Gynaecology

Vaginal Tightening (Vaginoplasty)

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

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What is Vaginal Tightening (Vaginoplasty)?

Vaginal Tightening, or vaginoplasty, is a reconstructive operation and rebuilds the pelvic floor in cases where women have experienced severe stretching of the vaginal tissue and muscles, as well as the perineal body at the entrance of the vagina, 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 its appearance of its pre-pregnancy state. The levator group of muscles, situated on either side of your pelvis, are often stretched when your baby’s head ‘crowns’ at the base of the vagina. Some women have a condition called benign hypermobility syndrome, which can result in the vaginal tissues becoming severely overstretched. Typical complaints include a lack of satisfaction with the appearance of the vagina and in some cases, decreased sensitivity in the area.

Vaginal tightening surgery can be combined with labial surgery and can be performed as a day case surgery.

Although many women are too embarrassed to raise the issue with a surgeon, the good news is that an effective, straightforward solution exists to correct this condition and can be treated discreetly.

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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 this treatment?

Vaginoplasty is an invasive medical procedure designed to tighten the muscles in the vagina.

Pregnancy, vaginal childbirth and the ageing process can all have an impact on a woman’s tone, strength and control in this delicate area.

Vaginal tightening can help to enhance sensitivity and heighten sexual experience and improve or completely eliminate stress incontinence. The procedure also repairs any defects or trauma caused by childbirth.

For these reasons, vaginoplasty is particularly popular among women who have given birth. The ultimate goal of the procedure is to restore the vagina to its pre-childbirth state.

Vaginal tightening surgery can also help women who are experiencing minor urinary incontinence caused by the ageing process.

But the procedure is also carried out to help women who require vaginal reconstruction following treatment for cancer and other conditions. This may include radiotherapy or excision of the vagina. Vaginoplasty also helps to correct abnormalities which have been present from birth which have affected the development of the vagina.

Vaginal tightening can also be carried out as part of a vaginal rejuvenation treatment to make further improvements to the appearance and function of this area of the body. This procedure may also include perineal surgery (correcting the area between the vagina and the rectum), labiaplasty (reshaping and reducing the protrusion of the labia) or a simple perineum and pelvic floor tightening. Vaginoplasty is also a popular component of our Mummy Makeover, a combination of treatments for the genitals, body and breasts which aims to give a woman her pre-baby body back.

Who is suitable?

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the vaginal tightening procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Bothered by the function of their vagina, perhaps following childbirth or due to the onset of age
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery

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

  • A loss of sexual function or sensation
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Injury or trauma caused by childbirth
  • A congenital condition affecting the development of the vagina
  • After effects of treatment for cancer or another condition

If you are planning another pregnancy, particularly with a vaginal birth, you may wish to consider waiting until you have completed your family. A vaginoplasty will not make your body immune from the changes brought about by pregnancy and childbirth. If you go on to have another pregnancy after your surgery, this may affect the result and you may need to repeat the surgery at a later date.

Words from our clients:


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 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 vaginoplasty 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 vaginoplasty 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 vaginoplasty. 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 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 vaginoplasty 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.

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will join together the stretched muscle at the back of the vagina, therefore shortening it, before removing any excess vaginal lining and tightening the surrounding soft tissues. Dissolvable stitches are used in our vaginal tightening surgery, meaning you will not have to return to the clinic to have any sutures removed.

A vaginoplasty typically takes around one to two hours from start to finish and is performed as a day case.

Following your vaginal tightening 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.

As this surgery involves a very delicate area of the body, you will likely experience some swelling, soreness and bruising after your vaginoplasty. This normally subsides in a week or two. You should be able to walk around comfortably within a couple of days of your vaginal tightening surgery. You can return to driving after a week.

We recommend taking two weeks off work to recuperate following a vaginoplasty. It is recommended that you sleep on your back for four weeks after your vaginal tightening surgery. Exercise, including going to the gym, can resume between two and four weeks after surgery. It is important that you refrain from sexual activity (vaginal penetration) until between four and six weeks after surgery. A vaginoplasty should be completely healed by six weeks. At this point you will have one final check up with your consultant.

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

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 £6000, 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.


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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.


Gynaecology

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