Surgical procedures to tighten vaginal tissues, improve sex life and self-esteem are in high demand by women in Colombia. Though vaginal rejuvenation is not yet a big craze in the Caribbean, in Colombia, labiaplasty and vaginoplasty are the surgeries most sought-after by women between the ages 30 and 50. The traditional kegel exercises-which strengthen the wall of the pelvic foor in order to increase sexual gratification, among other things-have taken a back seat to vaginal rejuvenation, a surgical procedure than can restore or improve the vagina's cosmetic appearance or function. The man who is making it all happen is Dr Juan Dario Alvair, a leading plastic surgeon at Foscal in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Alvair was one of the specialised doctors who the Sunday Guardian spoke to during a health press trip to Foscal, organised by Proexport of Colombia between July 2 and 7. Labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, Alvair said, can be performed to enhance the woman and her partner's sex life. Foscal offers a long list of cosmetic and aesthetic surgeries.
Alvair said while hospitals in the United States have been offering this service, women from Canada, Central America, Spain, Cuba and Venezuela have been flocking to their hospital to have the surgical procedures done because of its reasonable fees, which range from US$1,500 to $5,000, depending on what the client wants. The fee for vaginal rejuvenation at a centre in Manhattan, USA, Alvair said, was listed at US$9,900. Labiaplasty is a cosmetic genital surgical procedure that will reduce the size or change the shape of the small lips on the outside of the vagina (the labia minora).
While some women are born with large or irregular labia, Alvair said others develop this condition after childbirth or with ageing. "The appearance of the enlarged labia can cause embarrassment with a sexual partner or loss of self esteem. It can greatly enhance the cosmetic appearance of the outer vagina giving women greater confidence. It makes women feel younger and sexier," Alvair noted.
Alvair explained that while childbirth can be seen as the most rewarding lifetime experience, the lasting effects for both the mother and her spouse or partner is not as gratifying. "The physical endurance on the body can be uncomfortable and humiliating." Alvair said the surgery tones the muscles in the vaginal region, ensuing superior contraction and function, and causing greater responsiveness during sex.
Men thank doctors for boosting their sex lives
Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure that tightens the vagina and surrounding tissues, yielding a vaginal tightness before the patient gave birth. This is done by removing excess vaginal lining and tightening the surrounding soft tissues and muscles. "During delivery of a baby, the vagina and surrounding tissues and muscles become stretched. After delivery, the vagina may return to a more normal size, but it often fails to return to its pre-pregnancy diameter. Generally, the more vaginal deliveries, the worse the condition gets," Alvair pointed out. Alvair said as a result of this, women tend to complain of decreased sensation and sexual satisfaction during intercourse. "Commonly, this is due to a lack of friction," he explained. If the vaginal muscle is overextended, Alvair said, the woman may require more than one surgery. "As much as five are needed." With hundreds of genital surgeries and rejuvenations performed on Colombian women by Foscal, Alvair said husbands, lovers and partners have been returning to the hospital to thank its doctors for boosting their sex life and improving their lovers' self-esteem and confidence. "Actually, the men are the ones who push the women to get the surgery done. It is really amazing."
The surgery, Alvair said, takes just a few hours. "Depending on the type of surgery, the woman can go home in under two days or a few hours." The patient is advised to refrain from sex for four weeks.
Esther Primus, manager of Living Lovelly, a weight-management, body-sculpting and aesthetic centre in Curepe, said she held a consultation with a US hospital a few months ago and was told that each surgery would cost US$15,000. This figure excludes room, medication, nursing care, meals and airfare. "That was then...With the demand growing for the procedures, I am sure the prices have increased," Primus said. Primus said while she knows that Trinidadian women have been quietly going to Venezuela, USA and Cuba for vaginal rejuvenation, one medical centre in the country offers it at a cost of $50,000, which she felt was too expensive.