Vaginoplasty vs Perineoplasty
- While vaginoplasty is a largely cosmetic procedure, a perineoplasty, though also considered cosmetic, typically addresses a number of clinical conditions that result from damage to the perineal area, including vaginal looseness, itching, incontinence, and decreased sexual sensation due to the inability of the vaginal muscles to properly contract. Some women may undertake a perineoplasty for aesthetic reasons if, for example, they feel embarrassed about excess skin and bulging in the area.
- Another difference between vaginoplasty and perineoplasty is that while vaginoplasty targets the inside of the vagina, a perineoplasty focuses on the area at the base of the vaginal opening and the surrounding muscles and tissues. The procedure involves making a small incision at the base of the vaginal opening and suturing perineal tissue back together. Like vaginoplasty, a perineoplasty is considered a minor surgical procedure, and typically takes about an hour to perform, under local or general anaesthesia.
What are some conditions perineoplasty aims to correct?
- Trauma to the perineum, childbirth, weight gain, weight loss, and some congenital conditions can cause excessive stretching, tearing, or even separation of the transverse perineal muscles, leading to a condition known as gaping introitus, or enlarged vaginal opening, which could lead to vaginal laxity during sex and a general feeling of “openness” in the vaginal area.
- Some women experience difficult or complicated childbirths which can include tearing or episiotomy, which is a planned incision to the perineum or vaginal wall made by a surgeon during labour in order to facilitate childbirth. As a result of such complications, the perineum endures significant trauma and some women are left with excessive scarring. In such cases, non-invasive laser techniques can “soften” scar tissue and excessively thick scar tissue can be removed surgically.
- Even without complications, vaginal childbirth can place great stress on the vaginal and perineal muscles, or perineal trauma may be incorrectly sutured by an inexperienced doctor, nurse, or midwife, causing muscles to heal improperly and leading to pain, discomfort, and muscle malfunction. A perineoplasty aims to correct such conditions by reopening and resuturing the perineal area in a way that promotes proper healing.
- A perineoplasty is sometimes performed in combination with a colporrhaphy, which seeks specifically to correct defects in the vaginal wall such as cystocele (protrusion of the bladder into the vagina), and rectocele (protrusion of the rectum into the vagina). Such conditions can cause the muscle of the vaginal wall to function improperly and lead to pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse, as well as incontinence. In some cases, severe damage to the perineum can cause collapse or dysfunction of the rectal sphincter muscle, a condition which can be corrected by combining a perineoplasty with an anal tightening procedure.
- Some conditions call for a loosening of the perineal muscles. Dyspareunia is a condition characterized by painful intercourse, often caused by an overly tight vaginal opening, or by vaginismus, wherein the muscles of the perineum contract involuntarily, making sexual intercourse very difficult. Both cases can be corrected with a special kind of perineoplasty in which sections of skin are removed from both the front (anterior triangle) and back (posterior triangle) of the vaginal opening, allowing for the loosening of the vaginal muscles.
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What is perineoplasty?
Perineoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims to correct damage to the area between the vagina and anus, known as the perineum.
What different types of perineoplasty are there?
What is the difference between vaginoplasty and perineoplasty?
What types of conditions benefit from perineoplasty?
Dyspareunia is a condition characterised by painful intercourse caused by an overly tight vaginal opening, or by vaginismus, which is the involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles. In these cases, loosening of the perineal muscles is required.
What happens during the perineoplasty procedure?
How long does perineoplasty take?
What other procedures can be performed with perineoplasty?
What kind of anaesthetic is used during the perineoplasty procedure?
How long is the recovery time following perineoplasty?
What are the risks associated with perineoplasty?
What is the cost of perineoplasty?
Is perineoplasty covered by my insurance?
Perineoplasty is considered a cosmetic, and therefore elective procedure, and is usually not covered by insurance.