The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is performed for historically engrained cultural beliefs with no recognized health benefits. FGM continues to be practiced secondary to motivating factors based on cultural beliefs, the majority of which aim to maintain the “purity” of the female victim. The World Health Organization has classified FGM into 4 types ranging from partial clitoral resection to complete clitoral excision along with the majority of the vulva. The list of short and long-term complications is extensive and morbid, including injury to the patient’s sexuality and feminine identity. Reconstructive surgery can be an important addition to psychotherapy for these women with the goal of correcting the appearance of the vulva to achieve a more normal appearance, and to restore clitoral function. We suggest that this represents an opportunity for plastic surgeons to use our wealth of reconstructive knowledge to provide restoration of form and function to FGM victims.
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From the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
Published online 7 November 2018.
Received for publication June 25, 2018; accepted July 27, 2018.
Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. The Article Processing Charge was paid for by the authors.
Ivona Percec, MD, PhD, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman Center South 14th Fl., 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org