Does Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery Improve Sexual Function?
I have given talks to plastic and cosmetic surgeons internationally about cosmetic vaginal surgery. A major theme that I have always emphasized is that the vagina is a functional organ, playing a critical part in achieving sexual satisfaction. Therefore, cosmetic vaginal surgery must be more than just cosmetic, but functional as well. Any cosmetic vaginal surgery needs to improve both the aesthetic and sexual function of the vagina. To do so, the surgeon needs to leverage the knowledge in the anatomy and physiology of the vagina.
Even labioplasty needs to be functional while it is always viewed as a procedure to improve the look of the vaginal lips. The hair bearing labia majora have similar sensory nerve distribution as the skin over the neighboring areas such as the thigh, and do not generate much direct sexual stimulation. On the other hand, the inner vaginal lips, the labia minora, are densely innervated with sensory nerve endings and contribute much to sexual stimulation and fulfillment. There are specialized vascular elements in the labia minora also, which will engorge with blood during sexual stimulation, further heightening the stimulating nerve signals. It would be logical to conclude that any surgery done to the labia minora, in particular labioplasty, needs to preserve the nerve and vascular elements critical to sexual function. By strategically reconstructing the labia using refined plastic surgery techniques, one can actually enhance the exposure of sensitive areas at the labia minora and around the clitoris to improve sexual function and satisfaction.
Vaginal rejuvenation tightens the internal caliber of the vaginal canal, and also the opening of the vagina, including part of the labia majora. This will improve the look of the labia majora, which could be sagging, and also the gaping vaginal opening. The tightening of the internal caliber of the vaginal canal improves the stimulation to the nerve receptors in the vagina, can result in enhanced sexual function and satisfaction to the woman and her partner.
By applying refined plastic surgical techniques, and leveraging the understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the vagina, vaginal cosmetic surgery should improve both the aesthetic and sexual function of this most intimate area.
Michael Lau, MD, FACS, FACOG