Why Is Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery So Popular?
According to surveys conducted by plastic surgery societies, vaginal cosmetic surgery is one of the fastest growing procedure categories. Also, the traffic volume of the Internet search on the topic of vaginal cosmetic surgery has increased tremendously, reflecting the great interest in and the demand for vaginal cosmetic surgery. Why?
I think there are several reasons, but the main reason is the awareness of the aesthetics of the vagina and that something can actually be done to address the concerns regarding the look and function of the vaginal area.
I have been performing vaginal cosmetic surgery for over 25 years. Until about 10 years ago, very few women were aware of cosmetic surgery to correct the look and function of the vagina. Before then, if a woman was courageous enough to ask about her larger hanging vaginal lips, her physician most likely would say that it was just a normal variant and not to worry about it. The woman, of course, remained wondering whether she was normal on not, and still embarrassed by her large, hanging labia.
About 10 years ago, images of the nude became widely available on the Internet, and through that medium, the “normal look” and “ beauty” of the female genital are defined, rightly and wrongly. Women now can compare themselves to the “stars” and want cosmetic improvement to the genital areas. Many plastic and cosmetic surgeons started to address the increasing demands for labioplasty, and the media has been fueling that trend. Even the plastic surgery TV shows cover this once sensitive area of intimate aesthetics.
This is a good trend. Aesthetics of the intimate area are no different to that of the face. Large, hanging lips of the vagina have the same negative aesthetic effect as a large, deformed nose; both can cause self-consciousness and insecurity. Years ago, I had a young nursing student who drove from Oregon to see me about her large labia. Her boyfriend made some insensitive comments about them, and she was devastated. Her local gynecologist could not help her, and she was greatly distressed. When I explained how I could help her with a simple labioplasty, her tearful gratitude was touching. Her extreme joy after seeing the surgical result was one of my most gratifying moments in my professional life.
Yes, I am happy that vaginal cosmetic surgery is getting known and popular. It brings joy and confidence to so many women.
Michael Lau, MD, FACS, FACOG