In the modern world, more and more women are recognizing plastic surgery as a powerful tool to help restore confidence and self-esteem in virtually any area. Procedures on the face such as rhinoplasties (or “nose jobs”) and face lifts can correct life-long insecurities or turn back the clock on aging to help patients feel confident in how they face the world each day. Surgeries performed on the body, such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks, have also become increasingly popular by helping sculpt a shapely physique, restoring patients’ self-esteem and helping them feel radiant in their little black dress, new bikini, or wearing nothing at all! Another area that women all over the world are becoming increasingly interested in targeting with plastic surgery is the genitalia. While you might not see as many billboards advertising surgery in this region of the body, many women are interested in learning more about their options for improving the appearance or function of this area through procedures such as labiaplasty, clitoral hood reduction, or vaginoplasty. This post will focus on vaginoplasty (also known as vaginal tightening surgery), a surgical procedure that tightens the vaginal opening and canal in women who have experienced unwanted widening of the vagina.
Many women are interested in this procedure due to unhappiness with vaginal widening caused by childbirth, menopause, or the normal aging process. Vaginal widening may cause women to experience less friction during intercourse, causing decreased sexual enjoyment, intimacy with partners, and self-esteem. Women may also notice that they have difficulty getting tampons to stay in, or that their vagina often makes embarrassing noises (called “queefing”) due to trapped air suddenly escaping during sex or physical activity. If you’ve noticed some of these signs of vaginal widening in your own body and are bothered by them, vaginoplasty may be a good option to explore. As a woman, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen understands the profound impact that unhappiness with this area of the body can have on the rest of a woman’s life, affecting physical comfort, confidence, and intimate relationships. Patients admire Dr. Temmen’s gentle disposition and commitment to safety, comfort, and privacy throughout all aspects of this sensitive procedure.
During a vaginoplasty, the surgeon first removes some of the stretched or scarred vaginal tissue from the wall of the vaginal canal and opening. Typically, tissue is excised from the posterior vaginal wall (the side closer to the back) rather than the anterior wall (the side closer to the belly), allowing the scar to be placed in a location with fewer nerve endings. Once the excess tissue is removed, closing the incision decreases the circumference of the vaginal canal and opening. One of the main benefits of this is increased friction during sex, allowing women to feel more pleasure and connection with intimate partners. Furthermore, the firmer vaginal tone created during this procedure can help women use tampons without freely without worry of them falling out, allowing women to live more comfortably and confidently.
A couple of the most common concerns women have who are considering this procedure are recovery and scar placement. The surgery itself usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half, and is performed outpatient. Patients are able to return home the same day, and most are able to drive and return to work after just a few days. To allow the tissues to heal, patients should not exercise, insert anything into the vagina (including tampons), or partake in sexual activity for at least six weeks. While most patients can safely resume their normal lifestyle after the initial six-week recovery period, the healing process will continue for six months to a year as the scars soften. The scarring from this surgery is very minimal, the vast majority of which is located inside the vaginal canal and so is not visible from the outside. Externally, a scar will be visible extending from the posterior wall of the vagina towards the anus (similar to a scar from an episiotomy), but it is typically small and well-camouflaged by the normal anatomy of this region. Overall, patients are happy with the quick and effective result from this procedure that leaves minimal scars behind, and allows them to enjoy a greater quality of life.
Many women are dissatisfied with the toll that child-bearing and aging have taken on the most intimate part of the body, causing decreased sexual enjoyment, unwanted lifestyle changes, and a loss of self-esteem. As a woman herself, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen is uniquely positioned to understand her patients’ wishes and concerns. Dr. Temmen meets extensively one-on-one with each patient to ensure that she fully understands their desires and can address all of the worries and questions they have. If you’re interested in learning more about if this procedure may be a good option for you, take this opportunity to schedule an in-person meeting with a female board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in this specialized and sensitive procedure. Call 813-877-2277 to book your one-on-one consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Traci Temmen, MD, today!