Plastic surgery to reshape or re-create the labia and other areas of the vagina is a common surgery among women today. Two of the most common procedures are vaginoplasty and labiaplasty.
Vaginoplasty is a standard gynecological procedure which involves going under the knife to tighten the vaginal muscles and supporting tissues.
Women who opt for this surgery are those whose pelvic floor muscles became lax after multiple childbirths or those who suffer from serious stress incontinence, possibly due to multiple childbirths, which results in the leaking of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or when lifting heavy objects.
Labiaplasty involves the reduction or reshaping of the labia minora, the two folds of tissue, commonly referred to as the inner lips of the vulva (female genitals).
Women with enlarged or irregularly-shaped labia minora can experience physical discomfort when wearing clothing, exercising or feel pain during intercourse and this could possibly hurt their self-esteem, hence affecting their quality of life.
Now thanks to two new procedures pioneered by an American gynaecologist, Dr David Matlock about a decade ago, the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation™ (LVR) and Designer Laser Vaginoplasty ™ (DLV) are much sought-after in the United States, South America and Europe these days.
Currently in Singapore, SGIH’s chairman Dr Lee Keen Whye, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, is one of the 3 doctors licensed to undertake the trademark LVR and DLV surgeries at his clinic.
LVR is an outpatient surgical procedure usually performed under local anesthesia. This procedure uses cutting-edge laser technology to effectively enhance muscle tone, strength and control of the vaginal muscles. It essentially helps to decrease the internal and external vaginal diameters. The use of a laser means that the procedure is more efficient and tidy. After this surgery, women are asked to rest at home and healing time takes just 1-2 weeks to complete.
DLV on the other hand is the aesthetic surgical enhancement of the vulva structure which consists of the labia minora, labia majora, mons pubis, perineum, introitus and hymen. This is a cosmetic add-on to LVR and aims to create a “youthful” vagina.
In an interview with “Mother & Baby” (January 2006), a magazine published by MediaCorp Publishing, Dr Lee likened the transforming procedure to the art of cooking – “Chefs learn the basics of cooking but only the great chefs make the creative modifications that stands them out. The attention to detail counts for a lot.” In a typical consultation for the procedure, Dr Lee would use a mirror and let his patient say exactly what new changes she would like to see. “I use a marker pen to indicate how she wants it designed, pulling at the tissue to demonstrate the intended look. Only when she is sure, we would then proceed.”
Dr Lee also added, “Now, there is no reason why women cannot go on to have more babies. Yes, babies are bigger these days and they will stretch women more down there, but at least it helps to know that there is always something they can do about.”
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