She feels that it’s especially impressionable for young girls.
“It’s really concerning, because [the trend] is really reaching younger ages, in their teens,” said Iglesia. “I heard of a mother taking in a 16-year-old and 11-year-old wanting to get it done. It’s just not right.”
Medical experts report that young women are willing to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 on vaginoplasty and labiaplasty, which are not covered by insurance. The American College of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported that over 2,000 women underwent such surgeries in 2010. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery said that over 5,000 procedures have been performed annually in the U.S.
“We don’t know the exact number, because a lot are done at surgery centers and it’s hard to keep track,” said Iglesia. “There isn’t a code that we have. And people are paying cash up front.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warn about the risks associated with vaginoplasty and labiaplasty such as infections, altered sensations, dyspareunia (painful contractions of the vagina), adhesions, and scarring. Iglesia said she even had to reverse the procedure for a patient who experienced pain during sex because it was too tight. She also said that some patients experienced nerve damage.
There are many online forums dedicated to informing and providing accounts of those who’ve experienced the procedure.