What is Vaginoplasty?
As a woman’s body ages, it goes through a number of changes. Wrinkles develop and skin sags. Fat deposits increase and muscle mass may decrease. The vagina is no stranger to change either. While most young women have taut and stretchy vaginas, a number of women find that they lose vaginal tone and strength as they age. Some of this simply comes as a woman ages, and some of it comes from childbirth or simply because of the natural vaginal state. The severe strain put on the pelvis and the vagina in particular can cause the vaginal opening to be stretched, and it can cause a loss of tone in the muscles which surround the vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation is a technique which is used to help increase the tone and tightness of the vagina. During a vaginal rejuvenation, the vaginal opening and walls will typically be tightened, and the surgeon will also help to rebuild and reinforce some of the surrounding supportive tissue. All of this helps to return the vagina to a younger, tighter state. Vaginoplasty is not only a surgery designed to correct or perfect a physical condition, but it is also meant to boost the patient’s confidence and help them achieve a better quality of life. After a vaginal rejuvenation, a patient should return soon to their normal activities. Vaginal rejuvenation is a surgery that with the proper care will not interfere with the patient’s quality of life and should show results in a very short time.
Why Get Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Reduced vaginal tone can be a contributing factor in a loss of sexual sensation and satisfaction. During sexual intercourse, a certain amount of friction is needed to ensure the ideal amount of pleasure for both partners. Oftentimes, a loose and weak vagina is unable to provide enough friction to give the woman or the man optimal pleasure. This can leave both partners with a feeling that sex isn’t as good as it once was, and this in turn can result in a lowered interest in sex and a lowered level of intimacy. Restoring tightness to the vagina can increase sexual satisfaction for both partners.
What Problems Can Vaginal Rejuvenation Solve?
Vaginal rejuvenation can solve problems with sexual sensitivity that are directly related to a lack of vaginal tone or stretching of the vaginal mucosa from childbirth or episiotomy. If the vaginal walls or opening have been stretched too much during childbirth, a vaginal rejuvenation can decrease their size. If a man feels like his wife’s vagina is just too loose and the wife feels that his penis isn’t thick enough to fill her up, a vaginal rejuvenation may be able to help. A vaginal rejuvenation can also address issues where a lack of vaginal tone is caused by weak vaginal and perineal muscles.
What Can’t Vaginal Rejuvenation Do?
Vaginal rejuvenation cannot solve every problem relating to female sexual function and pleasure. It cannot solve sexual problems that stem from emotional or relationship issues. It is not a solution for sexual dysfunction or anorgasmia. It cannot solve a low interest in sex, unless that low interest is an outgrowth of low sexual satisfaction due to vaginal relaxation. A vaginal rejuvenation only affects the vaginal introitus or opening. It does not typically address issues relating to the labia or the clitoris (for more information on how to address these issues, please see the Labiaplasty page). Similarly, a vaginal rejuvenation can’t solve incontinence issues that aren’t caused by weak pelvic muscles. It cannot solve urge incontinence, which is caused by overactive bladder muscles. It also cannot cure overflow incontinence, which occurs when the bladder doesn’t fully empty.
How Is The Surgery Performed?
Vaginoplasty (vaginal rejuvenation) is designed to remove extra mucosa, plicate (tighten) the underlying muscle and close the defect in a way that tightens the vaginal vault. A diamond shaped piece of perineum and internal vaginal mucosa is removed to allow tightening of the underlying muscle and closure of the vaginal introitus (external opening). Typical tightness is to allow only two and one half finger breadths of space in the vaginal introitus (opening). The operation is outpatient and takes around 1-2 hours. It is typically well tolerated and healing is similar in time and length to a standard episiotomy performed at childbirth. This must be performed in a surgery center under general anesthesia. The average cost including anesthesia and facility fee is around $5500. It is less expensive if performed in combination with other procedures such as labiaplasty and clitoral unhooding (please see labiaplasty page).
Can other procedures be performed at the same time as Vaginoplasty?
Yes – I frequently perform multiple procedures on vaginoplasty patients. Sometimes I perform clitoral unhooding. This procedure removes some of the skin overlying the clitoris to allow for greater stimulation during intercourse. The labia majora can also be reduced to decrease the extra skin or augmented with fat to puff up the loose skin (this is more typically asked for by my older patients or patients who have lost significant amounts of weight). Labiaplasty is commonly performed at the same time as vaginoplasty. Finally, all the other cosmetic procedures that I perform (e.g. breast augmentation, tummy tuck etc.) can be performed at the same time as vaginoplasty. These would require a trip to the operating room and general anesthesia.
What does it cost?
Vaginoplasty needs to be performed in the OR with the patient asleep and typically costs around $5500. It is less expensive when combined with other procedures such as labiaplasty or breast augmentation.
What if I am from out of town?
Dr. Medalie frequently perform vagina rejuvenation surgery on patients who live out of town and are unable to easily to see him in consultation prior to the procedure. He has several requirements for these patients: He must see pictures of them prior to scheduling surgery. They need to contact his office and have his patient care manager fax or e-mail them a history and physical form to be filled out and sent back. Typically the patient will come in to town the day prior to the procedure, and he will see them the morning of surgery. He will perform a phone consultation about 3 weeks prior to surgery. Dr. Medalie will then perform the operation and see them back in his clinic in several days to check the surgical site and answer any questions. This means that the patient will spend around 4-7 days in the Cleveland area. Some patients have stayed only for 24 hours and had personal doctors check on them. Patients who live far away, but can drive to Cleveland (2-6 hrs.), can go home the next day and drive back to see him for their first post-operative appointment. He will then follow the progress of the patient via e-mailed pictures on a weekly basis. His patient care manager has information about hotels in the area as well as financing. Please visit Dr. Medalie’s vaginal surgery specific web site at www.LabiaplastySurgery.net. There you can see multiple before and after labiaplasty and vaginoplasty photos as well as watch his live labia and vagina surgery video or call him at 216-393-9924. You can also e-mail his patient care manager at Valerie@ClevelandPlasticSurgery.com