Many women seek to reverse or stall the effects of aging, not only on their outward appearance, but also in intimate, secret places such as the vagina and labia. A procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity is the vaginal rejuvenation, a procedure that is helping scores of women regain their self-confidence.
Because this is a relatively new phenomenon, it can be quite misunderstood. The vaginal rejuvenation is actually a set of procedures designed to reset muscle tone and visual appearance of the female genitalia after childbirth, injury, or defect and can manifest in either reconstructive or cosmetic forms.
The first procedure comprising the rejuvenation process is a vaginoplasty. Vaginoplasties are generally subdivided into several different procedures depending on the specific needs of the patient’s aesthetic and medical desires. Vaginoplasty utilizes patient-derived tissue to construct areas of vaginal canal and areas of the vulvovaginal complex. Donor site tissue available for the correction includes oral mucosa, skin flap and grafts, and intestinal mucosa.
In practical surgical application, it is important to remove active follicles from skin graft containing hair and usually the skin graft is shaved either manually or by electro-cauterization.
A second procedure is a labiaplasty. As with any paired structure of the anatomy; ears, eyes, or nostrils; the labia minora (small, inner vaginal lips) are not perfectly symmetrical, and, while the size disparity is usually subtle, women often present with one labium considerably larger than its other pair. Subsequently, only the over-sized lip undergoes resection (cutting and removal). In the case of the female patient who presents redundant folds — unilateral or bilateral webbing — between the labia majora and minora, the excess tissue can be resolved by a labiaplasty procedure.
To correct extreme asymmetries, the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, conscious sedation (often known as twilight), or general anesthesia. As a matter of course and in keeping with the discussion of vaginal rejuvenation, the labiaplasty may be accomplished as a discrete, single procedure, simultaneously with a gynecologic procedure, or in conjunction with cosmetic surgery. Labial reduction removes the excess tissues to preserve the natural, wrinkled free-edge of the labia minora. In the case redundant folding, also known as labial webbing, the labiaplasty includes a resection technique to establish a regular and symmetric shape for the reduced labia minora. The actual operative procedure includes resection of excess tissue of the labia. Following the resection step, suturing of the surgical wound will do most determine the aesthetic result of the reduction. Normally, closing the tissues using a running buried-suture will produce a minimal scar profile of natural appearance.
Depending on the patient, normal sexual activity can be resumed in a matter of weeks.
Post-operative pain and surgical recovery are generally minimal, allowing the patient to return home the same day. While packing is rarely utilized, women may wish to wear a sanitary pad for comfort. Post op care will also include proper cleaning of the wound using an antibiotic topical ointment as well as techniques to reduce swelling. To expedite the healing process, patients are encouraged to take a Sitz bath to ensure optimal hygiene of the vulvovaginal complex.