Female Cosmetic Genital Surgery: What is it and What Are the Risks?
When you think of cosmetic surgery, your first thoughts are often of the most common ones such as facelifts, breast augmentations, or nose jobs. Because the results of these procedures are visible, people sometimes forget that there is a surgery to change the appearance of any part of the body the patient may be unhappy with, including the parts we are unable to see. This even includes the female genitals and female cosmetic genital surgery.
As with all medical procedures, though, there are certain risks associated with female cosmetic genital surgery and various points to consider. Keep reading to learn more.
Types of Genital Cosmetic Surgery
Though it still is not fully understood, the female genitalia is comprised of several different parts. Each serves a different purpose, from sexual pleasure to performance. Likewise, there are various surgeries that can be done depending on which area the patient wants to have altered.
This surgery usually refers to the reduction of the labia minora, but it can also entaila reduction of the labia majora or an augmentation of either or both. A labiaplasty may be desired for several reasons: discomfort from rubbing against clothing, difficult or painful sexual intercourse, or the patient simply doesn’t like the way it looks, to name a few. The procedure is done by either removing some of the tissue or injecting it with some type of filler.
Over the course of a woman’s life, some experience a decrease in vaginal sensation. It’s believed this could be from the vagina being stretched after years of sexual activity and, as a result, less friction is created. A vaginal tightening procedure can be used to correct this.
The hymen is the membrane that partially blocks the entrance to the vagina. It serves no real biological function in adults, and it is not a medical concern when it ruptures. Neither is its presence or absence a reliable indicator of virginity. However, some cultures place a great deal of value on the hymen, and so some women seek to have it repaired to uphold family honor or personal worth.
The clitoris is basically a miniature version of the male penis and is one of the most sensitive parts of the female genitalia. If it grows to be too large during puberty, it can be both uncomfortable and socially unappealing. Depending on the patient’s needs, the procedure could involve a clitoral hood reduction or shortening the clitoris.
This surgery involves a reduction of the vaginal opening. Similar to vaginal tightening, this procedure is usually done for the purpose of improved sexual function to increase sensation.
Sometimes excess tissue or fat grows in the genital area or is left over when a woman loses weight – after pregnancy, for example. Enhancement can be done to remove it and lift the area to give it a more desirable appearance.
While there is still some debate over the existence of the G-spot, there is a procedure designed to enhance sexual stimulation in the general area where it is believed to be located. This is done by projecting the G-spot into the vagina for more direct stimulation during intercourse.
What Are the Risks of Female Cosmetic Genital Surgery?
Immediately after surgery, many women have reported swelling, bruising, numbness, and discomfort in the genital area. This is typical of any surgery, cosmetic or otherwise, and most of the time it will go away after a few days without further issue. It is worth noting, however, that there are other risks that could potentially be problematic.
Anesthesia can cause allergic reactions in some patients, which rarely can be fatal. Cuts could bleed excessively or become infected, and scars could become severe, red, and itchy. Permanent color changes, unevenness, and nerve damage have also been reported.
Types of Anesthesia
For any type of female cosmetic genital surgery, a couple types of anesthesia are available. Depending on the procedure to be done, how much tissue needs to be removed, and the personal preferences of the patient, oral sedation or local anesthesia can be used. In other cases, general anesthesia may be preferred.
Recovery from genital cosmetic surgery typically takes around a week, although there will be physical restrictions in place for up to six weeks afterwards. More intensive procedures will have a slightly longer downtime. If a drain is placed, removal is usually scheduled within a few days of the surgery.
Effects on Sexual Activity
The overall idea behind cosmetic surgery, regardless of location, is to improve the appearance of the area being altered. However, with genital surgery, the goal often also includes improved sexual pleasure, sensation, and performance. This is indeed the case for the majority of patients, although there is a small minority who experience nerve damage and therefore decreased sensation in the long-term after a procedure has been done.
Other Potential Complications
In addition to the risks that have already been discussed, there are other complications that could manifest after surgery, some of which may require additional surgeries to correct.
Some women experience hypersensitivity to stimulation due to too much tissue being removed. Some procedures can lead to reduced natural lubrication, and sexual intercourse can become painful for this and other various reasons. It can also become difficult to recognize when there is an inflammatory infection in any part of the female genitalia.
If the woman is still of childbearing age, birth complications can arise, such as the tearing of scar tissue during a vaginal birth. Pelvic floor dysfunction and urinary incontinence can also occur, and of course, there’s always the chance that the results of the surgery won’t meet the expectations of the patient or her partner. Similarly, genital cosmetic surgeries can lead to psychological distress, especially if the procedure was done for purely aesthetic reasons.
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Every surgical procedure should be thoroughly researched before moving forward. If you’d like further information about cosmetic surgery for female genitalia, we encourage you to contact us. We’ll help you examine your options to determine how best to move forward based on your unique situation.