Lucia's vulvoplasty





Lucia is 9-month old, female, spayed Labrador Retriever. She presented to Ranson Animal Hospital for recurrent vaginitis. After a thorough physical exam and urinalysis it was found that Lucia suffered from what is termed "infantile genitalia". Typically, in such a case, the owner's complaint is continual licking of the external genitalia after urination. The term infantile reflects the sense of young, but in this case it refers to small or recessed. The recession of the external genitalia causes urine to become trapped around the vulvar skin folds where it causes irritation of the skin. In cases such as Lucia's it is recommended to allow the pet to go through one heat cycle to see if hormonal influence will stimulate the external genitalia to grow. Lucia was allowed adequate time for growth before surgical intervention became medically necessary. Lucia was pre-operatively medicated to relieve her anxiety and then an IV catheter was placed to allow for medication and fluid to be administered both before, during, and after her surgery. Lucia was induced into an anesthetic plain, intubated, and maintained on inhaled anesthetic gas and oxygen. She was placed in sternal recumbency (on her belly) and her rump was prepared for surgery. Utilizing delicate technique the skin folds around Lucia's vulva were surgically removed in order to extrovert her external genitalia. The entire surgery from start to finish took about one hour. Lucia's anesthesia was monitored closely throughout and she recovered uneventfully under close observation. At the time of her discharge, later that evening, Lucia was rip-ready to go! Typically, recovery time from a surgery such as this is about 7 - 10 days. Pets generally are discharged with an e-collar to prevent unwanted bothering of the surgical site (licking). Lucia did very well during her recovery phase and had her sutures removed 10 days post-op. Her owners were very pleased with the surgical outcome and report a dramatic decrease in her licking after urinating.


The first photo shows Lucia laying on her belly- tail is pointed straight up. Note the dramatic recession of her external genitalia.


The second photo shows post-surgical resection of excess tissue and outward eversion vulva.