The vulva is the outside part of the vagina. A vulvoplasty is a type of surgery that uses skin and tissue from a penis to create all of the outside parts of a vagina (except for the vaginal canal).
The steps of a vulvoplasty are the same as a vaginoplasty. During a vulvoplasty, your surgeon will:
create a clitoris out of the glans (or head) of the penis,
create an inner and outer labia from skin on the penis and scrotum,
create the opening of the urethra so you can urinate
create the introitus (opening of the vagina)
The only thing that’s different between a full vaginoplasty and a vulvoplasty is the internal part of the vaginal canal.
Vaginoplasty creates a vaginal canal.
Vulvoplasty creates all the parts of a vagina except for the vaginal canal.
After vulvoplasty, this means you won’t be able to have intercourse or insert a penis into your vagina.
How Do I Choose Between a Vulvoplasty vs. Vaginoplasty?
A vulvoplasty has a much easier recovery. For example, you won’t need to dilate (or stretch) your vagina.
Another reason to consider vulvoplasty instead of vaginoplasty is because of medical problems or complications. One serious complication after vaginoplasty is called rectal injury. In some cases, a rectal injury can create a hole between your rectum and vagina.
But your chances of developing a rectal injury are much lower if you have a vulvoplasty instead of a vaginoplasty.
Some patients know that they’re not interested in having vaginal intercourse. For these patients, a vulvoplasty may be a better choice.
After a vulvoplasty, you can still have orgasms through clitoral stimulation, just like with vaginoplasty. During a vulvoplasty, your surgeon will create a clitoris from the glans or head of the penis.
How Long Will I Be in the Hospital After Vulvoplasty?
Patients usually are in the hospital for 3 days after having a vulvoplasty. Your surgical team will give you a compressive dressing that reduces inflammation (swelling) after your surgery.
Most patients rest in bed while they’re healing since the dressing is uncomfortable to walk with.
After your dressing is removed, you can leave the hospital, usually right at about 3 days.