A large multicenter outcome study of female genital plastic surgery

J Sex Med. 2010 Apr;7(4 Pt 1):1565-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01573.x. Epub 2009 Nov 12.


Introduction: Female Genital Plastic Surgery, a relatively new entry in the field of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, has promised sexual enhancement and functional and cosmetic improvement for women. Are the vulvovaginal aesthetic procedures of Labiaplasty, Vaginoplasty/Perineoplasty ("Vaginal Rejuvenation") and Clitoral Hood Reduction effective, and do they deliver on that promise? For what reason do women seek these procedures? What complications are evident, and what effects are noted regarding sexual function for women and their partners? Who should be performing these procedures, what training should they have, and what are the ethical considerations?

Aim: This study was designed to produce objective, utilizable outcome data regarding FGPS.

Main outcome measures: 1) Reasons for considering surgery from both patient's and physician's perspective; 2) Pre-operative sexual functioning per procedure; 3) Overall patient satisfaction per procedure; 4) Effect of procedure on patient's sexual enjoyment, per procedure; 5) Patient's perception of effect on her partner's sexual enjoyment, per procedure; 6) Complications.

Methods: This cross-sectional study, including 258 women and encompassing 341 separate procedures, comes from a group of twelve gynecologists, gynecologic urologists and plastic surgeons from ten centers in eight states nationwide. 104 labiaplasties, 24 clitoral hood reductions, 49 combined labiaplasty/clitoral hood reductions, 47 vaginoplasties and/or perineoplasties, and 34 combined labiaplasty and/or reduction of the clitoral hood plus vaginoplasty/perineoplasty procedures were studied retrospectively, analyzing both patient's and physician's perception of surgical rationale, pre-operative sexual function and several outcome criteria.

Results: Combining the three groups, 91.6% of patients were satisfied with the results of their surgery after a 6-42 month follow-up. Significant subjective enhancement in sexual functioning for both women and their sexual partners was noted (p = 0.0078), especially in patients undergoing vaginal tightening/perineal support procedures. Complications were acceptable and not of major consequence.

Conclusions: While emphasizing that these female genital plastic procedures are not performed to correct "abnormalities," as there is a wide range of normality in the external and internal female genitalia, both parous and nulliparous, many women chose to modify their vulvas and vaginas. From the results of this large study pooling data from a diverse group of experienced genital plastic surgeons, outcome in both general and sexual satisfaction appear excellent.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clitoris / surgery
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Perineum / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Specialization
  • Surgery, Plastic* / ethics
  • Surgery, Plastic* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vagina / surgery
  • Vulva / surgery