Genitoplasty surgical procedures are surgeries to the female genitals (vulva, vagina, clitoris...). In some cases, genoplasty is performed because of medical indications but mostly because of cosmetic reasons. The most common surgical procedures are labiaplasty (procedure for augmenting or reducing the labia), cliteroplasty, hymenoplasty (reconstruction of hymen) and vaginal plasty (artificial narrowing of vagina). [2] [3] Further operations are liposuction of the mons veneris and the outer labia or the augmentation of the G-spot with the help of collagen, hyaluronan or lipo- injections. [4] Besides, a genitoplasty can be performed in the context of a sex reassignment surgery. [1] [EXTERIOR VIEW] [INTERIOR VIEW] [SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY]

Medical indications
A medical indication is a necessary method used in case of certain diseases, for example, larger labia might cause rubbing in certain sports, such as horseback riding, and thus lead to painful inflammations and swellings. [5] A clitoral hood which is grown together might cause pain in every movement so that a surgical procedure can quickly bring alleviation in everyday life and love life. [6]

Aesthetic surgery
Aesthetic surgery or operations are performed without medical indications, only at the desires of patients who are discontent with the appearance of their body or certain body parts. Due to intimate shaving, the female sex has been "unveiled", both in private and public space. According to the psychologist Ada Borkenhagen, (Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology of the University of Leipzig) this is why the individual differences of female genitals attract more attention. "The ideal established by mass media conforms to the general norm of youthfulness: A genital area which looks like the one of a young girl and resembles the upper side of a bun while the outer labia cover the inner ones and they don't appear bulky in tight tangas or bikini panties". [7] A western "designer vagina" should be as untouched as possible, hairless and preferably have small labia. [3]

There are increasing demands for genitoplasty even if hitherto only 0.08 per cent of surgeries are cosmetic procedures (2009). Based on the British National Health Service, the numbers of genitoplasty surgical procedures doubled from 2004 to 2009. In the US, the amount of operations in the genital area increased to 30 per cent between 2005 and 2006. (Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons) [8]

Side effects and late complications
Studies and scientific observations are still missing in this field. Exact data on short-term and long-term effects are not available. According to the German Society of Gynecology and Midwifery, side effects like swellings, wound healing disorders and inflammations are certain to appear directly after the operation. Long-term effects include scars, chronic inflammations, sensibility disorders and functional interferences. They can cause pain during walking, sitting, sports and intercourse and thus influence sexual life massively, even years after the procedure. [2] [4]

The question of absolute beauty is answered differently in various cultures even if similar aesthetic ideals like youth, symmetry and health are prevalent. However, when it comes to genitals, cultural approaches to perfect looks differ completely: In parts of Africa preferably big and wide inner labia are a symbol for beauty and fertility. In Japan, the labia are ideal when they are in the shape of a butterfly and the pubic hair is bushy. In the western world, the hairless vulva and small labia are currently a worthwhile ideal. [9] [LABIA]

Modern treatment offers the chance to adapt even the most intimate part of the human body to aesthetic feeling. It should still be questioned in what way norms from media and porn culture motivate such procedures. Genitoplasty might relieve women who suffer from their "abnormality" but the physical effects as well as the effects on pleasure and sexual experience are unforeseeable. [2] [3]

Further Links:

The Perfect Vagina, Lisa Rogers and Heather Leach, 2008 (Documentary YouTube)
Vulva 3.0, Claudia Richarz and Ulrike Zimmermann, 2014 (Trailer)
Quick Change, Eduardo W. Roy Jr., 2013 (Trailer)