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Hymenorrhaphy (Hymen Reconstruction)

The hymen is a remnant of vaginal development and is located at the inner margin of the vaginal opening; it has a thickness of approximately 2 mm. Because it may be lacerated during the first sexual intercourse to cause bleeding, the hymen is considered to be an indicator of virginity in traditional Oriental customs; however, it also indirectly poses psychological pressure to and shackles on many women. In recent years, due to the modern concept of Western culture and feminism, the role of the hymen in male and female relationships has changed. However, some patients with a traditional or conservative belief still regard it as the last barrier of faithful feelings and therefore seek plastic surgery for hymen restoration to present their most intact self to their beloved partner.

The technique of hymen restoration surgery is determined based on the hymen modality and ruptured period, which is not subject to fixed rules. Generally, if the reconstruction is conducted within 1–2 years after laceration, the remaining hymen segment peripheral to the vaginal opening can be used in most cases, and such remnant tissues can be stitched at the inner and outer layers like a jigsaw, which reconstructs 70–80% of the complete hymen. However, if the hymen has been lacerated a long time ago, it will be difficult to find hymen remnants peripheral to the vaginal opening, and the partial vaginal inner wall mucosa is utilized as the new hymen material. Surgery is conducted by detaching the mucosa adjacent to the vaginal opening from the inferior muscles, flipping over the regional flap, and drawing to the vaginal opening for reconstructing and stitching, which restores approximately 50% of the hymen. Regardless of the technique, Dr. Chuang recommends patients to undergo hymen reconstruction within 1 month prior to planned sexual intercourse because the new hymen is more prone to bleeding due to laceration; on the other hand, this avoids rupture of the repaired hymen caused by accidental compression or friction after waiting for a long time. In this way, the surgical objective of hymen hemorrhage at the first sexual intercourse is achieved.

Surgical conditions

Duration

0hr
  • Type of anesthesia: IV sedation + local anesthesia
  • Surgical incision: Remnant hymen peripheral to the vaginal opening
  • Recovery: 3–5 days
  • Removal of stitches: No

General instructions

General instructions

0hr
  • Avoid the surgery during the menstrual period.
  • Try to wear loose underclothes for 1 week postoperatively to avoid friction to wounds.
  • Avoid running, hopping, and abdominal exertion for 2 weeks postoperatively.
  • Have sexual intercourse as early as possible in one month postoperatively

Ideal candidates

  • Patients who have particular religious customs or beliefs in Oriental society
  • Those who have a strong traditional concept of virginity
  • Those who have conservative concepts on the male and female relationship

Potential complications

  • Premature hymen rupture
  • Painful sexual behaviors

Surgical advantages

  1. It is able to achieve the objective of hymen bleeding on the first night of sexual intercourse.

  2. Its results conform to the criteria of virginity held by both males and females.

Surgical drawbacks

  1. The reconstructed hymen is relatively fragile and is likely to rupture due to exertion or exercise.

  2. Arduous lower extremity exercises are temporarily restricted after the surgery but before sexual intercourse.

  3. The degree of restoration may differ along with individual hymen remnants.

Possible procedures in conjunction