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Why More Women Are Having Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 49 percent increase between 2013 and last year in what’s known as vaginal rejuvenation surgery. It’s the subject of growing controversy.

Dr. Seema Yasmin, a physician and professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, wrote about this for The Dallas Morning News. She talked about issues of safety with the procedure and what motivates women to have vaginal rejuvenation surgery.

Highlights from Dr. Yasmin’s interview

What is vaginal rejuvenation:  "That’s an umbrella term that refers to a whole range of surgeries women are getting that involve trimming, tightening and doing things to the vagina and the vaginal area."

Medical reasons for having the surgery: "It could be that a woman’s had many children. There’s been stretching in that area. There’s been some damage to the vaginal canal. And surgeons can go in and use vaginal rejuvenation surgery to make a woman like she’s back to her old self again. Of course, there are the cosmetic reasons as well, and some experts who say that we’re pathologizing lots of normal things about the vagina. With age things will change. Now we’re saying ‘That’s not normal and you need to fix it.’”

Serious repercussions possible: "If you go to someone who’s inexperienced, you can do damage. I’ve heard of women having too much trimmed or having the vagina overly tightened. And if you look at the data, you’ll see there’s only a two percent risk of having any complications, and other surgeons who say 'Don’t take that data at face value.' When something does goes wrong for women, they typically don’t go back to that original surgeon. They’ll go to someone else who’s an expert in reconstructive surgery. But this is like with any surgery there’s risk of infection, of bleeding, and complications that should not be taken lightly. The key message, as with any surgery, do your research into the procedure, get as much data as you can, and really do your homework about which surgeon to go to.”

Read the story from The Dallas Morning News.

For more information

Vaginaplasty and labiaplasty 

ACOG Opinion of Vaginal Rejuvenation 

Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.