Marie Myung-Ok Lee in The Guardian:
I've come to the Congress on Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery because I want to learn more about one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures in the US. This newish industry consists of doctors and their clients (clients, not patients, because these surgeries are cash-only elective procedures) who believe the female nether area can be improved upon or remediated. Procedures offered include labiaplasty (trimming or completely removing labia), vaginal rejuvenation (tightening), hymenoplasty (“revirgination”) and clitoral “unhooding” – among others.
On my way to check out the exhibits, I pass a 4ft welcome poster of a woman's bare back and well rounded buttocks. At a cosmetic gynaecology conference at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas only six weeks earlier (yes, these surgeries are so popular there are two competing conferences), even the ads for post-surgical “compression garments” were made to look a little S&M sexy, while the mostly male doctors walked around with name badges festooned with identifying ribbons (“Presenter”! “Faculty”! “Attendee”!), looking like generals returning from battle with a chest full of medals.
As I browse, a surgical equipment salesman mistakes me for a doctor and eagerly tries to sell me his new radiostatic scalpel (“Less thermal collateral damage!”), demonstrating its precision by cutting slices out of a piece of raw steak.
Designer vagina surgery is big business: according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2009 female consumers spent an estimated $6.8m (£4.4m) on these procedures (the figure counts only plastic surgeons, not gynaecologists).