What is Vaginoplasty? April 12, 2021 Womens Health 271 Views
What is the meaning of Vaginoplasty?
Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure done to repair or construct a vagina. The procedure is also known as colporrhaphy. This procedure is done to tighten the vagina that may have become loose due to aging or childbirth that may cause sexual dysfunction.
Let us talk in detail about vaginoplasty in today’s article.
- What is the purpose of Vaginoplasty?
- What are the different types of Vaginoplasty?
- What are the diagnostic tests for Vaginoplasty?
- What is the preparation before Vaginoplasty?
- What is the procedure of Vaginoplasty?
- How to take care after Vaginoplasty?
- What are the complications of Vaginoplasty?
- What is the cost of Vaginoplasty in India?
What is the purpose of Vaginoplasty?
Vaginoplasty can be performed in the following health conditions:-
- After childbirth, the vaginal muscles become loose and weak. In such a situation, there are problems while having sex. Vaginoplasty can be done to strengthen the vaginal muscles and tighten the wall.
- Vaginoplasty can be done in women who have undergone radiation therapy or excision of the vagina for the treatment of cancer or any other disorders.
- Women with congenital (present from birth) defects that affect the vagina development may need vaginoplasty.
- Transgender people who are undergoing gender affirmation surgery (a procedure that can help a person to transform into one’s self-identified gender) may need vaginoplasty.
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What are the different types of Vaginoplasty?
There are several different types of vaginoplasty procedures that can be offered to the patient depending on the age of the patient and the purpose for undergoing vaginoplasty. The different types of vaginoplasty are:
1. Intestinal or Sigmoid vaginoplasty:
- When a section of a sigmoid colon (part of the large intestine that is the nearest to the anus and the rectum) is used to create a neovagina (new vagina), it is known as intestinal or Sigmoid vaginoplasty.
- This procedure is usually done as laparoscopic surgery or minimally-invasive surgery as only a small incision is made through the skin.
- A small piece of the colon is detached and rotated downwards to become the lining of the vagina.
- The surrounding colon is stitched together to restore its function.
2. Peritoneal Vaginoplasty
- It is also called the Luohu operation.
- The lining of the abdominal cavity known as the peritoneum is used to create the vagina.
- The laparoscopic procedure is usually done for this type of vaginoplasty.
3. McIndoe Vaginoplasty
- In this procedure, the vagina is lined using a skin graft.
- The skin graft is placed on the vaginal mold and then placed into the space that the surgeon has opened to become the vagina.
- The skin is not a mucosal tissue and therefore does not self-lubricate. This increases the chances of the vaginal opening closing if one doesn’t have regular sexual intercourse or vagina dilators are not used for the rest of their lives.
4. Buccal Mucosa Vaginoplasty
- The tissue lining the mouth is known as buccal mucosa.
- Like the vagina lining, the buccal mucosa is hairless and it creates mucus.
- The facial surgeons work with the gynecologists to harvest the buccal mucosa tissue lining properly.
3. Penile Inversion Vaginoplasty
- This procedure is only used in transgender women.
- The skin from the outside part of the penis is removed and then inverted to create the vagina lining.
- The head of the penis is then reshaped for creating a clitoris.
- The skin of the scrotum is used in creating the labia majora and minora.
- A vagina dilator is required to be worn for the full lifetime in this procedure.
- This surgery may be performed along with intestinal or peritoneal vaginoplasty.
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What are the diagnostic tests for Vaginoplasty?
- Physical examination: The doctor will first do a physical examination of the patient and note down the complete medical history and the overall health condition of the patient.
- Pelvic exam: The doctor inserts one or two gloved fingers into the vagina to feel the shape, size, and position of the ovaries and the uterus. The vagina, cervix, rectum, and fallopian tubes are also checked by this procedure.
- The doctor may recommend the following diagnostic tests before the procedure of vaginoplasty:
- Blood tests: Blood tests are done to assess the chromosomes of the patient and also measure the hormone levels, along with the presence of any underlying infections.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of internal organs inside the body. The doctor will check the uterus, ovaries, and other reproductive organs by this method.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnetic waves are used to give detailed images of the reproductive tract and the kidneys using an MRI scan.
What is the preparation before Vaginoplasty?
Before vaginoplasty, the doctor considers whether the surgery should be done or not. If the patient wants to get surgery, then the following advice can be given:
- Do not smoke and drink alcohol for a few days before the surgery.
- If you take any diabetes and blood pressure medications, or any kind of drugs or supplements then inform your doctor about this.
- It is advisable to stop blood-thinning medications such as aspirin and warfarin a few days before the surgery as advised by the doctor. The doctor will guide you as to when these medications can be started again post-surgery.
- You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the surgery.
What is the procedure of Vaginoplasty?
- The procedure of vaginoplasty may take about one to two hours.
- During this procedure, the patient is given general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.
- The patient lies down on a table with legs spread wide apart.
- The surgeon marks a pie-shaped wedge to remove the excess skin at the opening of the vagina.
- The vaginal mucosa is then separated from the vaginal muscles.
- The muscles at the vaginal canal are then tightened.
- The muscles at the vaginal opening are tightened.
- Internal and external dissolvable sutures (stitches) are then given to close the incisions.
- Depending on the type of vaginoplasty done, a patient may or may not require a vagina dilator (a rod with a curved end inserted into the vagina and left in place for some time) for the rest of their lives.
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How to take care after Vaginoplasty?
After surgery, the patient is looked after by a team of doctors and nurses. After a few hours, the patient is allowed to go home. However, recovery after surgery may take up to three days or a few weeks, depending on the patient’s condition.
- It is normal to have mild pain and swelling after the surgery. Pain medications can be taken as prescribed by the doctor to relieve the pain.
- It is normal to have mild vaginal bleeding and discharge for about four to eight weeks after the surgery.
- A vaginal dilator (a tube-shaped device used to stretch the vagina) is provided by the surgeon. This dilator should be used after the bandages are removed. The vaginal dilator must be used daily for at least one year for maintaining the desired vaginal girth and depth.
- One can return to work after resting for at least one week.
- Ice application on the surgical site should be done for 20 minutes every hour, for one week after the surgery.
- Do not have sexual intercourse for three months after the surgery.
- Avoid swimming and bathing with hot water for at least eight weeks after the surgery.
- Avoid strenuous exercises for at least six weeks after the surgery.
- Women should not use tampons during recovery.
- Avoid smoking for at least one month post-surgery.
- One should not ride a cycle and motorcycle for three months post-surgery.
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What are the complications of Vaginoplasty?
As you know, there is a risk of complications during or after any surgical procedure. In the same way, some of the following complications may occur after vaginoplasty.
- Vaginal inflammation
- Vaginal pain. ( Know more about– What is Vaginal Pain ? Causes, Treatments, Home Remedies)
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal infection
- Vaginal prolapse (dropping of the vagina from its normal position in the body)
- Scars on the skin of the vagina.
- Blood clots (a mass of blood formed due to the proteins, platelets, and cells in the blood sticking together) build up in the vessels of the vagina.
- Uterovaginal problems (disorders associated with the uterus and the vagina)
- Vaginal fistula (an abnormal opening connecting the vagina to another organ)
- Urinary retention
- Rupture of the sutures (stitches)
- Skin necrosis (death of the tissue due to injury) or necrosis of the clitoris (a part of the female genitalia and present on top of the vagina)
Before undergoing vaginoplasty, get complete information about the risks and complications from your doctor.
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What is the cost of Vaginoplasty in India?
The total cost of Vaginoplasty in India can range from around INR 35,000 to INR 50,000. However, the cost of surgery may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for vaginoplasty. But the cost varies across different hospitals.
If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of vaginoplasty surgery, there will be additional cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the surgery, the patient may be kept in hospital for 1-2 days and in the hotel for a few days for recovery. So, the total cost of Vaginoplasty in India will be around INR 50,000 to INR 70,000.
We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding Vaginoplasty through this article.
If you want to get more information and treatment of Vaginoplasty, you can contact a Gynecologist.
We only aim to give you information through the article. We do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and treatment plan.