What is Hymen Reconstruction Surgery?
Hymen reconstruction surgery, popularly known as Hymenoplasty, is a minor procedure that restores the female hymen. This medical procedure involves repairing or reconstructing the torn tissue of a broken hymen in order to restore its appearance and functionality.
How Does It Work?
The vaginal membrane called the hymen is a thin skin that partially covers the opening of the vagina. During sexual intercourse, friction and pressure in the vaginal area cause this skin to tear and bleed. However, in some cases where the membrane partially tears, it doesn't bleed much and may go unnoticed by a woman or her partner. The hymen has no role in facilitating childbirth so if it's completely torn, it won't prevent a woman from giving birth. The hymen is located at the opening of the vagina and it doesn't extend to other areas in or around the vaginal canal.
Who is Hymen Reconstruction Surgery for?
Hymen reconstruction surgery is only recommended for women who have an imperforate hymen or a septate hymen. This procedure can also be done on women who are victims of sexual assault to repair their torn hymens and restore their virginity.
Who Can Do The Procedure?
The procedure can be done by a licensed plastic surgeon, gynecologist or obstetrician. It should only be done by an experienced medical practitioner with a good track record. The surgeon should also be able to provide the appropriate postoperative care that's required to ensure optimal results.
There are different types of hymen reconstruction surgeries. The procedure can be done in a hospital or an outpatient clinic, under local analgesia/anesthesia depending on the age of the patient and other co-morbidities. This procedure takes around 2 hours to complete. The general anaesthetic is preferred if the girl is under 18 years old.
Here are a few things you should know before you opt-in for hymen reconstruction surgery:
1. In some cases, a small vaginal incision can be made through a Hymeneal Ring to gain access inside the vagina. This is only done using a pendulum and camera which will show images on a monitor screen in front of you. (Not necessarily needed).
2. Some doctors may prefer to work from outside the vagina, to make a circular incision at the vaginal opening.
3. The surgeon will excise the remnants of the hymen that are still present, if any. The raw edge of the vaginal wall is then sewn together with dissolvable or non-dissolvable sutures.
4. Finally your doctor may place a prosthetic membrane to mimic the appearance of an intact hymen.
You should avoid strenuous activity for around one month to allow for maximum recovery. After this time, you should be able to return to normal activities including sports and swimming. Soreness and tenderness may persist for several days after the operation, and some bruising may be apparent. Any excessive bleeding should be reported to your doctor immediately.