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Gynaecology

Vaginal Tightening (Vaginoplasty)

at Cadogan Clinic, London’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Specialists. 

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Medically Reviewed 19 February 2024, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons

What is Vaginal Tightening (Vaginoplasty)?

Vaginoplasty, also known as Vaginal Tightening surgery, is a reconstructive procedure which reconstructs the pelvic floor instances where women have experienced severe stretching of the vaginal tissue and muscles, strengthening the muscles and reducing vaginal laxity.

Vaginal stretching can occur as a result of the natural process of ageing, or after childbirth where the vagina does not recover fully to its pre-pregnancy size and feel. It is normal for the levator group of muscles, which are found on either side of your pelvis, to be stretched when your baby’s head ‘crowns’ at the base of the vagina. Additionally, some women have a condition known as benign hypermobility syndrome, which can result in the vaginal tissues becoming severely manipulated over time. Typical concerns are feeling self-conscious about the appearance of the vagina and decreased sensitivity in the area which may reduce sexual pleasure.

We understand that this is a very personal procedure, and our London vagionlpasty surgeons are extremely respectful and sensitive to all of our patients' concerns. 

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Vaginal Tightening (Vaginoplasty) At a glance

Surgery Time

1 - 2 hours

Time off work

2 weeks

Hospital Stay

Day Case

Shower

After 1 day (Specific guidelines will be outlined)

Reasonable Mobility

1 day

Exercise

2 - 4 weeks

Sexual Activity

Vaginal penetration after 4 - 6 weeks

Sleeping on back

4 weeks

Full Recovery

6 weeks

Driving

1 week


Why do people have vaginal tightening surgery?

Pregnancy, vaginal childbirth and the ageing process can all have an impact on the vagina’s tone, strength and control. This can lead to reduced sensitivity and lack of sexual pleasure, as well as concerns such as irritation and discomfort in the area or incontinence.

Vaginal tightening can help to enhance sensitivity, restore sexual pleasure and improve or resolve stress incontinence. The procedure also repairs any trauma caused by childbirth. Understandably, vaginoplasty is especially popular among women who have given birth. The ultimate goal of the procedure is to restore the vagina to its pre-childbirth state.

London vaginal tightening surgery can also help women who are experiencing minor urinary incontinence caused by the ageing process or to help women who require vaginal reconstruction following treatment for cancer and other conditions. Vaginoplasty may also correct abnormalities which have been present from birth which have affected the development of the vagina.

Vaginoplasty can also be combined with other procedures in order to enhance the final results. This may include perineal surgery (correcting the area between the vagina and the rectum) or labiaplasty (reshaping and reducing the protrusion of the labia). Vaginoplasty is also a popular component of our Mummy Makeover, a combination of treatments for the genitals, body and breasts which aims to restore a woman’s comfort and appearance post-childbirth.

Who is suitable?

At Cadogan Clinic, our consultant gynaecologist surgeons will assess whether you are suitable for vaginoplasty in a bespoke one to one consultation. 

They will perform an examination of your vagina, and discuss your medical history including how many children you have had. They will discuss your expectations of surgery and ensure you understand the results that are possible for you. They will also assess your general physical and mental health to make sure you are suitable for a general anaesthetic procedure, this may include your weight, and any medical and mental conditions you have. You must be over 18 to have this procedure.

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The cost of a Vaginoplasty

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Included in this treatment

Up to two 60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea

Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence

24/7 on call nurse assistance

Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan

A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery

Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses


Vaginoplasty London Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.


What to expect

When you choose to have Vaginoplasty at Cadogan Clinic, what can you expect from your journey and what can you do to get the most from the experience.

You will meet with our consultant gynaecologist for up to two 60-minute consultations at our clinic in Chelsea to discuss Vaginoplasty surgery and the results you are looking for. To allow your consultations to be as comprehensive as possible, we recommend you write down any questions you have before you arrive, so you know exactly what you want to speak to your surgeon about.

Your surgeon will also assess your general health and wellness to be sure you are fit for surgery and will perform an ultrasound scan to examine your vagina.

Your surgeon will write your surgical plan, containing their suggestions for treatment and the details of any procedures they think would assist with your concerns. Your patient advisor will discuss these details with you so you can choose the right surgery or treatment for you and will also explain the price and give you some options for dates for your surgery to take place.

You will be asked to follow these steps to prepare you for your vaginal tightening London surgery:

  • You will be sent two questionnaires to complete - medical and psychological. When you return these, they will be reviewed by your surgeon, anaesthetist, and the nurses so they can sign you off, ready for surgery.
  • For 6 weeks before your procedure, you should not smoke or vape. Smoking and vaping can significantly extend your recovery period, affect wound healing, and can cause serious complications such as necrosis.
  • In the weeks running up to your surgery, you should cut down on the amount of alcohol you are drinking. In the 48 hours before your procedure, you should not drink any alcohol.
  • In the final 7 days before your surgery, stop taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin, along with herbal supplements as these may heighten your risk of excessive bleeding during your surgery.
  • As part of your preparation, ask a friend or family member to come and collect you. They must be able to accompany you in a private car or drive you themselves and stay with you overnight.
  • For any general anaesthetic and sedation procedures, you will be asked to fast for 6 hours before you arrive at the clinic. In that 6-hour period, you cannot consume any solid food, juice, or milk (including in hot drinks). You can have sips of clear liquids (water, black coffee, and black tea) up to 2 hours before you arrive at the clinic, and nothing in the final 2 hours.

On the day of your procedure, you will be asked to arrive an hour before your surgery is scheduled to start. The nurses will carry out some final pre-operative checks to make sure you are ready to go ahead. Your anaesthetist and surgeon will then answer any final questions you have before you are taken into the theatre.

Once you are comfortable on the bed where your procedure will take place, your anaesthetist will administer your anaesthetic and you will fall asleep. TIVA (Total Intravenous Anaesthesia) is used in all procedures, carried out at Cadogan Clinic. This anaesthetic minimises post-operative nausea and has more favourable recovery times.

While you are asleep, your surgeon will undertake your Vaginoplasty. The first part of your recovery will take place in our recovery ward, where you will wake up from the anaesthetic and your vital health signs will be monitored. You will then be taken into the ambulatory ward where your pre-ordered food will be ready for you. A nurse will talk you through what you can expect during your first few days of recovery and explain any medication you need to take to assist with healing. The nurses will then contact your chaperone and you will be discharged.

It is very normal to experience swelling and bruising after your Vaginoplasty and this should resolve within 1-2 weeks. You should be mobile after 1-2 days and able to bathe normally after 3 days. Your surgeon will ask you to avoid exercise, strenuous activity, and sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks post-surgery. This is to prevent infection and put any strain on the area which may cause damage to your incisions.

The day after your procedure you will have an appointment with our nurses to remove your catheter and any packing that has been used during your surgery. The following week they will see you again to make sure you are healing well. They will provide any advice you need on removing or changing your dressings and will be able to answer any questions you may have about your recovery.

Six weeks after your procedure you will have an appointment with your surgeon where they will discuss your results and your recovery. After this point, you will still be able to contact our nurses or your patient advisor with any questions or concerns you may have.

The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us

We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journey

The Patient Journey

Frequently Asked Questions

Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure which tightens the vaginal muscles, perineum and surrounding tissue providing more tone, strength and control to your vaginal muscles, enhancing your sensitivity and sexual experience.  Typically during childbirth the muscles of the vagina loosen and stretch during natural delivery but the issue arises when these muscles stay weak and loose afterwards which can cause stress incontinence and sexual dysfunction.  Vaginoplasty can be performed on its own but also as part of a total vaginal rejuvenation treatment plan.

Vagina tightening surgery effectively turns back the clock and restores the vagina to its pre-childbirth state. Vaginoplasty gives more tone, strength and control to the vaginal muscles, often lost through the childbirth and the ageing process. Vaginal tightening surgery often enhances sensitivity and sexual experience for both you and your partner. However it is worth remembering that since desire, arousal, and orgasm are complex, highly personal responses, these are conditioned as much by emotional and interpersonal factors as by aesthetic ones. Although vaginoplasty helps to improve sexual function of the vagina, heightened sexual feeling is not guaranteed.

Minor urinary incontinence, or stress incontinence, is also another unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, childbirth and the ageing process. This can cause embarrassment and have a negative impact on self-esteem. Urinary incontinence may have even affected your social life or romantic relationships. Vaginoplasty will help to improve or eliminate this minor urinary incontinence, improving your self-confidence and overall mental wellbeing.

If you are having a vaginoplasty to repair damage caused by medical treatment or to correct a congenital abnormality, vaginal tightening surgery will also help improve your mental health.

Many women who undergo vagina tightening surgery say the treatment has transformed their lives, improving their sex lives, social lives, romantic relationships, self-esteem and confidence in their body. After such major life changes, vaginoplasty can help to bring a little bit of the old you back.

It is incredibly common for a woman to have concerns about this area as often women may find that their vaginal muscles lose tone as part of the ageing process, or after childbirth for example - this can cause much embarrassment, discomfort, the loss of sensitivity or friction experienced during sexual intercourse can also affect sexual satisfaction and cause frustration for both yourself and your partner.

Once put to sleep usually under a general anaesthetic (In some cases a local anaesthetic and sedation can be used if appropriate) your surgeon will begin your surgery.  A vaginoplasty operation typically takes about 1 - 2 hours, and is treated as a day case, meaning that you are discharged to go home a few hours after your surgery is completed.

The surgery is designed to tighten the vagina and is done by joining together the stretched muscle at the back of the vagina and therefore shortening it, using dissolvable stitches, and then removing excess vaginal lining and tightening the surrounding soft tissues.  The resulting decrease in the size of the vaginal cavity creates more friction during sexual intercourse, often described as giving a woman back the vagina she had before children.  When the muscles and ligaments in the vagina are tightened, they can then support the other internal structures including the bladder, bowel and womb (uterus).

Just like any other surgical procedure, there are several things you should do to prepare for your vagina tightening procedure.

You should avoid consuming alcohol and smoking for 48 hours prior to your vaginoplasty. This is because both of these can delay the healing process. Ideally you should quit smoking six weeks before your vaginal tightening and abstain from it for the duration of the recovery period.

Aspirin, anti-inflammatories and certain herbal supplements should be avoided in the week ahead of your surgery as these can increase bleeding. Your surgeon will discuss this with you at length and guide you  as to when would be suggested to resume taking these.

As this procedure is carried out under anaesthetic, you will need to make sure a friend or family member is available to drive you home from the clinic following your vaginoplasty. You may also want to enlist their help during the recovery period.

It is not uncommon to experience altered sensation following vaginoplasty treatment. This may either manifest in increased sensitivity or discomfort, or the loss of any feeling at all (numbness) in the area. These changes in sensation usually occur for a few weeks following surgery. However if they persist you should inform your consultant - in some rare cases, these changes in sensation may be permanent. However we would like to stress that this is rare and  there are no specific risks to be concerned about.

Any type of operation also carries a risk of excessive bleeding, developing a blood clot in a vein, 

infection or an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. However the risk of any of these happening during your vaginoplasty is small.

Our expert surgeon will discuss all the risks with you and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have before you undergo your vaginal tightening surgery.

Generally there will be swelling, soreness and some bruising after surgery which should subside in a week or two.  After a couple of days you should be able to walk around comfortably.  Your final result may be a couple of months following surgery, but you are usually able to resume sexual activity within 4-6 weeks.

Most of our patients opt to undergo this procedure under general anaesthetic so you will feel no pain.  After your surgery, any pain or discomfort you may experience will be controlled effectively with medication provided by your surgeon and will usually subside within a few days.

You may experience some mild discomfort and swelling but this will usually disappear completely in one or two weeks.  Any stitches will dissolve so there is no need for their removal although you will attend a 1 week post operative wound care appointment with a specialist nurse.  Many of our patients return to work after one week but you will be advised that you may require two weeks.  You must refrain from exercise and sexual intercourse until fully healed (around 6 weeks).

Vaginoplasty starts from £4700, however this will depend on your particular case. This can only be determined during a consultation with your surgeon, and following that an accurate price can be quoted.

As vaginal tightening surgery targets a particularly delicate area, then obviously sexual activity is something that you must avoid afterwards. You should abstain from vaginal penetration, which includes the use of sex toys, for four to six weeks. If you take part in this sexual activity before then, you risk hurting yourself and compromising the result of the surgery.

We advise taking it slowly and if you find you are experiencing discomfort during the four to six week period, then you can always wait a bit before trying again. If you are still experiencing discomfort after this six week period in up, please speak to your surgeon.

As with any surgery, it is important that you follow all the aftercare advice issued by your surgeon as the healing process cannot be rushed.

A non-surgical vaginal tightening treatmentmay provide short-term or temporary solutions to your concerns, but they will need to be performed multiple times and as a course of treatments. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that these kinds of non-surgical vaginal tightening treatments or home exercises can procure the long-lasting results you are seeking, especially if you are considering this after childbirth or for other biological concerns. Surgical vaginal tightening is, as of the present time, the only long-lasting solution that will not need further 'top-up' appointments available.


Words from Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

I've witnessed the transformative impact of vaginal tightening for women who have been through childbirth or whose vagina has been affected by ageing. Common concerns such as laxity, decreased sensation and urinary incontinence are quickly addressed to improve overall quality of life.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

A state of the art, award winning clinic.

Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.

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All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.

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We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.

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The risks of a vaginoplasty

There are a few risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure, and it is important to discuss these with your surgeon, to understand how they may affect your Vaginoplasty.

  • Hematoma - This is the build-up of blood beneath the skin and will require treatment from your surgeon.
  • Seroma - This is the formation of a lump under the skin caused by buildup of fluid around the incision sites. This will require treatment from your surgeon.
  • Poor wound healing - Infection can affect the surgical site and may need further intervention.
  • Altered sensation around your vagina - This is usually temporary but in rare instances may affect the patient for a longer period.
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Allergic reaction to general anaesthetic
  • Infection at the surgical site
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a vein)

 

If an unforeseen complication arises, your surgeon may suggest a secondary surgery. Revision surgery can arise due to factors beyond the surgeon’s control and should not be seen as a reflection on your surgeon’s competence. As leading vaginoplasty UK surgeons based in Chelsea, London, we are proud of our team of qualified consultant surgeons who frequently perform intimate and cosmetic gynaecology surgeries.


Gynaecology

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