MORE Irish women will undergo vaginal surgery this year than ever before, according to a leading Dublin consultant plastic surgeon.
Dr Labros Chatzis, the director of the private River Medical Group, says he expects to operate on at least one woman every week this year, and receives around 35 inquires about vaginal surgery a month.
“When I first started 12 years ago, I might have seen one or two women a year who required vaginal surgery. They were usually female doctors or nurses because they knew about the procedure,’’ he said.
The most popular surgery is a labiaplasty, where the skin around the vaginal opening is reduced. If a woman wants any other kind of vaginal surgery, such as a hymenoplasty, which restores the hymen, then Dr Chatzis will refer her to a gynaecologist.
“Labias come in all shapes and sizes and large ones can actually cause problems,” said Dr Chatzis. “It can be uncomfortable, it can rub or tear when playing certain sports or wearing tight clothes, like jeans or bikinis, and get inflamed.
“Many are paranoid about it, many have been psychological traumatised by their partners. I had one patient, a woman from Cork in her early 30s who was completely traumatised. She had been with a man, who looked at her, said ‘Oh my God’, and walked out of the room. That is the equivalent of a woman looking at a man’s penis for the first time and starts laughing,” he said.
Women looking for this procedure are aged from their early 20s to their 40s and it costs around €4,500. The operation lasts about 90 minutes, and causes very little scarring. Patients are advised to avoid sports or sexual intercourse for about three weeks.
Auralia Hospital, which runs cosmetic surgery clinics in Dublin, Limerick and Kilkenny, has also noticed a rise in numbers seeking this procedure.
Dr Ahmed Salman says vaginoplasty has also “become popular of late’.’Tthis procedure tightens the muscles which might have been stretched following childbirth or through the ageing process, and can reduce sensation during sexual intercourse.
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