The clitoris is a small but very sensitive part of the female genitals. It is widely considered as the female equivalent of the male penis. The clitoris is concealed either partially or completely by a fold of skin that extends from the labia minora called the clitoral hood. The clitoral hood tissue is the mucocutaneous equivalent of the male foreskin. In some women, the clitoral hood appears too large and bulky and can even have the appearance of a penis.
A clitoroplasty or clitoral hood reduction is a surgical procedure that refines or improves the appearance of a woman’s clitoris. There are many reasons, including trauma or sexual reorientation, why a woman might want to choose to change the appearance of the clitoris. As it relates to vaginal rejuvenation, it usually implies reducing the size of the clitoral hood. The procedure is relatively simple and is often performed at the same time as a labiaplasty and/or another vaginal rejuvenation procedure. To set up a private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang, call Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center in Leesburg, VA. Dr. Chang can create a custom treatment plan that addresses your specific cosmetic concerns.
"It's been over a year and a half since I've been going to Dr. Chang's office, I drive an hour just to get here (although I know some drive three hours or more to see him!). I did a lot of research to find a board certified plastic surgeon in the area with a solid and reputable background.Throughout my visits, he's been incredibly kind and taken the time to listen to my never ending list of questions. There are a lot of doctors that push services that you don't need just for money but he'll be transparent to tell you exactly what he feels you'll need in order to gain improvement and will work with you to see what could be the best outcome. You can also text or email him directly after any invasive procedures if you have any questions/concerns instead of waiting for a follow up. I also don't want to forget the rest of the staff - everyone from the receptionists and nurses have been very gracious, patient and accommodating to my needs but I also want to mention Melanie whose an RN at Dr. Chang's office. She has superb bed side skills and truly makes you feel at ease when you're speaking with her. I've probably annoyed her with a million questions and emails but she's still been stellar. I highly recommend her for any non-surgical procedures. They have a few videos on their website and youtube as well so you have an idea of who they are and the procedures they perform if you want to get a better idea yourself but I definitely recommend them, they're awesome."- M. / Google / Jul 24, 2018
"After many visits and several procedures with Dr. Chang, I can tell you that I'm thrilled. I've been told that I look 20+ years younger and I feel great. He's so kind and helpful and will direct you to what is appropriate and natural looking for you. The staff is wonderful and I highly recommend this doctor and office."- C.M. / Google / Mar 24, 2021
"I have had several procedures by Dr. Chang. Each time he is very kind, understanding. What matters to me the most is they way he listens to my needs and offers his professionalism to the best I can look. I feel so comfortable with him because of his confidence and compassion. I would recommend him without hesitation, and I have many times to people."- D.L. / Google / Mar 12, 2021
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A clitoroplasty is used for both cosmetic and medical reasons. When used as a medical treatment, it restores the appearance of the clitoris following trauma or injury. It is also used as part of the treatment for some congenital disorders affecting the female genital area. You are a candidate for a clitoral hood reduction if you:
- Feel self-conscious that your clitoral hood skin is too long or large
- Have difficulty cleaning and maintaining hygiene because of a long clitoral hood
- Feel that the clitoral hood interferes with sexual stimulation
- Suffer from a medical condition such as clitoromegaly or congenital adrenal hyperplasia
There are many versions of how a clitoroplasty is performed depending on the purpose of the procedure. In our clinic in Virginia, we will only perform a clitoral hood reduction for the purpose of vaginal rejuvenation. Patients seeking reconstruction of the actual glans clitoris for reconstructive purposes should seek out a major center such as Johns Hopkins or UCLA, where gender reassignment or traumatic reconstructive procedures are more commonly performed.
At the beginning of the surgery, Dr. Chang will apply a numbing cream to the vaginal area. An extra long acting numbing medication is also injected to ensure a comfortable experience. A V-wedge is created over the clitoral hood and the skin is superficially removed with great care. The clitoral tissue is then closed with absorbable sutures. The incision is strategically hidden at the base of the labia to reduce the appearance of scarring. Other vaginal rejuvenation procedures such as a labiaplasty or diVa laser treatment can be performed either before or after.
What to Expect
After a clitoroplasty, patients will wear a compression garment and can expect to feel sore for 2 – 4 weeks, but should not feel any severe pain. Some patients will take a prescribed narcotic pain medication for 2 – 3 days. Patients can change to Advil or Tylenol after three days. An ice pack can also be placed on the treatment area to ease any discomfort. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for several weeks but light physical activity can be resumed after about five days. Intercourse can be resumed after 30 days for optimal healing and comfort. Many patients return to work after 5 – 7 days and results can be seen in about 3 – 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a clitoroplasty cost?
Every patient case is different, which will affect the total cost of the procedure. During your initial consultation, we can discuss the estimated cost of your procedure in detail. We also partner with CareCredit for affordable financing.
Does insurance pay for clitoroplasty?
Unfortunately, insurance does not cover clitoroplasty as it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure. However, in some cases, coverage may be possible if it is deemed a necessary medical procedure.
Is a clitoroplasty ever medically necessary?
Yes. There are many conditions for which a clitoroplasty is medically necessary. These reconstructive procedures, however, should be performed at major hospital systems that have more experience in gender reassignment and reconstructive urogynecology. These conditions include:
- Clitoromegaly or clitoral hypertrophy – a condition where the clitoris becomes abnormally enlarged, usually due to an existing disease (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or as a side effect of medications (such as anabolic steroids or testosterone supplements)
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia – a birth defect that causes ambiguous genitalia, enlarged clitoris, or shallow vagina due to gene mutations during embryonic development
- Injury or trauma to the clitoris and/or clitoral hood
How long does a clitoroplasty take?
A clitoroplasty procedure can take between one and two hours depending on whether other procedures are added. Common procedures for women to add include a clitoroplasty, a diVa laser vaginoplasty, labia majora reduction, and/or a mons lift.
What are the surgical risks of a clitoroplasty?
Risks of surgery are extremely rare and seen in less than 1% of cases. Like any surgery, complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring, and nerve injury. The risks involved with pregnancy and delivery are significantly higher than any risks associated with clitoroplasty with an experienced surgeon.
Restore your body
Are you feeling self-conscious about your curves? Has childbearing, trauma, or a medical condition left you with an elongated or unnatural-looking contour to your clitoris? Gain back your self-confidence and health with a clitoroplasty. Dr. Chang will take his time to personally sit down with you to discuss your medical history, concerns, and cosmetic goals for the best treatment possible. Call our Leesburg, VA office to learn more.