightened.
- Dissolvable stitches will be used to close all incisions and any wounds cleaned up to help prevent infections.
The procedure itself typically takes one to two hours in total. If you are having a vaginoplasty for medical reasons, you will have further steps specific to your condition.
Most patients recover from a vaginoplasty after six to eight weeks, although this does vary from person to person. Swelling, discomfort and bruising are common, particularly in the initial days following your surgery. You can use a cold compress and pain killers to help with this.
While you’ll be able to go back to work after a week or two’s rest, you should avoid lifting anything heavy and other strenuous activities for at least four days after your vaginoplasty. However, you must avoid using a tampon, swimming, having a bath and riding a bike for six weeks to two months post-surgery.
How much does vaginoplasty cost? Plus, other things you need to know
What is the cost of vaginoplasty surgery?
Cost varies depending on the clinic, as well as your specific needs. However, the average price is around 14,700 AED to 35,000 AED in the UAE.
What results can I expect?
There is no standard way a vagina should look, and it’s an incredibly personal choice that you shouldn’t be pressured into. However, if you do decide to go ahead with a vaginoplasty, you may notice:
- Stronger bladder control.
- Improved muscle tightness.
- Increased sensitivity.
Seeking out a reputable clinic is vital in getting the best results possible, as is sticking to recovery guidelines.
There are some similar treatments that may be better for your specific needs but as skin is actually removed in a vaginoplasty, and left intact in the procedures below, they will produce very different results. However, they can also be used in conjunction with a vaginoplasty.
- Laser vaginal rejuvenation – this is a painless procedure that uses a small laser beam to stimulate both blood flow and new tissue growth in the vaginal canal.
- PRP therapy – a three-step treatment that uses plasma from blood to improve the sensitivity, appearance, and dryness of your vagina.
- Vulvaplasty – reshaping of the vulva, including the labia majora and vaginal opening.
- Vaginoplasty surgeries have become increasingly popular, with the number of procedures increasing by 22 per cent worldwide in 2017. Around 55,606 vaginal rejuvenations took place in 2016, increasing to 68,081 in 2017.
- In 2011, the British Journal of Medicine found that 40 per cent of women questioned would have liked some form of vaginal rejuvenation.
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