Top Surgeon Offers Advice on Vaginal Rejuvenation
The fact that you are reading an article on this topic is a testament to the innovation of plastic surgeons like Dr. Jennifer Walden who continually search for ways to bring satisfaction and healing to both women and men in her practice. With a large surgical practice in Austin, Texas and three medical spas (two in Austin, and one in New York City), Dr. Walden considers it her life’s passion to help others feel better about themselves internally as well as with their outward presentation to the world.
We recently sat with Dr. Walden to better understand the female intimate procedures that have shown a large spike in popularity—procedures that are restoring female patients’ physical and emotional well-being. The growing interest is the primary reason Dr. Walden opened The Vaginal Rejuvenation Center in Austin, Texas.
“Many women deal with problems such as vaginal dryness, laxity, and mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence,” she explains. “But up until very recently, there wasn’t much that could be done to solve these problems…and, to be perfectly honest, there wasn’t much conversation about the issues at all.” Now we have nonsurgical methods with fractional laser as well as heat energy (radiofrequency) that can help women in an area that they didn’t really have many options in previously. “In my center we are performing institutional review board (IRB) approved studies on many of these products in order to determine their effectiveness and synergy with each other.”
We also asked Dr. Walden to share her expertise about surgical options to treat the appearance of the external genitalia and laxity of the external vagina that can occur with childbirth, episiotomy tears, and with menopause. She explains that there are a number of procedures that address the conditions.
Now we have nonsurgical methods with fractional laser as well as heat energy (radiofrequency) that can help women in an area that they didn’t really have many options in previously.
LABIA MINORA REDUCTION
The labia minora are the smaller structures situated inside the labia majora. In many women, the labia minora are larger than the “lips” that are supposed to surround them. This causes discomfort, irritation, poor clothing fit and interference with sexual intercourse. “Labia minora reduction surgery can reduce the length and size of this tissue for a more proportionate appearance, so the labia minora are housed within and protected by the larger outer labia majora (outer lips),” Dr. Walden explains.
CLITORAL HOOD REDUCTION
The labia minora are connected with a fold of skin, called the prepuce, which surrounds the clitoris. This is also referred to as the clitoral hood. Excess folds of the clitoral hood—which can create a bulge—are reduced to restore balance to the female genitals.
LABIA MAJORA REDUCTION
The labia majora are the outer lips located at the vaginal opening. Dr. Walden explains that some women have sagginess in this area and lost volume after childbearing or menopause. In this procedure, an elliptical-pattern piece of tissue is removed through a small, hidden incision.
LABIAL FAT GRAFTING
“Most people know that volume of the face and breasts can be lost as we age. However, the same may occur in the pubic area, as well,” Dr. Walden explains. In this procedure, off-the-shelf soft tissue fillers like hyaluronic acids that are commonly used to plump cheeks and lips may also be used to re-inflate the labia majora. Some women who desire more volume in the outer lips in combination with other intimate surgical procedures may get fat grafting, or the “labial puff” procedure, to restore fullness to the majora. In this procedure, a small amount of fat is extracted from an area such as the inner thigh or mons pubis using liposuction. The harvested cells are then introduced into the outer lips. Dr. Walden often performs this in conjunction with a surgical labiaplasty, or labia minora reduction surgery.
The objective of a suprapubic lift is to improve the contour of the pubic mound. Dr. Walden tightens overlying skin and superficial tissue and may recommend liposuction if accumulated fatty tissue is present.
As the field of external female intimate plastic surgery increases in popularity, there’s no doubt more women are considering these procedures. Dr. Walden has a word of advice: “I encourage all prospective patients to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the education, training, and experience to perform the type of plastic surgery procedure they are seeking.”
Dr. Walden has also recently rolled out a part of her practice for male intimate rejuvenation, such as the treatment of low testosterone with BioTe (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) to restore libido, mental clarity, muscle mass, and energy. Dr. Walden is also excited to introduce a new noninvasive, nonpainful treatment of erectile dysfunction. Otherwise known as “Big D Wave”, this device emits external sounds waves to treat men with erectile dysfunction, with a near 85% success rate based upon previous studies and experience within her own sexual wellness practice. Dr. Walden has nurse practitioners with extensive training in this area to provide care in the nonsurgical arm of her practice for male wellness.