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Obstetrics

Vulvovaginal plasty

The vulva is the external female genital system, which consists of the opening to the urinary tract and vagina (passage that opens into the uterus or womb), labia (flaps of skin that cover the internal genitalia) and clitoris (associated with sexual pleasure). Structural deformities in any of these organs can be corrected through a surgical procedure called vulvovaginal plasty, which can be performed both as a functional or a cosmetic surgery.

Indications

As a functional surgery, vulvovaginal plasty is mainly performed to improve the structural weakness of the vaginal canal that develops after vaginal delivery of a baby. Vaginal plasty helps to increase vaginal friction, vaginal sensation and sexual pleasure during intercourse by decreasing vaginal diameter, tightening the vaginal wall and repairing damage caused by natural child birth. The surgery is also used to treat women who are born with enlarged labia, or deformed or under developed vagina.

Cosmetically, it is conducted to enhance the appearance of the external vulvar and vaginal structures.

Procedure

Vulvovaginal plasty is conducted under general anaesthesia. Before performing vulvovaginal plasty, any presence of prolapse of the rectum, bladder or intestine that may develop after child birth is first corrected. Once these defects are repaired, the genitalia is repaired. During the surgery, excess vaginal tissue, along with the underlying muscles, are repaired to tighten the vagina. The passage of the vagina is also corrected by removing any excess skin. The tissues and muscles under the skin are brought together to increase the tightness of your vagina. The surgery takes approximately one or two hours.

Cosmetic vulvovaginal surgeries include various procedures to reduce the following:

  • Enlarged labia
  • Clitoral hood (skin that covers and protects the clitoris)
  • Perineal skin (skin between the genital region and anus)
  • Mons pubis (fatty tissue present on the pubic bone)

Recovery

After the procedure is completed, petroleum jelly gauze is used to cover your wounds and will be removed the following day. You can perform minimal activity until the wound heals completely and return to work after 2 to 5 days. You should avoid sexual activity for 6 weeks after the surgery.

Risks and Complications

Every surgical procedure carries some amount of risk; likewise vulvovaginal plasty may also be involved with complications such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Skin loss in the area of surgery
  • Asymmetric or undesirable shape of the vagina
  • Pain

For further details on Vulvovaginal plasty, you can contact Dr. Nazek Al Salman at 050-573-6619

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