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

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Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons

What is a Hoodectomy?

A hoodectomy, also known as a clitoral hood reduction, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the clitoral hood.

The clitoral hood, or prepuce to give it its correct name, is a protective sheath that covers the clitoris. During sexual activity, the hood retracts, exposing the sensitive clitoris for stimulation.

However, sometimes there is excess tissue in the clitoral hood, meaning it cannot retract fully, preventing stimulation of the clitoris and thus limiting sexual enjoyment.

A hoodectomy is an operation that involves cutting away the excess tissue on both sides of the clitoris in order to shorten the clitoral hood. Sometimes this removal of excess tissue is carried out as part of a labiaplasty (labial reduction), but a hoodectomy can also be carried out as a stand alone procedure.

Clitoral hood surgery is a quick and straightforward operation which takes less than one hour to perform. The clitoris and nerve endings are not affected by a hoodectomy. However by removing the excessive tissue, this means more of the clitoris is exposed during sexual activity. This results in increased stimulation and heightened sexual pleasure.

Although exposing more of the clitoris for stimulation can increase sexual pleasure, clitoral hood reduction cannot guarentee orgasm. Desire, arousal, and orgasm are complex, highly personal responses, which are conditioned as much by emotional and interpersonal factors as by aesthetic ones.

It is important to reiterate that this surgery does not involve altering the size or shape of the clitoris itself. Neither will the clitoris be removed during this surgery.

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At a glance

Surgery Time

1 hours

Time off work

1 week

Hospital Stay

Day Case


After 1 day

Reasonable Mobility

After 1 day


4 - 6 weeks

Sexual Activity

After 6 weeks

Sleeping on back

2 weeks

Full Recovery

6 weeks


1 - 2 weeks

Why do people have it?

For some people, clitoral hood reduction is all about improving the aesthetics of the area. A drooping clitoral hood, which may have been caused by giving birth or a natural side effect of the ageing process, may feel unsightly to some. This can impact a woman’s mental health, causing depression and anxiety. You may feel self-conscious about the appearance of your clitoral hood and this may in turn have a negative impact on your intimate relationships.

An oversized clitoral hood that doesn’t retract fully during arousal means that the clitoris may not be getting an adequate amount of stimulation in order to achieve orgasm.

Clitoral hoodectomy can restore the pleasing aesthetic of the clitoris and improve sexual sensitivity. Women may also opt for a hoodectomy if they frequently experience irritation caused by clothing rubbing against the excess tissue of an oversized clitoral hood.

Who is suitable?

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for clitoral hoodectomy, if all of the following are true of them:

  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Bothered by the appearance or function of their clitoral hood
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery

You may also be experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Decreased sexual satisfaction as result of excess tissue
  • Irritation caused by a large clitoral hood rubbing against clothing
  • Irritation to the clitoral hood while exercising
  • A drooping clitoral hood caused by childbirth or ageing

People who have an oversized clitoral hood may also find that the condition causes them considerable mental distress, which may trigger anxiety and depression. If a person is self-conscious about the appearance of their clitoral hood, a hoodectomy will help to improve body confidence.

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How does a Hoodectomy work?

A hoodectomy works by carefully cutting away the excess tissue of the clitoral hood which is draped over the clitoris. The procedure is sometimes carried out as part of a labiaplasty (labia reduction). There are different hoodectomy techniques that we use here at the Cadogan Clinic.

As the name suggests, this method of clitoral hoodectomy sees the excess tissue cut away from either side of the clitoris. During this procedure, the surgeon will take great care to avoid the nerve endings in this most delicate of areas in order to maintain the sensitivity of the clitoris.

In this method, the surgeon will make incisions running parallel to the clitoris before cutting away the redundant folds of the clitoral hood. Once again this procedure will be carried out with great care so as not to damage the nerve endings in the area.

Your surgeon will go through each of these methods at your initial consultation in order to decide which one is best for you.

Hoodectomy 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

Below you will find some key information to help you prepare for surgery and make necessary arrangements to ensure you have the support you need and that everything runs smoothly on the day.

Your journey with the Cadogan Clinic will start with up to two consultations with one of our leading specialist plastic surgeons at our award-winning premises in Chelsea. These consultations will take between 30 and 60 minutes.

During your consultation, your surgeon will ask about your expectations for your clitoral hood reduction and talk about what will happen during the procedure. They will also explain how the procedure will affect you and the recovery period.

It is important that you are open and honest about what you hope to achieve through surgery to help ensure the best possible result. Your surgeon will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this point. It may be a good idea to write your questions down before attending the consultation. Having established what you want from the surgery, and what is possible given your anatomy, several key measurements will be made and standard clinical photography will be taken. Your medical history will be discussed and a physical examination will be carried out.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed with your hoodectomy or not following a two week 'cooling off' period.

If you decide to go ahead with surgery, the next time you will return to the clinic is on the day of your hoodectomy. It is important that you prepare by taking the following measures ahead of surgery.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking six weeks before surgery and during the recovery period. You should avoid smoking for at least 48 hours before your surgery.
  • Avoid taking certain medications. You should avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements in the week ahead of your surgery. Taking these can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Avoid alcohol. You should not drink any alcohol for 48 hours ahead of your surgery. This is because alcohol can hamper the healing process.
  • Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for a friend or family member to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.

In the six hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid which will be allowed up to two hours before you are admitted to the clinic. Clear fluids include still water, black coffee and black tea.

Your hoodectomy will take place at our award-winning clinic in Chelsea. You will be given a general anaesthetic to put you to sleep for the operation. In some cases the surgeon may use a local anaesthetic and sedation if appropriate.

The surgeon will then cut away the excess tissue, taking great care not to damage any nerve endings. The procedure takes around an hour to perform. A hoodectomy may also be carried out as part of a labiaplasty, a surgical procedure to trim excess skin and reshape the labia minora. This will take one to two hours to complete.

After the surgery is complete, the incisions will be closed using dissolvable sutures. This means you will not need to return to the clinic to have any stitches removed.

Following your clitoral hood surgery, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms. You may feel a little drowsy but this often wears off within a few hours.  Once you are able to eat and drink, and our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete, you will be allowed to leave the clinic with a friend or family member.

Compared to other gynaecological surgeries, a clitoral hoodectomy has a quick recovery time.

You will experience some swelling and discomfort in the immediate aftermath of your hoodectomy. Any discomfort can be controlled using over-the-counter painkillers. Despite this swelling, you will notice a difference in the appearance of your clitoral hood immediately. The appearance will continue to improve as your recovery progresses and the swelling reduces.

You should be able to return to work in three to five days following your clitoral hood surgery and exercise and sexual activity can be resumed within four to six weeks, post-surgery.

You will notice that sitting for long periods of time may be painful in the days and weeks following your clitoral hood reduction. You should refrain from driving for one week.

It takes around five to six weeks to make a full recovery from a clitoral hoodectomy.

Our on-call nursing service is open 24/7 during your recovery period to help with any questions or queries that you may have.

It is important that you follow all the aftercare instructions issued by your doctor. Failure to do so may impact on your recovery and the final result.

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

Yes, clitoral hood reduction can be included in a labiaplasty procedure.

Labiaplasty is surgery to reshape or reduce the size of the labia minora, the small lips of skin on either side of the vaginal opening. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or laser before the loose edges are stitched back together with fine, dissolvable stitches. It is common for a hoodectomy to be performed at the same time.

If you choose to undergo labiaplasty with your hoodectomy, you may experience more swelling in the area and will need to take more time off work after the operation. Your surgeon will discuss the options with you at your initial consultation.

It takes around six weeks to make a full recovery from a hoodectomy if you follow all the after care advice issued by your surgeon.

In order to help the healing process along, you should avoid having baths during the recovery period and make sure you pat yourself dry, rather than wiping, after going to the toilet. Wear loose-fitting clothes in order to avoid irritating the area. When lying down, put some pillows under your bottom in order to elevate your pelvis.

To help the swelling go down, apply a cold pack over your underwear for 20 minutes. Remove it for 20 minutes and then repeat the process.

Just like any other surgical procedure, a clitoral hoodectomy comes with risks attached.

Risks include infection, wound separation or asymmetry. But rest assured that these are all rare.

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 treatment is small. Speak to your surgeon if you have any concerns about the risks or side effects attached to the procedure.

There is a risk of scarring following clitoral reduction surgery, particularly if performed in conjunction with a labiaplasty. However any scars will be minimal and will not be noticeable to others. Scars will be more prominent after surgery and will fade over time. We also recommend meeting one of our aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing process if required.

You should refrain from any sexual activity for four to six weeks after your clitoral hood surgery. You should only return to sexual activity when you feel ready to do so. If you find that sexual activity causes pain or discomfort, stop and try again after more time has passed.

You should also avoid using tampons for four to six weeks after a hoodectomy. Speak to your surgeon about alternative methods of sanitary protection during the healing process.

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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Best in Class Facilities

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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What are the risks?

Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.


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My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
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My Face My Body


Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


Aesthetics Awards


Laurel Wreath for Awards

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