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    Vaginal rejuvenation and the cosmetic practice

     

    Cosmetic… or Medical?

    There are lots of options that help to address different cosmetic vaginal concerns, but in this practice the lines become blurred between cosmetic and medical. That’s why it’s important to have providers trained in how to assess cosmetic and medical outcomes for these treatments, according to Dr. Emer.

    “I don’t think it should be done by an aesthetician who does facials to bring in extra income. I think it really has to be thought out seriously for the patients because there are serious medical concerns that these women have,” Dr. Emer says.

    Dr. Emer’s practice has a nurse that specializes specifically in vaginal rejuvenation. The nurse not only provides radio frequency heating, with ThermiVa (Thermi Aesthetics) and BTL Ultra Femme (BTL Aesthetics) devices, but also platelet-rich plasma injections to the vaginal area for sensitivity issues. A staff plastic surgeon does labioplasty, and Dr. Emer offers vaginal laser treatments with the Juliet erbium laser (Asclepion Laser Technologies).

    Collectively, the options address external cosmetic issues, as well as internal dryness, sexual dysfunction, sensitivity and pain during intercourse, he says.

    Cosmetic surgeons should look beyond the hype at what each of the modalities can and can’t do, according to Dr. Goodman.

    While fractional CO2 lasers, including the FemiLift (Alma Lasers) and Mona Lisa Touch (Cynosure), and radio frequency units, such as ThermiVa and Ellman Surgitron/Pelleve (Cynosure), have excellent and specific uses in gynecology, their uses as first-line vaginal tightening modalities are substandard, according to Dr. Goodman. These devices, he says, can recondition the outside skin and inside vaginal mucosa by increasing elastin and collagen fibers, and help in the short-term with mild urinary incontinence, but the only FDA-approved use of these costly therapies is for improving atrophic vaginal changes in post-menopausal women, he says.

    These noninvasive therapies will in no way significantly tighten the vagina to help with friction after childbirth, bulk up a saggy opening, or in any way improve the appearance of the vaginal opening, according to Dr. Goodman. Only surgery can do that, he says.

    NEXT: Practice Guidelines

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is a writer in Boca Raton, Fla., who heads up her company, Words Come Alive.

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