IN THE MEDIA
By Ching M. Alano, Philippine Star, February 12, 2008
Last Tuesday, health writers — all of them female ‘and curious — were invited to an “intimate media briefing” by the Aesthetic Surgery Center of the Makati Medical Center. Held behind closed doors at the MMC boardroom, the lunch affair promised a long afternoon of intimacy but, of course, not in the lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day sort of way. Spotting a few familiar faces in the room, I settle comfortably in my chair as I’m introduced to Annebelle Aherrera, MD, FPOGS, obstetrician-gynecologist. Over a hearty, healthy fare of pumpkin soup, prawns thermidore, chicken cordon bleu, fettucine with putanesca sauce, and fresh fruits prepared by MMC’s dietary department, Dr. Aherrera shares out loud an intimate secret (which is really no secret anymore as a lot of women in America are doing it): Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® with Designer Laser Vaginoplasty® to complement it. Laser vaginal what? With eyes wide open, brows raised, and cheeks turning a tinge of red, we burst into ripples of naughty chuckles as a very composed and gracious Dr. Aherrera gives us the lowdown on intimate rejuvenation or the “science of being tight and right.” But first, FYI, Dr. Annebelle Aherrera is the first hospital-based, board-certified ob-gyn and a consultant at MMC’s Aesthetic Surgery Center (ASC). An accredited associate of the Laser Vaginal Institute of America, she trained under Dr. David Matlock himself, founder and director of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles California, who has been helping couples worldwide achieve the ultimate intimate makeover. Dr. Aherrera tells us, “My training with the Laser Vaginal Institute of America empowers women in the Philippines with life-altering choices that exceed expectations, strengthen the bonds of partnership, and provide the golden opportunity for the excitement and enjoyment of life.” If the vagina could talk (vagina monologues?), it would tell many a secret screaming to be told. But to get deeper into the issue, let Dr. Aherrera answer some oft-asked questions on the latest buzz in aesthetic surgery: What is Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation®? Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® (LVR®) is a safe one-hour bloodless outpatient surgical procedure designed to treat vaginal relaxation with the use of a laser. When the patient has a “relaxed” vagina, the muscles are no longer firm and have poor tone, strength, and control. When that happens, the vagina is not in its peak condition. Women who suddenly burst into laughter, sneeze, or cough may experience involuntary urine loss or spillover. More often than not, women are embarrassed when these things happen. LVR effectively decreases the internal and external diameters of the vagina, building up the perineal body (the area immediately outside the vagina and above the anus). With this procedure, women feel attractive vaginally, young again, arid they regain their sexuality. Why do women experience vaginal relaxation? As a woman’s body experiences childbirth and the natural aging process, the muscles, fascia, and ligaments separate due to the trauma of childbirth and may be weakened by the pressure. This causes the pelvic organs, composed of the vagina, uterus, bladder, and rectum to drop from their natural positions. But vaginal relaxation is not exclusive to women who have given birth. Women who have inherited weakness of the supporting tissues, those who have experienced unusual strain from chronic coughing or have sufered obesity may be candidates of relaxed vaginal tissues. Is laser vaginal rejuvenation suitable for all women? LVR is for women who have normal sexual functioning. It is not for patients with sexual dysfunction such as those who experience pain or discomfort during sex or those who do not achieve orgasm. What about Designer Laser Vaginoplasty® (DLV®)? DLV® is a group of aesthetic enhancement procedures of the vulvar structures. Many women are embarrassed by the appearance of their external genitalia which is, more often than not, the result of childbirth, trauma, aging or hereditary characteristics. Designer Laser Vaginoplasty® repairs, enhances, and beautifies the genitalia for that attractive, aesthetically-pleasing and youthful appearance. Yes, with this, women can now have a Brazilian wax. What preparations do patients undergo before the procedure? A comprehensive consultation is required to screen and educate patients so that they can make an informed decision as to whether the procedure is right for them. An operative plan specifically designed to meet their individual needs follows. Patients are given an overview of the risks and complications, and advised to undergo a thorough medical clearance prior to the procedure. Patients who smoke are required to cease for two weeks prior to the procedure. Since this is an elective procedure and not an emergency, there is time to schedule (a convenient time), including healing and recovery. How long does it take to heal and recover? The patient will fully recover in six weeks, but most patients feel good enough to go back to work within seven days. Dr. Aherrera can’t stress this enough: “Sexual gratification is only secondary. What’s important is boosting your femininity, your self-image. When you’re confident about yourself, you feel good.”
Let’s Get (more than) Physical
By Linda B. Bolido, Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 19, 2008
“EVERYTHING IS VANITY,” King Solomon said. But for people who undergo some form of reshaping or reconstruction of any part of their faces and bodies, the reason may not be quite as simple as that though the publicity over the various procedures high-profile personalities proudly announce may give that impression. Dr. Manuel O. Fernandez, head of the Makati Medical Center’s Aesthetic Surgery Center (ASC), said for some people, what is referred to as cosmetic surgery may be important to their “psychological health.” Sometimes reshaping a nose may be all it takes to boost a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. “Any improvement can help improve a person’s confidence,” Fernandez said. Knowing a procedure could seriously change a person’s life, Fernandez said the professionals at the ASC did not simply do what patients asked. People who insist they want a nose like Tom Cruise’s or Angelina Jolie’s will have to go elsewhere because, unless the ASC professionals feel that their faces will match such a proboscis, they cannot have it. Fernandez stressed the ASC would not simply give a patient what he/she wanted if it knew it would not be right or appropriate. There is, for instance, a limit to the extent breasts can be enlarged without causing serious medical problems like severe back pains. Believe it or not, large boobs are a heavy load to be lugging around everywhere. A French woman who used to hold die record for having the largest breasts reportedly could not sleep lying on her back because her boobs were putting a heavy pressure on her chest making it difficult for her to breathe. It is also for reasons other than vanity that ASC hopes women will consider the newest procedures it is offering, the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® (LVR®) and Laser Vaginoplasty. Vaginal Repair LVR® is more than just a frivolous wish to turn back the clock, in a manner of speaking. The procedure was designed to repair the so-called “vaginal relaxation,” according to Dr. Annebelle D. Aherrera, obstetrician-gynecologist. An accredited associate of the Laser Vaginal Institute of America founded by Dr. David L. Matlock, who pioneered the two procedures, Aherrera said vaginal relaxation was when “muscles are no longer firm and have poor tone, strength and control.” Such a condition results in Dr. Annebelle Aherrera says the new procedures will help empower women more than just a change in physical appearance. It also results in discomfort and inconvenience that can seriously affect a woman’s self-esteem.” Women who suddenly burst into laughter, sneeze or cough may experience involuntary urine loss or spill. More often than not, women are embarrassed during these situations,” Aherrera said. The LVR® decreases the internal and external diameters of the vagina, almost returning it to its original state thus minimizing the problem. Aherrera said vaginal relaxation occurred because of childbirth and aging. But even women who are still young and have not given birth may have the problem. “Women who have inherited weakness of the supporting tissues, those who have experienced unusual strain from chronic coughing or have suffered obesity, may [suffer from] relaxed vaginal tissues,” the expert said. For Normal Women Aherrera said LVR® was suitable for women with normal sexual functioning. But, it is not “for patients with sexual dysfunction such as those who experience discomfort during sex or those who do not achieve orgasm,” she stressed. Laser vaginoplasty is very much like rhinoplasty or the nose job except that it is performed on the opposite end of the body. Aherrera describes it as, “a group of aesthetic enhancement procedures of the vulvar structures.” She said, “Many women are embarrassed by the appearance of their external genitalia which are more often than not the result of childbirth, trauma, aging or hereditary characteristics.” Designer Laser Vaginoplasty®, she added, repaired, enhanced and beautified the genitalia to make it more attractive and youthful looking. Fernandez stressed that while the aesthetic procedures offered by ASC might be available in “stand-alone beauty enhancement facilities, the center had the advantage of being hospital-based. He said some of the reported botched and fatal liposuction procedures in some “beauty clinics,” for instance, could have been averted simply by having the proper equipment for giving the patient oxygen. He added that “ASC only had certified surgeons performing the job.” Being a doctor does not mean you are a specialist,”Fernandez pointed out. One has to be certified by the right bodies before he/she can perform aesthetic surgery. Fernandez said many of the high-profile beauty experts did not do the actual surgery themselves because they did not have the proper credentials.