GynaeCosmetic Q & A - FAQs
- How can I book a consultation appointment?
- How long will I have to wait for a consultation?
- Do I need to be referred by my GP?
- What happens during the consultation?
- How long will I have to wait to have my procedure?
- How much will it cost?
- What type of anaesthesia will I require for surgery? Do I need to be put to sleep?
- How long does the operation take?
- How long will I stay in the hospital?
- What about after-care and follow-up visit?
- Is my clitoris safe?
- When will my stitches dissolve?
- When will I be able to return to my normal activities?
- What if I get pregnant after my surgery?
Question: How can I book a consultation appointment?
This is usually a straight forward arrangement. You can either send us an e-mail with your contact details, requesting an appointment in the clinic nearest to you; or you can call us on 0800 652 4734, to arrange an appointment. It is sometimes better for you to email to seek any urgent clarification, to avoid making an unnecessary appointment.
Question: How long will I have to wait for a consultation?
If you live quite close to your nearest surgeon, it is not unusual to be seen within a few days, by mutual arrangement. However, you may have to wait for up 2 weeks to see your consultant. Whatever be the case, your appointment date can usually be confirmed within 48-72hrs. The more flexible you are, the easier it is to confirm your appointment.
Question: Do I need to be referred by my GP?
Not everyone will require a GP referral letter, for example many of our overseas clients. Most of our clients however live in the UK. You may wish to discuss with your GP prior to seeking a consultation. While most cosmetic surgery of this nature is not available in the NHS, your GP may refer you to your local specialist, if you have other gynaecological problems which are also treated in the NHS. Your GP can also refer you directly for private care, even if you do not have health insurance. While it is good and advisable to involve your GP, many ladies feel too embarrassed to discuss this sort of issues with their GP and they prefer, to arrange a consultation first. You are well within your right to do so, if that is what you feel most comfortable with.
Question: What happens during the consultation?
You will meet your surgeon rather than an advisor or nurse for the initial consultation. You will be asked about your concerns and then examined in an acceptable and considerate manner. You may be asked to complete a questionnaire about your health, if you have not already done so, before your consultation. You will then have a discussion about the examination and what options are available to you. It is not unusual for the surgeon to inform you that surgery may not be suitable or the best way of addressing your concerns. You will also be able to tell your surgeon exactly what you want done. It is good for you to have an idea of your desired outcome and how this is likely to improve your outlook, self-confidence or self-esteem. This consultation will usually last about 45 - 60 minutes. It is your opportunity to ask as many questions as you feel necessary.
Question: How long will I have to wait to have my procedure?
It is preferable for you to have some time to consider your plans before proceeding to surgery. In some very confidential cases of genital cosmetic surgery, the client may request for operation to be performed sooner. Once you feel certain, all you will need to do is to contact your surgeon of your plan to go ahead with surgery. He will then recommend some dates, out of which you will chose the most suitable for you. You must never feel pressured. Your operation can usually be performed within 2 to 3 weeks of your consultation, by mutual arrangement with your surgeon. Some clients need to arrange finances, family, etc. It is OK to wait for a couple of months or more before surgery. In most cases, within six months, it should not be necessary to arrange another consultation, unless you or your surgeon feels this is important.
Question: How much will it cost?
There is a wide variation in prices - between £1000 and £6000 - for most of the female genital or sexual enhancement surgery. Even for the same procedure, there can be slight variation in prices, depending on exactly what you want and other factors such as, hospital cost, duration of stay, type of anaesthetics, etc. As a rough guide, hymenoplasty, augmentation and clitoral surgery will vary range from £1000 to £2500; labial reduction will be between £2000 - £3500; vaginal tightening will be £3000 - £4000; and combination procedures will range between £3000 and £6000. Your surgeon will give you an idea of the cost after your consultation; but you may also make e-mail enquiries about your specific operation request. Other pelvic floor reconstruction or incontinence operations largely fall within similar pricing structure, depending on complexity.
The quoted prices are usually fully inclusive package deal. This will include the costs of pre-operative assessment and simple tests, hospital medical and nursing care, the theatre use, anaesthetist' and surgeon's fees. It will also include the cost of standard peri-operative medications and the initial follow-up consultation. Payment is usually by cleared (bankers') cheques and/or cash; the latest payment time being on admission, on the day of operation.
Question: What type of anaesthesia will I require for surgery? Do I need to be put to sleep?
Most of the operation mentioned on this website can be done either under local anesthesia, local anaesthesia with sedation or quick recovery general anaesthesia. Many surgeons prefer to have the patient in a "twilight sleep" zone, which makes for better and quicker postoperative recovery. General anaesthesia is also quite common, being requested by many clients-there are many ways of avoiding nausea, vomiting and unnecessarily prolonged drowsiness after operation. Some clients request epidural or spinal. You can decide and discuss your preference with your surgeon, and later with your anaesthetist.
Question: How long does the operation take?
Most of the operations usually take a good part of an hour, sometimes less and sometimes more. Combined operation obviously takes longer - usually about one and a half hours.
Question: How long will I stay in the hospital?
For most clients, 24hrs will be adequate, to feel well enough to go home. For procedures, such as hymenoplasty done under local anaesthesia, most clients go home within 4 hours. While many clients can go home on the same day after labial reduction and vaginal tightening, we do encourage them to stay for up to 24 hours, to allow initial full recovery, especially if the operation was done under general anaesthesia. In most cases, there is no additional cost involved.
Question: What about after-care and follow-up visit?
This will be discussed with you during your consultation. Many of our clients are operated outside their home region. Your take-home medication will usually be enough to cover most of the common problems encountered in the first two weeks. You will have 24hours access to your surgeon, who will give you advice on what action to take, in case of any problem. If necessary, especially if you have not informed your GP and/or you do not wish your GP to be involved with your aftercare, you may need to return to your consultation clinic for review earlier than the usual six to eight weeks after operation. Majority of our clients either do not feel the need for a clinic follow-up appointment or they are quite satisfied after the initial first planned after-care visit. Very few clients indeed need more than one after-care visit or a refinement operation - commoner after labial reduction than with other procedures. There are standard after-care arrangements for the other pelvic floor or incontinence operations.
Question: Is my clitoris safe?
This question is relevant in cases of surgery involving the clitoral hood and labial reduction. In cases of hoodectomy - removal of the hood, this can result in an increase in clitoral sensation during love making. Any surgery on the clitoral skin has the potential of affecting sensation in an unpredictable way. However, in those cases where women have excessively large labia or clitoris, if the skin around clitoris is not re-constructed during labial reduction, the clitoris may become relatively more prominent. Also, during the labiaplasty procedure, the retraction of the inner lips skin just below the clitoris may result in the clitoris appearing disconnected from the lower portion. In some clients, the size of the clitoris and the position and arrangement of the inner lips may increase the likelihood of this happening. Your surgeon will discuss this with you and you can either decide not to go ahead with the operation, or you will be informed about how to prevent this from happening, together with how this may affect the final appearance of the vulva. Some people prefer the resulting clitoral prominence and accessibility, while others simply detest this.
Question: When will my stitches dissolve?
Although all stitches used on the outside or vaginal skin are usually dissolvable sutures, they can take up to 42 days - but typically dissolve at 7 - 21 days (some in 7-10 days). There are various types of stitches with special advantages and disadvantages. Your surgeon may choose which suture to use depending on your circumstances. Sometimes the dissolvable sutures can become a source of constant irritation or infection. If so, they are probably better removed, but be guided by your consultant on this. How long your stitches take to dissolve depends on your own body, how often you take a bath or shower, whether you use bath addictives, whether there is any infection and hoe strong your immune system is. Some of our clients claim the use of certain herbs for faster healing. Good diet, hygiene, rest and Vitamin C is generally considered favourable for wound healing.
Question: When will I be able to return to my normal activities?
It is good to bear in mind that as with any surgery, complete wound healing usually can take up to 3 months. While you may be able to go on walks and return to routine light duties within one week, you need to avoid more vigorous exercises, including horse-riding, cycling, long flights during the first three weeks. Please discuss the need for leg stockings or hosiery with your surgeon, if you need to travel less than six weeks after your operation. When you can return to swimming is more a matter of general hygiene and consideration for others than specific need to avoid swimming - there may be more body secretions at this time. Consider avoiding swimming for the first three weeks. It is advisable to also avoid the standard use of tampon and tight underpants for the same duration. It is customary to refrain from penetrative sexual intercourse for about at least 6 weeks so the area can heal normally. Some clients feel ready after four weeks. Your surgeon should be able to guide you more specifically about these activities.
Question: What of if I get pregnant after my surgery?
You need to consider this before your operation, as most obstetricians will recommend having Caesarean birth after most pelvic floor surgery, unless the surgery has not been successful and a re-do is planned later. The inner lips sometimes get torn during childbirth, but, it is not customary to advise against vaginal birth following straightforward labial reduction surgery. The advice of your specialist is extremely vital in these circumstances.