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A Female Plastic Surgeon's Thoughts on Bodily Autonomy

A few years ago, I attended the American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting in New York City. This is a huge meeting with Plastic Surgeons in attendance from all over the world. It's an excellent opportunity for lectures, workshops, presentations and informal discussions with colleagues on the latest innovations.


This particular year I decided to attend a workshop on labiaplasty. A procedure that until recently existed only on the fringe of plastic surgery procedures, a niche procedure performed almost exclusively in the adult-entertainment industry. At that point, in the early '10s it was fast becoming a sought after procedure so I decided I needed to

learn more, little did I know it would spark a new path in my career. The workshop started off as all surgical workshops do: review of anatomy, review of techniques, tips/pearls, post-care, complication management, slideshow of before and after - fairly standard for a bunch of surgeons. But during the discussion, a colleague approached the microphone an asserted we should be offering these procedures to teenage girls before a partner had the opportunity to make a disparaging remark about the appearance of their external genitalia. I could feel my rage welling up. Clearly it would be easier to teach boys to be respectful, kind, generous lovers than to cut the normal genitalia of teenage girls to avoid offending the boys delicate sensibilities. Shouldn't they be happy/thankful to eve