Interview - Hymenoplasty
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Summary: Interview with a surgeon who performs hymenoplasties, a reconstruction of the membrane that covers the external vaginal opening.
SC: What is hymen? And what is hymenoplasty?
Dr: Hymen is a thin membrane which is(?) in the vagina which usually gets ruptured at the time of first sexual intercourse and certain ...certain sports activities. But sometimes it may be absent from birth.
SC: And what is hymenoplasty?
Dr: It is a plastic surgical procedure in which the hymen is reconstructed and re-maded.
SC: How is the hymen remade?
Dr: Hymen is remade using the mucosa from the vagina itself - the tissue from the vagina - a thin membrane is reconstructed almost similar to the vagina.
SC: What are the kind of people that are coming to you and asking for this...?
Dr: Most of the time, those are the young girls who have had a previous relationship, who are sexually active, when they are about to get married and sometimes they don't want their husbands to come to know about it, so they want a hymenoplasty to be done.
Dr: It's been a socially accepted thing that person having hymen is indication of virginity. That's the reason they want it.
SC: Do older people also come to you?
Dr: Yes there are certain people who have come, who had a (?) divorce, who are getting re-married again, we have come across. Though their would-be husbands would be knowing of this procedure, and they will know that she had already had a marriage and a sex life, but they want their new husband to feel as though they are having virgin sex. That's the reason they come.
SC: Er....do you know of anyone who has gifted it? Because I read some reports that, you know, older women are gifting it as an anniversary present...
Dr: No...nothing of that sort (laughs)
SC: Do you meet patients from abroad also?
Dr: Ya, we are getting patients, certain patients from African countries, some Asian, certain European places where the hymen is considered absolute virginity. And there are certain rituals in which the hymen should be present at the time of marriage. That is the reason they come for hymenoplasty.
SC: What is the cost of the procedure?
Dr: It may cost somewhere around 25 to 35 thousand.
SC: 25 to 35 thousand?
SC: What is the procedure like? If the patient wants to get it done, do they have to get admitted?
Dr: Yes, it has to be done under anaesthesia. So at least a day's admission, or a few hours of admission is necessary. When the surgery will be done, after that they can be discharged. There is no follow-ups or anything like that.
SC: What is the healing period for this?
Dr: Healing will take almost a week's time.
SC: Healing takes a week usually.
SC: What is the mood amongst your patients who usually come in?
Dr: See most of them are mainly worried, mentally upset that when they are getting married their would-be husbands should not come to know about their previous sexual life. That is the reason they come. And usually after a hymenoplasty, they are definitely absolutely happy about it.
SC: How many patients do you see regarding this in a month?
Dr: We get enquiries almost around 15 to 20 a month, almost over 4 to 5 cases a month.