It was with great interest that I read Dr. Alter’s article entitled “Aesthetic Labia Minora and Clitoral Hood Reduction Using Extended Central Wedge Technique” (Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008;122:1780–1789). My surprise was the category placement of cosmetic genital surgery in the Reconstructive section of the Journal. Nearly all of the 170 cases I have performed using Dr. Alter’s central wedge technique over the past 5 years were performed for purely cosmetic purposes. The patients simply preferred to have minimal or no labia minora show beyond the labia majora.
I feel that inclusion under the Reconstructive category may confuse readers not familiar with such fringe operations to feel they are necessary for some sort of acquired or congenital deformity. The women I see in my practice interested in labioplasty perceive themselves as abnormal. They are not; they are just dissimilar to the airbrushed ideals available to them on the Internet and in magazines. I feel it is our responsibility as plastic surgeons to educate these patients about normal female anatomy and function but not to deter safe cosmetic genital surgery as many gynecologists do.
Rather, we must learn from experts such as Dr. Alter how to safely and effectively perform these cosmetic procedures that are becoming increasingly popular in our bare-all, Web-based culture. The economic crisis may be upon us all, but I have seen a fourfold increase in labioplasty procedures over the past year. It would behoove us to consider labioplasty as part of cosmetic surgery in the twenty-first century.
Christein Annemarie Hamori, M.D.
Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Spa
95 Tremont Street, Suite 28
Duxbury, Mass. 02332
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