Cosmetic Gynecology Surgical Procedures
for Perineal Rejuvenation
Clitoral Hood Reduction
The clitoris is the gland located at the top of the vulva, and is a vital part of female sexuality and pleasure. What many people aren’t aware of is that while it may seem as if it’s a small nub on the exterior of your genitals, it actually extends down into your vagina. The clitoral hood (or prepuce) is the skin that covers the outer part of the clitoris, and it is designed to protect the clitoris from friction. Constant rubbing of the clitoris can cause over-stimulation, pain, or desensitization, so the clitoral hood is an important part of female anatomy. In some women, the clitoral hood has excess tissue, creating discomfort or embarrassment at the appearance of your genitals.
Because excess skin on the clitoral hood can be a bothersome issue for women, at Valley Women's Health and Aesthetics, we offer an elective cosmetic gynecologic procedure known as a clitoral hood reduction.
WHAT IS A CLITORAL HOOD REDUCTION?
A clitoral hood reduction is also known as a hoodectomy or clitoropexy, and is a surgical procedure to reduce the overall size and length of the skin that forms your clitoral hood. This procedure decreases the protrusion of the clitoral hood, improving the appearance and making it more proportional to the rest of your outer genitalia. It can be performed alone or in combination with a labiaplasty.
The goal of clitoral hood reduction surgery is to improve the appearance of the clitoral hood without affecting its function. The excess folds or length of the tissue is trimmed, making it appear less prominent, while also leaving enough skin to properly protect the clitoris.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CLITORAL HOOD REDUCTION SURGERY
If performed alone, clitoral hood reduction surgery takes about an hour, and is an outpatient procedure typically performed using local anesthesia. Your surgeon will begin by making an incision in the clitoral hood, where they will be able to access the excess tissue, removing it and reducing the protrusion of the skin above the clitoris. The incision is then closed using dissolvable sutures.
At Valley Women's Health and Aesthetics, we are a practice of gynecologists. Given our training we understand the female anatomy, and the issues that women may experience due to problems with the function or appearance of their anatomy. We strive to produce results that look and feel natural, using suture techniques that help to keep the tissue in the clitoral hood from bunching, thereby maintaining the natural contours of your genital area.
RESULTS AND RECOVERY
After your procedure, you may experience mild swelling and bruising in the area, as well as some temporary discomfort. This can be alleviated by (following our simple post op instructions including topical and over the counter medications). It is recommended that you rest for at least three days before returning to work and other daily activities, and avoid strenuous exercise or intercourse for at least a month following the surgery. Initially, there may be some numbness or loss of sensation, but this is also temporary and will resolve once the swelling subsides.
You may see some results immediately after your surgery, but the full extent won’t be completely visible until the swelling has diminished. Once you’ve healed completely, you’ll be able to be intimate with your partner without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your genitals. You’ll experience less irritation when you wear certain types of clothing, and maybe even increased sensation during sex. Results are considered permanent, but may be affected by pregnancy and childbirth.
RISKS OF CLITORAL HOOD REDUCTION SURGERY
As with any type of medical procedure, clitoral hood reduction surgery has risks, though they are rare. Choosing an experienced surgeon and following the post-surgical instructions closely can help to reduce these risks, including:
Under or over resection of the clitoral hood
If you experience any of the above issues, be sure to talk to your surgeon to ensure that you have a safe, healthy recovery and are left with the results you desire.
As time passes, women experience a variety of changes to their bodies as a result of several factors, including the natural aging process, effects of the environment and hormonal fluctuations. Changes to the skin on your face are often the most noticeable, as they affect your outward appearance, so it’s easy to overlook the impact of age on other parts of your anatomy.
Aging causes changes in the elasticity of your skin – all of it. The collagen and elastin that keeps skin supple and youthful begins to decrease, and with that comes sagging or drooping. Rejuvenating areas of your face that show wrinkles or loss of volume or function are common topics among women, but you also need to consider that if the visible areas of your body are showing age, so are less visible areas, including the genitals.
Many women are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about increased laxity in the skin of their labial and vaginal areas, as well as in the muscles of the vagina, but rest assured that you’re not the only one with these issues. In 2016, nearly 12,000 women chose to undergo a vaginal rejuvenation procedure – an increase of nearly 40 percent over the year before. At Valley Women's Health and Aesthetics, we understand that discussing female sexual health can be a sensitive topic, which is why we pride ourselves on being a practice that is run with the goal of superior care for women. We can address your concerns about the aesthetic appearance of your vagina, as well as the reduced function or discomfort you may be experiencing.
WHAT IS A LABIAPLASTY?
There are a number of procedures, both surgical and nonsurgical, that can fall under the umbrella of “vaginal rejuvenation.” However, the vaginal rejuvenation procedure performed most often is known as a labiaplasty, which is a treatment designed to reduce the length of your labia minora, labia majora, or both.
Labia size and shape varies from woman to woman, and while it is incredibly elastic, two primary factors contribute to the labia getting longer or beginning to sag – childbirth and age. Multiple births can fatigue the vaginal muscles, so that each time the labia is stretched, the less able it is to snap back into the shape it was. This often causes a decrease in intimacy due to physical discomfort or embarrassment about the appearance of your vagina.
The purpose of a labiaplasty is to surgically shorten the labia, relieving pain and discomfort, while restoring both the function and the appearance of your vagina.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR LABIAPLASTY PROCEDURE?
Depending on your anatomy and the results you are seeking from your procedure, there are a number of techniques for performing a labiaplasty. The two most common include:
Edge Resection (Trim Method) – This is the technique used most often for reducing the length of the labia. It involves trimming excess skin along the length of your labia, then stitching it with very small sutures. It is safe, relatively simple, and is an outpatient procedure that has a minimal risk of complications. Most importantly, it offers excellent results.
Wedge Method – This outpatient procedure is performed to reduce excess bulk in the labia minora. It involves removing a wedge-shaped piece of the labia minora (hence the name), but its main goal is to correct the inner labia – it doesn’t affect the outer appearance of your labia.
Whatever procedure you choose, a typical labiaplasty takes up to two hours, and is performed using general anesthesia or local anesthesia paired with IV sedation.
RECOVERY AND HEALING FROM LABIAPLASTY SURGERY
The recovery process following a labiaplasty is not extensive, however, there are still some restrictions. We recommend that you take a few days off of work, as there may be some pain and swelling during the first week. This is temporary, and can be addressed with post op care instructions provided by your physician. Although it may take six weeks or longer for all of the swelling to go down, most women can resume sexual intercourse and their regular exercise program six (6) to eight (8) weeks after surgery.
POSSIBLE RISKS OR COMPLICATIONS
As with any surgical procedure, a labiaplasty has some risks, but they are extremely minimal. Most post-surgery side effects are temporary, and may include swelling, bruising or light bleeding. As every woman is different, additional complications may include:
Loss of sensation
Pain during intercourse
Again, these side effects are uncommon.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your perineum, and in fact, may not even know what it is or what it does. However, the perineum is an important part of the female anatomy, and is often damaged during childbirth, which can cause functional issues later. At Valley Women’s Health and Aesthetics, we offer a surgical procedure known as a perineoplasty to repair damage to the perineum and restore functionality.
What Is a Perineoplasty?
The perineum is located between the bottom of the vaginal opening and the anus, and as such, is often torn during vaginal childbirth, sometimes to the point where it requires suturing to repair. Its primary purpose is to support the pelvic floor, and if damaged, can result in urinary incontinence, vaginal looseness, dryness or irritation, and even a decrease in sexual sensation because the vaginal muscles are unable to contract properly. In serious cases, it can lead to prolapse of the bladder, uterus or rectum.
A perineoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to repair the perineum. The focus of the procedure is on the bottom of the vaginal opening, and the muscles and tissue that surround it. The surgery is an outpatient procedure that usually takes under an hour to perform. Your surgeon will make a small, V-shaped incision at the base of the vaginal opening, removing scar tissue if necessary, and suturing the underlying muscle and tissue back together, tightening the area. Perineoplasty surgery can return the area to its pre-pregnancy condition, not only with the removal of scar tissue and the tightening and rebuilding of the muscles of the perineum, but also by narrowing the entrance of the vagina.
In some cases, women may experience painful intercourse (known as dyspareunia) due to the vaginal opening being too tight, or because the perineal muscles are too tight. This is known as vaginismus, and can be a result of the involuntary contraction of the muscles of the perineum, making intercourse difficult and uncomfortable. Both issues can be resolved by a perineoplasty procedure in which skin is removed from both the front and back of the vaginal opening, which allows the vaginal muscles to loosen.
Am I a Candidate for a Perineoplasty?
A perineoplasty is typically an effective treatment to repair the perineal muscles, which can restore comfort and sensitivity to the vaginal area. Good candidates for a perineoplasty include women who:
Experienced tearing or had an episiotomy (a planned incision to widen the vaginal opening) during vaginal childbirth.
Did not heal well after childbirth, resulting in excessive scar tissue or incorrect muscle healing.
Experience a feeling of looseness in the vaginal area.
Suffer from discomfort – itching or pain.
Experience bowel changes or urinary incontinence.
Experience decreased sexual sensation and satisfaction.
While most of the women who choose to undergo a perineoplasty have developed issues following vaginal childbirth, that doesn’t mean that only women who have had children can benefit from the procedure. Pressure from excess weight, weight loss, or congenital conditions can also damage the perineum and cause vaginal laxity and other functional problems.
Recovery and Risks From Perineoplasty Surgery
Because perineoplasty surgery is an outpatient procedure, you will be able to return home the same day, and most people can go back to work within a few days. You may initially experience minor pain or bleeding, but this is normal and will resolve after the first couple of days.
Full recovery from a perineoplasty takes six (6) to eight (8) weeks. Strict adherence to your post op instructions provided by your surgeon is important for proper healing. These include:
Refrain from sexual activity
Do not use tampons
Refrain from strenuous activities or heavy lifting
Keep your incisions as clean and dry as possible
Drink plenty of water and increase your fiber intake to avoid constipation
If any of these is affecting your confidence or self-esteem, we can help. Call our office today at 435-999-9589 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. It should be understood that this is an elective procedure that is not covered by insurance. We do offer Care Credit to those of our patients who qualify.