By Dr. Jamil Ahmad, MD., FRCSC., Director of Research and Education, The Plastic Surgery Clinic
Any elective surgery is a potentially sensitive topic, and hymenoplasty is no exception. In fact it might be the most sensitive of all the elective surgeries we perform. This is likely due to the fact that it is a relatively uncommon surgery for western women to choose to undergo, and is therefore deemed less “acceptable” than say breast surgery, for example.
However, the reality is, it is no different from any other elective plastic surgery procedure; it is simply the cultural context that makes it feel different.
As plastic surgeons, our job is to care for our patients with the utmost respect, and discretion, and to provide a natural result in a safe, welcoming environment. We respect a woman’s right to make any kind of choice about her own body, and we will always put her wishes at the forefront of our practice.
How Hymenoplasty is Performed
The hymen is a thin layer at the opening of the vagina. It can be disrupted or “broken” through penetrative sexual intercourse, but also as a result of tampon use, a pap smear or an accident like falling off a bike. Some women choose to undergo a procedure to repair the hymen so that it may be broken again in a ritual fashion (i.e. on the matrimonial night).
The surgery is simple and straightforward, lasting under an hour. If the hymen is torn, the surgeon will stitch together the pieces to form a unified layer. If it is completely gone, or if you were not born with a hymen, the surgeon will construct a hymen out of existing vaginal tissue.
We recommend that the procedure be performed 4-6 months prior to marriage night to maximize the chances that the repair/construction remains intact.
The downtime for this surgery is about one week long. During this time, our patients are required to relax and recover. We discourage engaging in much activity during this time, as we want the hymen to stay intact.
If you’re considering this surgery we encourage you to come and meet with us. Our clinic is discreetly located, and every member of our staff is specially trained to provide the utmost support, and discretion to our patients. Every need is carefully considered and planned for, and great care is taken to ensure that you feel cared for and understood.