Doctor's referral letter for vaginoplasty aesthetic gynaecology procedure

Have you been wondering about aesthetic gynaecology, the costs and processes of it all? Surgeries like labiaplasty and vaginoplasty have become much more accessible to South African women over the years. But if you’re still in the dark, we have all the important information you need to know. 

Alert: this is very Important Information that everyone should know. There has been a surge in the number of requests for cosmetic, or aesthetic gynaecology treatments in South Africa. So if you’re wondering, ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how much’, we’ve put together everything you need to know about labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, the orgasm shot, labia fillers and vaginal rejuvenation.

What is labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is the surgical adjustment or correction of the labia. You can choose to have the labia minora (the small lips) or the labia majora (the large outer lips that usually cover the small lips) altered. 

When the labia minora are operated on, it’s usually to reduce their size or shape, and sometimes tissue that might be affecting physical sensations in that area is removed. When the labia majora are altered, it usually involves removing fat and tightening the skin in the area.

Why have it? 

Some women opt for the surgery purely for aesthetic reasons, because they feel self-conscious about how their labia look, while in other cases women might find their labia are uncomfortable during exercise or sex.

What you need to know

It’s a same-day procedure done using local anaesthetic.

Labiaplasty cost South Africa

The labioplasty cost in Cape Town or Johannesburg starts from R30 000

What is vaginoplasty?

Vaginoplasty is a ‘tightening’ surgery that’s done to strengthen the vaginal muscles. It involves either pulling the pelvic floor muscles closer together, or removing any loose, excess skin and scar tissue, or a combination of the two.

Why have it? 

The result is a restructured vagina that should provide more friction and better pleasure during sex. Although there’s a higher risk of complications involved with vaginoplasty than with less invasive vaginal laser treatments, the results tend to be more long-lasting and pronounced.

What you need to know

It can be done as a day procedure under general anaesthesia.

Vaginoplasty cost

From R55 000 without medical aid cover.

What are labia fillers?

Labia fillers are done to increase the volume of the labia majora.

Fillers can be done using your own body fat (usually taken from your inner thigh) or hyaluronic acid. Platelet-rich plasma can also be combined with fat or hyaluronic acid for an additional regenerative effect on the tissue.

Who is this for? 

This is for women who want their labia to appear plumper (either for aesthetic reasons or because they want the ‘cushioning’ effect offered by bigger labia, which can make sex more comfortable. 

What you need to know

You’ll apply a numbing gel before the treatment and be given a local anaesthetic.

Labia fillers cost in South Africa

From R7 000

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What is laser rejuvenation?

Laser vaginal rejuvenation is a collection of pelvic treatments to treat vaginal relaxation (when the vagina is too wide, or loose), stress urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness or frequent vaginal infections.

Who should have it? 

Vaginal skin contains collagen fibres that give it flexibility and strength. A Femilift laser gently heats the skin, making it contract and stimulating the growth of new collagen. 

This process improves and normalises the blood flow in genital skin and increases lubrication while restoring the strength and elasticity of the vaginal wall. Some women say they can feel the difference after their first treatment, but it can take up to 3 months to feel the full benefits.

What you need to know

No anaesthesia is used but it’s not a painful treatment and it only takes 15 to 30 minutes – so you could actually have it done in your lunch break!

Femilift cost in South Africa

From R6 000

What is the orgasm shot?

The proper term is The Genital Platelet Rich Plasma injection and it’s a non-surgical procedure that impacts a woman’s ability to orgasm, and the intensity of the orgasm. 

It involves blood being taken from your arm, spun through a machine to remove red blood cells. Then the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the area of the G-spot, although it can also be injected into the clitoris to stimulate orgasm, and into the vaginal wall to treat dryness.

Who should have it? 

It’s for women who battle with pain during sex, urinary incontinence, and loss of orgasm after childbirth or menopause. The results include increased frequency and intensity of vaginal orgasms, as well as increased vaginal wetness.

What you need to know

It’s done under local anaesthetic in the doctor’s office.

Orgasm shot price

From R8 000

Does medical aid cover labiaplasty and other aesthetic gynaecology?

If you’re looking at getting any surgery for solely cosmetic reasons, your medical aid is unlikely to cover it. However, if it is something you need to do for your health, you can appeal to your insurance company and they may cover the costs, or at least part of it. 

Q&A with Dr Natalia Novikova – aesthetic gynaecologist

I am a gynaecologist with a special interest in minimally invasive surgery, pelvic floor disorders and cosmetic gynaecology practising in the Gardens area of Cape Town and Sandton area of Johannesburg. 

I live in Cape Town and travel to Johannesburg regularly to attend to my patients. My practice in Cape Town is situated at SCIN clinic, Wembley Square, Gardens and at Sandton Day Hospital in Johannesburg. 

I am passionate about looking after women with gynaecological problems and finding an answer to my patients’ needs. Aesthetic gynaecology is a new, exciting field and I am proud to be the first aesthetic gynaecologist in South Africa certified by the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology. 

Being an advanced minimally invasive gynaecological surgeon and having worked in various medical settings around the world allows me to bring a full package of skills to women seeking assistance with female genital reconstructive surgery and non-invasive procedures, improving genital appearance as well as treating incontinence, vaginal dryness, laxity and other problems.

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Why did you start offering aesthetic gynaecology treatments?

My interest in this field was triggered by my patients – I wasn’t able to help a number of women with painful intercourse, vaginal atrophy, incontinence with traditional treatments and as I was looking for solutions for my patients I discovered the field of aesthetic gynaecology, attended workshops and meetings and introduced it into my practice. 

Aesthetic gynaecology is a relatively new field. Two years ago, we formed a society of aesthetic gynaecology in South Africa and we run regular workshops and meetings.

Has there been a surge in interest for these procedures?

I think there is certainly more interest in such procedures as women are more empowered to seek help instead of suffering in silence. I am pleased to see that social media and traditional media play a significant role in educating women about various options that might change their lives.

What concern do most of your patients present with?

I see patients with various problems such as urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, vaginismus, painful intercourse, sexual dysfunction, and decreased libido. Some women have functional issues such as discomfort during exercise (running, horse riding, cycling), discomfort wearing particular clothes, underwear or swimming costumes or frequent infections due to long labia. 

Other women may just want to have labiaplasty or labial fillers for purely aesthetic reasons. An improvement in an aesthetic look gives confidence and quite often improves sexual function. Orgasm enhancing PRP injection or O-shot treats vaginal dryness and helps with restoring sexual function that diminishes with ageing. We also have a non-invasive treatment for mild urinary incontinence.

Would it be noticeable to a sexual partner that you’d had aesthetic work done?

Not necessarily. Some women choose not to tell their partners about the procedures and others share the information. If you have an issue that’s bothering you, don’t suffer in silence – look for solutions.

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