Designer vagina surgery trend on the increase
The growing trend for cosmetic vaginal surgery has sparked concerns among medical specialists who have noted a rise in the popularity of procedures.
Operations including making the external appearance more ‘attractive’ and restructuring the vagina to stop slackness after childbirth are just two procedures that have attracted more patients, says leading urogynaecologist, Professor Linda Cardozo.
The King’s College hospital expert revealed a Google search brought up at least 45,000 references to cosmetic vaginal surgery, whilst medical database, Medline, showed fewer than 100.
Professor Cardozo said the most common cosmetic procedure was reduction labioplasty – a surgery which makes the labia smaller. Women request the procedure either for aesthetic reasons or to ease physical pain.
‘Women want to emulate the supermodel. It’s part of a trend. But they should know that all surgery can be risky,’ says Prof Cardozo. ‘Most of the procedures are done in the private sector and it’s totally unregulated.’
Over the last five years the number of labial reductions carried out on the NHS has doubled from 400 in 2000/1 to 800 in 2004/5.
Prof Cardozo explained there was little evidence to suggest that ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ – which carries a price tag of £3,000 – was any better than doing pelvic floor muscle exercises.
‘Women are paying large sums of money for this type of surgery which may improve the appearance of their genitalia but there is no evidence that it improves function,’ she said.