This document will address vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, vulvaplasty, and possible revisions to these procedures. We also give information about what recovery can be expected to look like. Read on to learn more!
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|Clitoris||Clitoral Hood||Labia Minora||Labia Majora||Vaginal Canal|
Vaginoplasty is a surgery which creates a vulva (external genitals) as well as a vaginal canal, clitoris, and labia majora, and labia minora using tissue from the penis, scrotum, and associated skin and tissues.
During a vaginoplasty, your surgeon will use a penile inversion technique. This removes the testicles and scrotal skin, shortens the urethra, removes the penile erectile tissue, and creates a clitoris and labia majora.The testicles are always sent to the lab for examination to check for any abnormalities. We do not use urethral tissue for any part of the vulva.
The vaginal canal is lined with a combination of skin from the penis and the scrotum. Before vaginoplasty, this skin must undergo hair removal. For those who do not have enough genital tissue to line the entire canal, skin grafts from one or both hips can also be taken. After surgery, dilation is necessary to keep the vagina healthy and open. Dilation is a lifelong commitment. Even years after surgery, if dilation is stopped, you can lose depth and girth.
GCC offers a two-stage approach to both vaginoplasty and vulvaplasty (see more about vulvaplasty below). The second stage is called a labiaplasty (see more about labiaplasty below), and is generally performed 3 months or more after vaginoplasty, as long as the vulva and vaginal canal are healing well.
Penile preserving vaginoplasty is basically what it sounds like – a vaginoplasty where a vaginal canal is created without removal of the penis. In this case, the vaginal canal is crafted not using penile tissue, but using scrotal tissue and sometimes grafts which come from internal parts of the body, such as the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal wall) or the colon, or grafts from the hips.
A vulvaplasty is very similar to a vaginoplasty in all aspects, except a vaginal canal is not created.
The majority of patients who undergo a vulvaplasty are happy with their choice and do not desire to have a vaginal canal. However, if someone does decide later on that they would like a vaginal canal after vulvaplasty, this is possible. Skin grafts can be taken from the hips to create the canal. The surgical considerations and complications for this procedure would be similar to a vaginoplasty, and the new vaginal canal must be dilated for the rest of one’s life to maintain the width and depth.
You can discuss with your surgeon what technique they will use and the potential risks and benefits of this procedure, and how to decide which type of vaginoplasty is right for you.
Labiaplasty is the second stage of vaginoplasty or vulvaplasty, generally performed 3 months or more after the first procedure, as long as the vulva is and vaginal canal (in vaginoplasty) are healing well. It adds more defined aesthetic details to the vulva, such as clitoral hooding, full labia minora, and altering the overall configuration of the labia majora.
During a labiaplasty, your surgeon will reconstruct your vulva, including creating a clitoral hood and making your labia minora using skin grafts from the labia majora, which can tighten any loose skin that may have resulted from the first stage. Any functional issues or asymmetry can also be corrected.
A revision is an additional surgery performed after a primary surgery to resolve any complications or cosmetic problems. Not everyone needs a revision.
After vaginoplasty, the vaginal canal may lose girth or depth. There are various reasons this may occur, but it is more likely to happen if you do not dilate as often as your surgeon recommends.
The vaginal canal can be widened and deepened using full thickness skin grafts, which are generally taken from the hips. These skin grafts leave long linear scars, which often fade with time.
After surgery, dilation is necessary to keep the vagina healthy and open. Dilation is a lifelong commitment. Even years after surgery, if dilation is stopped, depth and girth can suffer.
After labiaplasty, vaginoplasty or vulvaplasty, the labia minora may lose definition during the healing process. They may appear flat or smaller, or appear fused to the labia majora. This can be revised through the use of additional skin grafts from the labia majora or the hip area, depending on the extent of the revision. This may affect one or both labia majora.
The recovery for a vaginal deepening surgery is similar to an initial vaginoplasty. Please see the vaginoplasty section above for more information.
Avoid going into any body of water, including a bathtub, pool, jacuzzi, etc., for at least 4 weeks or longer if you have any open wounds.
If you are unhappy with your surgical outcome or parts of it, you can discuss a revision with your surgeon. You may be responsible for certain costs when undergoing a revision.
Your surgeon will also contact you throughout your first year after surgery to make sure you are healing well. As always, please reach out to the GCC if you have any concerns.