As women progress from adolescence to adulthood, the intimate areas may undergo a number of aesthetic and functional changes. These differences may be exclusively cosmetic, or affect proper vaginal function and one’s response to stimuli—in most cases, patients experience both concerns to some extent. Cosmetic gynecology encompasses a range of innovative procedures designed to improve the appearance/function of the vagina as well as rejuvenate a patient’s intimate wellness. Dr. Rachael Haverland, our board-certified and fellowship-trained gynecologist, would be happy to listen to your concerns and suggest an optimal gynecologic treatment option to achieve your goals.
Vaginal laxity often naturally occurs as a result of aging, sexual intercourse, or childbirth. Unfortunately, the stretching of the vaginal tissues can lead to symptoms that range from reduced sexual satisfaction to incontinence. Vaginoplasty is performed to tighten the width of the vagina and bring together stretched vaginal musculature, ultimately improving elasticity and function. This procedure can also repair tears from childbirth, injuries, or birth defects. During vaginoplasty, excess internal and external skin is removed while strong sutures are utilized to tighten the vaginal canal. The recovery period generally lasts two to six weeks, although the exact time frame varies from patient to patient. Use of tampons and sexual intercourse are prohibited for approximately eight weeks.
Labiaplasty is performed to recontour stretched, elongated, or asymmetrical labia. Primarily designed to address the inner labia minora, this procedure can rejuvenate the appearance of the vagina and/or alleviate painful twisting and tugging that may result from excess labial tissue. During the labiaplasty procedure, a wedge or section of redundant tissue is surgically removed so that the labia minora does not hang below the labia majora. The newly recontoured labia is then sewn up with absorbable sutures. This should prevent visible bulging through clothing, reduce pain and irritation, and resolve self-consciousness. Patients typically require one week of downtime, and can fully resume normal activities after two to four weeks.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
Frequently performed at the same time as labiaplasty, clitoral hood reduction can remove excess folds of the clitoral hood to balance the proportions of this region in relation to the labia minora. Reducing an overhanging clitoral hood may also benefit women who experience decreased sexual sensitivity or frequent yeast infections due to excess tissue. During surgery, the redundant clitoral folds are resected via excision techniques and the remaining area is closed with absorbable sutures. Recovery from clitoral hood reduction, with or without labiaplasty, is usually complete in two to four weeks.
Perineoplasty is designed to address damage, excess tissue, or musculature laxity in the perineum, or the small region between the anus and vagina. Whether the perineum has been affected by massive weight loss, obesity, or childbirth, damage to this supportive area can cause symptoms that range from vaginal laxity and incontinence to a rectocele or cystocele. Perineoplasty can treat these conditions by tightening the perineal and vaginal muscles while removing excess scar tissue, bulges, and redundant skin, depending on your concerns. The initial recovery period typically takes one week before patients can resume light daily activities, and sexual intercourse is prohibited for at least six weeks.