What is hymenoplasty?
Hymenoplasty, also known as hymen restoration surgery, is a surgical procedure that aims to reconstruct the skin membrane, known as the hymen, located in the lower half of the vagina. This fibrous and elastic tissue is usually torn with the first sexual penetration of women, but it can also break after a physical accident, sudden movements or even using tampons. Hymen repair is a simple procedure that involves stitching the torn edges together with dissolvable stitches. Generally, it is performed with just local anaesthesia and performed as a day case procedure.
Why is hymenoplasty done?
Generally, patients who request this type of operation wish to recover the original status of the hymen for cultural or religious reasons. This is because, in some cultures, the hymen is seen as symbolic of virginity. However, it is important to note that hymens can tear from non-sexual causes, such as tampon-use or certain sports activities (e.g. horseback riding).
What does hymenoplasty consist of?
The surgical procedure is quite simple and consists of the reconstruction of the hymen by means of fine, dissolvable sutures. The duration of the surgery is approximately thirty minutes to one hour. The newly formed hymen will also bleed when torn. The new hymen is constructed from the original torn hymen tissue.
Preparation for hymenoplasty:
In the days leading up to your hymenoplasty, you should avoid smoking, and certain medications may need to be stopped, depending on the advice of your surgeon.
You can expect slight pain after surgery, but you should be able to return to normal activities within 24 to 48 hours. It is important that during these 48 hours the patient must rest. The stitches are dissolvable, so they do not require later removal. Complete healing takes up to three months, in which time, sexual intercourse should be avoided.