I have written here before about my reasoning behind focusing on the outer structures in labiaplasty. Vaginoplasty is potentially more dangerous. Until recently I did not know how potentially dangerous:
Maria Garcia, 39, a mother of five from San Fernando, died after Hansen performed a vaginal reconstruction on her at Hills Surgical Institute in Anaheim Hills on March 13, 2008, according to her medical records, which became part of the public record in a lawsuit filed by her family against her surgeons after her death. The area behind Garcia’s uterus had been punctured by a needle and she was bleeding internally. A coroner’s investigator later determined that Garcia’s death was caused by “intra abdominal hemorrhage” due to the vaginoplasty and ruled it accidental.
The surgeon in this case Lawrence Hansen was in his eighties at the time of the surgery and came out of retirement to perform it. Great. A less than potentially safe operation performed by an elderly man who might well not have been at his best when he performed it.
Patients looking into cosmetic surgery (and especially specialty cosmetic surgery) need to realize that it is surgery. A minimal inquiry into the surgeon performing the surgery as well as the surgery itself is indicated. I have discussed how a surgeon’s credentials can be evaluated online here before.
It turned out in this case that the doctor had not examined the patient until the day of surgery nor performed the operation in question in five years.
Labiaplasty is not anywhere near as potentially dangerous as vaginoplasty especially when performed properly by a qualified and experienced surgeon.
Remember everyone: Inquiry before Surgery.
John Di Saia MD