Perk Up

Vagina not what it used to be, ladies? Hey, fella, what about those man boobs?

Summer in Phoenix gives you three (okay, four or five) solid months indoors. If you're going to sit in the semi-dark, flipping cable channels, why not have something to show for it, come Halloween? You can heal and hold the remote at the same time.

We're talking plastic surgery, but not the surface stuff. Betcha've already done your nose and your breasts (twice). So get creative. How about a collagen injection in the G-spot?

Don't blush. There are actually doctors who plump vulvas and trim man boobs. Not ready to go under the knife? Us, either. If nothing else, we can offer you some entertainment. Keep reading. Just remember -- we're not recommending anything specific here, regarding doctors or procedures. Caveat emptor.

Tighten Up -- Vaginoplasty

The procedure: Dr. Keri Sweeten has dedicated her life to vaginas. The doctor, who would rather be identified as a gynecologist than a plastic surgeon, has devoted the past 11 years of her life to improving private parts, and her dedication to the art is obvious. At her Phoenix clinic, Understanding Women, Sweeten offers what she's dubbed the "Aussie Makeover" -- because it works with your "down-under" parts -- to improve the genital area of her clients.

Sweeten opened her clinic in 2003 with the goal of becoming one of the premier pelvic floor clinics in Arizona. She quickly expanded into related areas.

As a gynecologist, Sweeten realized she was doing quite a few vaginal reconstructive surgeries for women experiencing organ prolapse -- a condition she says one in five women experience by the time they're 50 where the uterus can drop, and in extreme cases protrude from the vagina -- after childbirth. It dawned on her that she could offer this procedure as a cosmetic option as well.

"We took our knowledge and transcended to a more cosmetic procedure," she says. "We are a kind of center where women can come and not feel intimidated talking about things like that. They are able to feel comfortable about a very private area."

Sweeten's most popular surgeries are labiaplasty, or re-sculpting of the vagina's lips, and vaginoplasty, where she reconstructs the vagina to its "normal caliber." She also offers a clitoral procedure, though she's careful to stress the process is nothing like female circumcision. By making a very slight incision in the hood over the clitoris, Sweeten can expose it for heightened sensitivity.

"We make a small incision, but we don't cut anything out," she says. "We just allow it to release."

Sweeten also offers collagen injections in the ever-elusive G-spot, filling it with fat to make it "bigger and more accessible." She can even lighten the color of your vagina as part of the package.

"We have patients who come in and want their genital areas bleached, because over time they go from a nice pink to a kind of purple hue," she says. "It's a product very similar to facial bleaching."

What to expect: With any plastic surgery, it's important to keep expectations realistic. Same goes for your vagina.

"You're not going to have a Playboy bunny vulva; there's still going to be some imperfections," Sweeten says.

Recovery time: You'll be back at work within three to five days, though Sweeten cautions, "We don't want anything in the vagina for six weeks."

Might be a slow summer, girls.

Booby Call -- Gynecomastia

The procedure: Man boobs, bitch tits, male breast tissue -- no matter how you phrase it, if you're a dude, you don't want boobs. Unfortunately, this condition is actually quite common. And it's not limited to overweight, middle-aged men, either -- men as young as 15 can start to develop unwanted breast tissue.

So rest assured, you are not a freak. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, gynecomastia is the fifth most common plastic surgery for males.

According to Tempe surgeon Richard Pavese, who is listed as a breast specialist on the ASPS' Web site, there are two kinds of gynecomastia procedures available. The first involves basic liposuction and is performed on men who have built up fat in their pectoral areas because of being generally overweight.

When the breasts are caused by actual glandular tissue, Pavese says patients will have to undergo slightly more serious surgery, where an incision is made and the tissue is actually removed.

Though the social stigma attached to having "man boobs" is a little awkward, Pavese says he doesn't consider the procedure terribly taboo.

"I don't know if they're [men who get gynecomastia] any more embarrassed than women who come in with small breasts. Maybe a little," he says. "I don't find it too much more embarrassing."

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Megan Irwin
Contact: Megan Irwin