What is Clitoral Hood Reduction?
Clitoral hood reduction is a procedure that not many people understand and often wonder why such a procedure is needed or desired. The clitoral hood is a fold of skin overlying the clitoris that protects the most sensitive and pleasurable organ enjoyed by women. If the hood were not present, a woman would feel constant stimulation, that in almost all instances would not be very gratifying. Furthermore, during the course of day to day activities such as walking, bending, squatting, exercising and wearing tight-fitting clothes would increase unpleasant friction in and around the clitoris.
Clitoral hood reduction is the removal of excess tissue that lies on either side of the clitoris. It does not involve the removal of tissue directly overlying the clitoris. This tissue that lies on either side of the clitoris is actually called the prepuce of the clitoris. This tissue can be very robust and may frustrate women with the external appearance of their vulva. In most cases, reduction of the clitoral hood is performed at the same time as a labiaplasty by an experienced cosmetic gynecologist. In other circumstances, this tissue may not be a bother or even a consideration to be contemplated by a woman until they have undergone a labiaplasty (removal of excess skin of the inner lips/ labia minora) with a surgeon who is not skilled at handling the tissues adjacent to the clitoris leading to a very unbalanced and top-heavy look in appearance. Clitoral hood reduction creates a balance between the upper and lower aspects of the labia by preventing the labia minora to protrude beyond the labia majora and creating a more “tucked in” appearance of the vulva. This top-heavy appearance usually occurs with patients who are not well educated about clitoral hood reduction or they just want the excess labial tissue removed so bad, patients settle for a surgeon who may not be well versed in clitoral hood reduction.
Are There Complications with Clitoral Hood Reduction?
Complications of clitoral hood reduction albeit extremely rare can be quite severe and debilitating. Believe me when I say there are women who have undergone labiaplasty with combined clitoral hood reduction and have experienced continued pain, numbness, and disruption of female sexual function. I truly feel for these women and am angered by physicians who claim to be experts and have had no formal training in this procedure nor understand the anatomy of the clitoris. Believe it or not, the overwhelming number of botched labiaplasties and or clitoral hood reductions occur in the hands of your loving and trusted general Ob/Gyn. General Ob/Gyns receive no formal training in these procedures or in the anatomy of the clitoris during their medical education.
What Should You look for?
Your surgeon whether it be a plastic surgeon, urogynecologist or a cosmetic gynecologist should know the lay of the land by understanding the clitoral anatomy. If your physician completely understands the anatomy of the dorsal nerve of the clitoris, it is almost impossible to injure it. Your surgeon should have a thorough understanding of the types of suture to use to prevent scarring and adhesion formation around the clitoris. Your physician of choice should have individual pages on their website displaying their knowledge of the procedure. They should provide proof of their expertise. Proof can come in two forms: either individual before and after photos, and/or specific evidence (Certificate of Completion) that they’ve been trained by one of the acknowledged trainers in the U.S. or abroad. When you speak with the doctor, are they easy to communicate with? Do they fully understand your feelings, expected outcome, and what you wish to accomplish both functionally and aesthetically? Do they discuss your anatomy, reasonable expectations, recovery, anesthesia, etc? Finally, are they experienced enough that they are comfortable performing surgery in their in-office surgical suite, under easier-to-recover-from, safer, and less expensive local anesthesia?
Clitoral hood reduction combined with these small but important recommendations can lead to more self-confidence, improved sexual functioning, greater sexual gratification and a remodeled “tucked in” appearance of your vulva that you so desire.
I have always had a vision to provide women with awareness, options, and solutions. I take pride in providing a safe space for women to explore choices for their sexual health, rejuvenating their appearance, and improving their lives. I understand the intensely personal and sexual health issues involved in these surgeries and am dedicated to patients having the best outcomes with the highest levels of safety and comfort. If you have questions, please contact my office and make arrangements for a personal consultation!