Dr. Hailparn discusses laser vagainal rejuvenation and hymenoplasty with Dr. Drew on the "Strictly Sex" show.
"Every woman who has had a child vaginally has changes in sexual feelings," says Dr. Troy Robbin Hailparn, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with specialized training in cosmetic gynecological surgery. "Some are greater than others."
Hymenoplasty is a surgery to replace a woman's hymen, the thin membrane inside the vagina that women are born with and that breaks during first intercourse.
Women who opt for the surgery typically do so either for religious or cultural reasons or because they lost their hymens due to sexual abuse or rape, says Hailparn. Still others want to provide their partner with a virgin experience, she says.
Recreating the hymen takes between 30 minutes and an hour. Hailparn uses a laser to help create raw edges and then reattaches the tissue. The cost: $5,500 to $6,500.
After childbirth, women can experience loss of sensation, stress urinary incontinence and other changes that decrease sexual satisfaction or cause discomfort. "The more women you speak to about these things, the more women will say they have these problems," says San Antonio, Texas-based Hailparn.
Fortunately, says Hailparn, there is help available and it's now offered as a laser technique that reduces trauma and bleeding and speeds recovery. The surgery, called laser vaginal rejuvenation, involves two procedures: one to tighten the vagina itself and another to tighten the vaginal opening. Some women require just one procedure, while others require both.
Many of Hailparn's patients seek relief for stress urinary incontinence (sui) — leaking urine — following childbirth, but laser vaginal rejuvenation can also help enhance sexual feelings with intercourse, says Hailparn. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure with general anesthesia and takes one to two hours. Recovery takes less time than with traditional vaginal rejuvenation surgery, but women can still expect to wait 6 to 8 weeks before resuming sexual activity.
As with any surgery, there are risks, but Hailparn says the chance of problems is low — typically lower than the risk associated with pregnancy. In less than 1 percent of cases patients experience hemorrhage or infection and there is a small chance of injury to the bladder or rectum, although Hailparn says such complications are rare. In addition, there's the possibility of scarring or encountering complications from anesthesia.
Since it's considered a cosmetic procedure, health insurance won't cover vaginal rejuvenation, and patients can pay anywhere from $6,000 to $12,500, depending on which procedures they're having done. But Hailparn says the results are "extremely dramatic for some women.
Sex and relationship expert Dr. Drew Pinsky, who doesn't perform such surgeries but has witnessed them, agrees. "I've actually scrubbed in on some of these procedures and while I was skeptical, I'm now persuaded that this is a rather elegant intervention," he says, adding that Kegel exercises are usually the first step in strengthening vaginal muscles. "All too often women's complaints are dismissed, since some distortion of the pelvic anatomy with childbearing is, in fact, normal," says Dr. Drew. "Women are often told that they have to live with this," rather than being offered surgical options, "for which many women are very enthusiastic to proceed."
Even women with stress incontinence frequently aren't made aware of the fact that they may be helped by surgery, says Hailparn. "The No. 1 question when they come to my office is, 'Why didn't my doctor tell me about this?' I even had a patient come to me and say she asked her doctor about stress incontinence and he said, 'Oh, it's just a little leaking,'" says Hailparn. "It's hard to understand the problem if you don't have it."
Dr. Hailparn is a Board-Certified OB-GYN with advanced training in cosmetic-plastic gynecology procedures. She has performed over 3,500 vaginal rejuvenation, labiaplasty and other cosmetic gynecology procedures since 2003. To contact the Cosmetic Gynecology Center of San Antonio, call 210-615-6646 or use our contact form. We're happy to answer your questions or help you book a consultation with Dr. Hailparn.
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