JAMAICA OBSERVER/AFP – A rush of women going under the knife for designer genitals has taken even plastic surgeons by surprise and divided medical professionals on the ethics and benefits of “labiaplasty”.
In 2015, more than 95,000 women worldwide underwent the procedure, according to data from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
Most often, labiaplasty involves trimming back the inner “lips” or labia minora flanking the vaginal opening, in a procedure that is also known as nymphoplasty.
It was the 19th-most popular surgical procedure in 2015, followed by “vaginal rejuvenation” — usually tightening of the vaginal canal — in 22nd place with just over 50,000 procedures.
“I trained in the ’80s and if you had told me that you could imagine that this is happening know, I would think you were crazy,” Renato Saltz, a plastic surgeon from Utah and ISAPS president told AFP.
In the United States alone, 2015 saw nearly 9,000 labiaplasties done — a 16 per cent increase from the previous year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
Older data is not available — growth in the sector has been explosive in the past few years.
“Women have become much more concerned about the appearance of their genitalia,” ASAPS board member and New York plastic surgeon Nolan Karp told AFP.