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Vaginoplasty is any surgical procedure performed to construct or reconstruct the vagina. This surgery can be performed to treat numerous situations, correcting congenital defects to the vagina, urethra, and rectum. Sometimes, a vaginoplasty is required after vaginectomy for vaginal cancer in order to restore a normal vaginal function and structure. The surgery can be performed to treat babies born with a microphallus. For cosmetic purposes, it may be done to tighten the vagina after childbirth.
Vaginoplasty can also be performed on transgender and non-binary people who are interested in male-to-female (MtF) sex reassignment surgery. In MtF sex reassignment surgery, vaginoplasty is the process in which a surgeon constructs a vaginal cavity between the urethra and the rectum. Vaginoplasty aims to create a vagina from penile tissue.
Before vaginoplasty, you may have congenital defects to the vagina or you want to tighten your vagina after childbirth or you have had a vaginectomy to treat vaginal cancer. After vaginectomy, all of the problems will be addressed, and the structure and function of your vagina will be restored. If you have the procedure as part of MtF sex reassignment surgery, the procedure may complete your transition.
The patient’s recovery time is different and you should be able to move around within 2-3 days. On average, the total recovery period after vaginoplasty takes around 6 to 8 weeks. During this period, do not take a bath or submerge yourself in water and avoid any strenuous activity. Avoid any sexual activity for 12 weeks. Your doctor will give you the detail of your recovery timeline and when you can resume your normal activity.
Vaginoplasty is safe and has a high success rate. However, as with other surgeries, the procedure carries some risks and complications. These include bleeding, infection, rupture of the sutures, skin or clitoral necrosis, urinary retention, vaginal prolapse, fistulas, ongoing pain, scarring, and permanent changes in sensation.