Reconstructive surgery to restore female genitalia
Africa – the continent that used to host the famous Paris-Dakar rally (which began on January 6 in Peru) – is home to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. In keeping with their ancient cultural practices, and despite laws banning it in most of them, excision is still performed in some African countries. Excision is a procedure that deprives millions of women from their clitoris, and often their inner labia, and may even leave their vaginal opening completely sealed (infibulation).
This form of mutilation always leaves a deep wound, causing both physical and psychological damage. To help them recover from this trauma and restore their hope for a more fulfilling sex life, Dr. Bernard-Jean Paniel worked for years to develop a procedure that would repair the clitoris, called clitoridoplasty. This surgery has been practiced since 2001 and is partly reimbursed by the French social security system.
Clitoridoplasty is a clitoral reconstruction method that recreates the most natural appearance possible of the patient’s functional anatomy. This technique involves rebuilding the clitoris and labia minora using parts of the clitoris remaining under the scar tissue. The residual clitoral tissue is dissected and pulled up to its natural position with or without mucosal flaps. This operation is performed under general anesthesia, typically with an overnight stay.
Genital surgery is a delicate procedure. After their overnight stay at the hospital, patients can take a shower. They must not take baths for at least one month following the operation. The areas operated must be dried carefully. The permanent result can be seen after one or two months depending how fast the patient’s scar heals. As the functional sensitivity of the clitoris is not just physical, recovery varies among women.
Reconstructive genital surgery requires full patient care. Several consultations are needed to assess the patient’s final expectations and her mental state.
For patients interested in clitoridoplasty, a multidisciplinary team is generally formed to provide the appropriate care services, including a psychologist, gynecologist, possibly a physical therapist, and a surgeon specialized genital reconstruction. This comprehensive support will help lead the patient to lasting physical and mental recovery so that she can overcome her past.
image source : pictame