There are four vaginal procedures that we perform. Three are cosmetic procedures and they are called hymen restoration, labiaplasty, and vaginoplasty. Each procedure is a treatment for a specific aesthetic condition. We also perform vaginal sling insertions for repair of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition where a woman loses urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, running, etc.
In many cases, the hymen can be restored, whether the injury occurred from sexual intercourse or another trauma to the hymen. In some cases, the hymen cannot be restored at all. This may happen after natural childbirth, or due to some other cause. A full evaluation by the physician is required, to assess whether or not a patient is a candidate for this type of surgery.
The edges of the torn hymen are carefully trimmed with a combination of fine scissors, cautery or laser devices. Using delicate sutures the hymen is then reconstructed to its original form. In most cases, with the next act of intercourse, there is a tear and a small amount of bleeding with the repaired hymen. The procedure takes approximately 1-1/2 hours to perform. Healing time is usually 4 weeks and time to vaginal sexual intercourse, 6-8 weeks.
Although the complication rate for this procedure is very low, still the risk of a complication exists.
Stricture and Over-correction
The most common complications of this procedure are stricture, or over-correction of the problem. A stricture is a narrowing of the opening. This will result in difficulty with the next act of intercourse; however it seldom becomes a long-term problem.
We prefer to perform the surgery under general anesthesia; however it can also be performed under local anesthesia. Proper patient selection is important in deciding who will be a good candidate for local anesthesia.