Labia Surgery Beyond the Cosmetic

Sometimes found in children, but most typically observed in older adults, rectal prolapse is a serious condition that very often requires surgery to ameliorate. Surgery performs the task of repairing an anus-protruding rectum.

The rectum is the end of the colon; when it projects beyond the anus, it can occur in the form of a partial protrusion, that is, where only the mucosa is present outside the opening, or in a complete-protrusion form, in which case the entirety of the rectum wall can be seen beyond the anus opening. Needless to say, such a medical condition can have a significant and grave impact on a person’s quality of life. A prolapse is not the only reason for anatomical modifications.

Labiaplasty encompasses related surgical procedures. Although these are more often than not deemed to be of a cosmetic nature exclusively, the actual applications of the science prove otherwise. Labiaplasty refers to a variety of anatomical modifications introduced surgically to the labia minora and labia majora of women and transgendered individuals.

Because of the medical advancements in this area, a woman can elect her option of procedure at a doctor’s office and request a reversal of the female genital mutilation she underwent by compulsion. The science also provides a means for the surgical correction of congenital anomalies of the vagina and vulva. Yet, case studies and interviews involving pre- and post-surgery women intimate that they are, in fact, seeking out labia surgery for cosmetic purposes.

Labia surgery can serve to alleviate sexual self-consciousness that arises from anatomical formations present at birth or introduced later on — as in the case of female genital mutilation. Through a reduction labiaplasty, part of a patient’s labia majora or minora is amputated; immediately following amputation, the remaining labia portions’ newly created edges is sewn over. In another variety of the procedure, wedge segments of labia are detached through cutting and the remaining attached portions are rejoined, or reapproximated, through surgery. This involves altering epithelial and smooth muscle cells. Still another procedure conducted for the purpose of creating a more refined appearance of female genitalia is vulvar lipoplatsy; through it, excess or undesired fat from the mons pubis is eliminated.

Sam Walters is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her writing appears in print and online.

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