The term “vaginal rejuvenation” refers to a wide variety of procedures. Some of these procedures include the use of radiofrequency or fractionated carbon dioxide lasers to stimulate blood flow and collagen formation in vaginal tissues. Others involve injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or hyaluronic acid (HA), known respectively as the O-shot and G-shot. More invasive forms of surgery can also be used to tighten the connective tissues that lie between the vagina and bladder and the vagina and rectum.
In some cases, these procedures are used to treat “bona fide” medical conditions. For example, surgical repairs are sometimes performed on women with severe cases of pelvic organ prolapse. This condition occurs when the bladder or other pelvic organs slip out of place and create a bulge in the vagina. In other cases, women undergo cosmetic vaginal procedures in an effort to achieve an idealized standard of what they believe their genitalia should look and feel like.
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What is a Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery?
Vaginal rejuvenation surgery entails several surgeries to improve the shape, size, and function of your vaginal area. These procedures help to restore the soft tissue structures that have succumbed to the aging process. Vaginal rejuvenation is also beneficial for those women who suffer with discomfort and embarrassment due to excess vaginal tissue.
Vaginal rejuvenation includes clitoral hood reduction, labiaplasty, labia majoraplasty, monsplasty, and vaginoplasty.
Why Women Desire Vaginal Rejuvenation?
The vagina is an elastic muscle, and it can expand due to tow reasons – childbirth and age. It expands in childbirth for obvious reasons, as a woman needs to push out the baby. But with age, there are changes in hormones that reduce the strength of the muscle and the surrounding connective tissues. As such, the vagina may lose elasticity. The vaginal walls can become thin due to a lack of estrogen, making one feel a change in diameter. This is known as vaginal atrophy. This loose feeling makes women want to go back, and here is where vaginal Rejuvenation comes in.
Women may seek vaginal Rejuvenation either for cosmetic reasons or to have a better quality of life. Many have experienced stress urinary incontinence post-childbirth, and hence vaginal Rejuvenation can help them with this. If a woman seeks this for cosmetic reasons, then it’s important to think of the reasons they want it before going forward.
Am I a good candidate Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery?
. You have redundant vaginal tissue that adversely affects your day-to-day life
. You have decreased sexual function due to excess vaginal tissue
Vaginal rejuvenation surgery is slowly becoming a more frequently performed procedure. Many women are too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms of vaginal discomfort and are unaware of the available treatment options. We have found that patients who undergo vaginal rejuvenation are often the most satisfied with their surgery. The liberation from the excess bulges and folds that once cast a dark cloud over their sexual relationships and dictated the types of clothing they wore is often reported as positive life changing event. Many patients proclaim they should have done it sooner.
The inner lips of your vagina, (labia minora) can be reduced and shaped symmetrically through a labiaplasty. The outer lips of your vagina, (labia majora) can likewise be reduced and reshaped through a labia majoraplasty.
Vaginal rejuvenation also corrects enlarged vaginal canals. Your plastic surgeon is able to tighten the walls of your vaginal canal and improve sexual function by performing a vaginoplasty.
If you have undergone massive weight loss or have simply developed an overhanging or enlarged mons pubis (the target area of a Brazilian wax), a monsplasty may be right for you.
A clitoral hood reduction decreases excess length and projection of the skin surrounding the clitoris. This surgery further exposes the clitoral glands of the clitoris and has been reported to improve sexual function.
Methods of Vaginal Rejuvenation
Vaginal Rejuvenation is done via two methods – Surgical and Non-Surgical.
Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation
Surgical options for vaginal Rejuvenation are – vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, and vulvaplasty.
This procedure tightens the vagina that can become with age or childbirth. Vaginoplasty has been represented as done to benefit self -esteem, and confidence. The procedure is performed under regional or local anesthesia. It can either be a full-length or half-length tightening. A depth of 7-8 cms is full length. It also usually includes perineoplasty to remodel the perineum. 66% of women believe that this procedure has improved their sex lives.
However, some have complained of complications such as hemorrhage, wound infection, constipation, and lack of lubrication, to name a few. Some examples of vaginoplasty are:
. Clitoral unhooding: This involves removing tissue that covers the clitoris.
. Revirgination: The hymen breaks the first time a woman has intercourse, and surgery can be done to mimic its original state before the woman had sex.
. G-spot amplification: It is believed that the front wall of the vagina has the g-spot, which is important for female stimulation and arousal. Collagen is injected into this area to increase pleasure for the woman.
Labiaplasty means reshaping the labia. It is the surgical reduction of labia minora. This has become quite popular. It changes the shape of the labia or corrects the asymmetry. Complications following this surgery can be hematoma, infections, and scarring. One can shorten or reshape the lips after administering anesthesia. The unwanted tissue is cut with a laser or scalpel, and the loose edge is stitched with dissolving stitches.
Vulvaplasty means reshaping the vulva. This involves reshaping the vulva to look a certain way.
Who can go for a surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation?
. A woman in good health who has the following issues can go for surgery.
. She feels pain or soreness during exercise or sexual activity.
. Her genital contours have become stretched or lax.
. She wants to improve the look of her genitals.
. She doesn’t feel much sensation during sex after childbirth.
What is the procedure for surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Anesthesia is administered to the patient first. If it is a vaginoplasty, then eth excess skin is removed, and the vaginal wall tissues are tightened using sutures. If it is a labiaplasty, then eth excess tissue is removed to get the desired contour. The labia are aligned and closed with absorbing sutures.
What questions do I ask the surgeon before making a decision on the surgery?
. Will the procedure affect my ability to feel an orgasm?
. What are the benefits of this procedure?
. What are the short and long-term risks involved?
. Will there be reduced sensation in the clitoris or labia post-surgery?
. Can I use all feminine hygiene products such as tampons?
. Does it affect pregnancy and childbirth in the future?
Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation
Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation involves two common methods. One is using radio frequency and the other using the laser. They are known as energy-based treatments. Both radiofrequency and laser options heat the tissues, which affects the formation of collagen. It was found that cooling, along with radiofrequency, leads to the tightening of the vagina. The alternate laser use heats the vaginal tissues and tightens them too.
. Radio Frequency – Radiofrequency or RF treatments use electromagnetic waves. These are similar to waves produced in a microwave. These waves are, to a lesser extent, in an RF treatment, and the energy is focused to heat the tissue. Some brands that offer RF devices are – ThermiVa and Viveve.
. CO2 Laser – In CO2 laser treatment, a wand is inserted. This wand heats up the tissue in the vagina. The tissue in the lower layers is forced to make more collagen and makes the skin firm and tight. Brands that offer the laser device are – FemTouch, MonaLisa Touch, and FemiLift.
Potential Complications After Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery
There can be a risk of infection or bleeding in some women. But this risk is very low, and most women don’t experience this. In extremely rare cases, a woman may experience vulvar or vaginal scarring.
There’s also a potential for harm when you have very minimal prolapse and you start lasering or tightening things that really aren’t broken. When these premenopausal women enter menopause and their estrogen levels drop, the tissues will naturally thin out, including the tissues by the labia and by the clitoris, and the patient could have a potential future problem.
The second thing that’s might be a cause of concern is that making things too tight can lead to significant pain with intercourse and tearing. In some cases, the doctor might have to un-do some of these procedures because things get too tight.
Recovery After Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery
Mild to moderate pain is expected, but this is well controlled with cold compresses, prescription and over the counter pain killers
Swelling is most pronounced 2-3 days after your surgery. This resolves significantly 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Itching is a common complaint during the first week, but this typically subsides by week 2.
Avoid strenuous physical activity and sexual intercourse for 3-4 weeks.
Most women return to work (desk job) 1.5-2 weeks after surgery.
Typically, all of the sutures are dissolvable and are gone by week 4.
Scarring from vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, majoraplasty, and clitoral hood reductions are usually undetectable by your gynecologist.