Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
Print this page
Email this page
Small font size
Default font size
Increase font size
Home About us Current issue Archives Instructions Submission Subscribe Editorial Board Partners Contact e-Alerts Login 

   Table of Contents     
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155-156
Female genital cosmetic surgery

Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College-Loni, Tehsil - Rahata, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication17-Sep-2011

How to cite this article:
Saini R. Female genital cosmetic surgery. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2011;4:155-6

How to cite this URL:
Saini R. Female genital cosmetic surgery. J Cutan Aesthet Surg [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Oct 1];4:155-6. Available from:


The World Health Organisation's (WHO) definition of female genital mutilation is, all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, whether for cultural, religious, or other non-therapeutic reasons. [1] Women's concerns about their appearance, fuelled by commercial pressure for surgical fixes, now include the genitalia. A lot more women are stated to be troubled by the shape, size, or proportions of their vulvas, hence, elective genitoplasty is apparently a demanding cosmetic procedure. The latest survey by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported that the staggering 31% increase in the uptake of cosmetic surgery in UK women accounted for 92% of this uptake. [2] The increased demand for cosmetic genitoplasty may reflect a narrow social definition of normal, or a confusion of what is normal and what is idealised. The provision of genitoplasty could narrow acceptable ranges further and increase the demand for surgery even more. Research involving women with atypical genitalia has shown that clitoral surgery is associated with the inability to reach an orgasm and has emphasised the role of the vulvar epithelium in sensuality and arousability. [3],[4] Women who seek cosmetic genital surgery fall into two main categories. First, women with congenital conditions such as intersex for which the current standard practice advises feminizing genitoplasty procedures, with the objective of reducing the clitoral size and opening the vaginal introitus. [5],[6] Second, some women with no underlying condition affecting their genital development also seek surgery to alter the appearance of their genitals, for example, labial or clitoral reduction. [7],[8] Patients (women) desired alteration of their vulvas and vaginas for reasons of cosmesis, increasing self-esteem, and improving sexual function. The patients must be assured that their surgeon is properly trained and should understand that few validated long-term safety or outcome data are presently available in this relatively new field. It is important that training guidelines for practitioners be established and that long-term outcome, psychosexual, and safety data be published. The genital plastic surgeon must have sufficient training in sexual medicine, to withhold these procedures from women with sexual dysfunction, mental impairment, or body dysmorphic disorder. [9] It is important for these physicians to be adequately trained in the vulvar and vaginal anatomy and the intended surgical procedure(s), and the patients should understand their surgeons' professional training and background. [5] It is the obligation of the surgeon to inform the patient fully regarding the treatment options and the potential risks and benefits of these options. Once the physician is satisfied that the patient fully comprehends the options, the patient's autonomous decision should ordinarily be respected and supported. [9] It is necessary to examine these procedures through the lens of the established and accepted principles of biomedical ethics: respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and veracity. [10] With striking accessibility of pornography in everyday life, women and their sexual partners are a lot more exposed to idealised, highly discriminating images of the female genital anatomy. Thus, in the future, more women may request genital surgery because a solution involving experts with minimal personal responsibility is more appealing than a personal commitment to problem solving. In the absence of measurable standards of care, lack of evidence-based outcome norms, and little standardisation, either in nomenclature or training requirements, concern has been raised by both ethicists and specialty organisations.

   References Top

1.Conroy RM. Female genital mutilation: Whose problem, whose solution. BMJ 2006;333:106-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Liao L, Creighton S. Request for cosmetic genitoplasty: How should healthcare providers respond. BMJ 2007;334:1090-2.   Back to cited text no. 2
3.Minto CL, Liao LM, Woodhouse CRJ, Ransley PJ, Creighton SM. Adult outcomes of childhood clitoral surgery for ambiguous genitalia. Lancet 2003;361:1252-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Crouch NS, Minto CL, Laio LM, Woodhouse CR, Creighton SM. Genital sensation following feminising genitoplasty for congenital adrenal hyperplasia: A pilot study. Br J Urol Int 2004;93:135-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Goodman MP. Female cosmetic general surgery. Obstet Gynecol 2009;113:154-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Jong TP, Boemers TM. Neonatal management of female intersex by cliterovaginoplasty. J Urol 1995;154:830-2.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Rink RC, Adams MC. Feminizing genitoplasty: State of the art. World J Urol 1998;16:212-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Creighton SM, Crouch NS, Foxwell NA, Cellek S. Functional evidence for nitrergic neurotransmission in a human clitoral corpus cavernosum: A case study. Int J Impot Res 2004;16:319-24.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Choi HY, Kim KT. A new method for aesthetic reduction of labia minora (the deepithelialized reduction labioplasty). Plast Reconstr Surg 2000;105:419-22.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Beauchamp T, Childress JF. Principles of biomedical ethics. 3 rd ed. New York (NY): Oxford University Press; 1989.  Back to cited text no. 10

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Saini
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College-Loni, Tehsil - Rahata, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2077.85049

Rights and Permissions


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded156    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal