Written for Scars1 by Michelle Alford
Red M. Alinsod, M.D., is the founder and director of The Alinsod Institute for Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery, where he uses laser surgery to fix scars left from childbirth. He is also a national instructor in vaginal rejuvenation surgery for the American Academy of Cosmetic Gynecologists.
Dr. Alinsod graduated from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1986 and completed his OB/GYN residency at Loma Linda University in 1990. He was the first Rutledge Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer and Tumor Institute and was selected as a Galloway Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center. In 1990, he was accepted to Yale’s Gynecologic Oncology fellowship.
He presents talks nationally and teaches fellow physicians the art and science of pelvic reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Alinsod was encouraged to become a doctor by medical role models growing up. “I was exposed to a great many physicians in my youth who were excellent role models,” explains Dr. Alinsod. “I wanted to become a missionary doctor after reading and hearing of the adventures these doctors had in their lives.”
He chose the OB/GYN specialty because he wanted to both deliver babies and do surgery. “It seemed to give me the broadest scope of what I could do,” comments Dr. Alinsod. He could choose to do basic medicine, oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology, pelvic surgery, or one of many other areas in this field. “I found myself enjoying vaginal and pelvic surgery more and more while many of my colleagues drifted away from the tough pelvic repairs. It became a challenge and I wanted to be an innovator in this field.”
|Dr. Alinsod's Advice
|"Research the skills and experience of your surgeons. Trust but verify."
Women opt for vaginal surgery to erase unsightly scars and improve the function and beauty of their vaginas. “Women want to recapture the feminine feeling they had prior to having babies,” Dr. Alinsod explains. “For those who have labial surgery, it is a path towards reduced pain, and increased comfort and confidence.”
Recent technological advancements have significantly improved labial surgery. “Precise and minimally invasive tools have come to the forefront,” says Dr. Alinsod. “Radiosurgical devices have revolutionized the field. They are used for precision incisions and to shrink loose skin tissue with minimal tissue damage and burns, unlike the previously used lasers and standard electrocautery.”
In the future, Dr. Alinsod expects labial surgery to move away from the surgery center and general anesthesia. “I think there will be more minimally invasive surgeries done in an office under local anesthesia, without IVs,” he predicts.
One particular patient story stands out to Dr. Alinsod. “I had a beautiful and vibrant 75 year old woman who had severe pelvic prolapse and urinary leakage and what was an unsightly vulvar appearance in her opinion,” he remembers. “She was divorced and had children in two continents. She also had a new and budding relationship with a man from the Alps and wanted to resume a loving and initimate relationship. This was physically impossible since her bladder and rectum and uterus were all starting to hang out of her vaginal canal. Her labia were deformed from traumatic childbirth and her vaginal canal was so wide open it sucked in air and produced embarrassing sounds. She came to see me ready for her ‘100,000 mile tuneup.’ We were able to successfully rebuild her pelvis to get rid of the fallen bladder and rectum and also suspended the uterus and avoided a hysterectomy. An incontinence sling was placed and she became dry. A labia minora and majora plasty was done that gave her a beautiful external appearance. A vaginoplasty with perineoplasty was able to reduce the diameter of her vaginal canal to approximate what it was before her large babies were born. She was reborn a confident woman. She has since sent me letters, cards, and emails of her travels around the world.”
Dr. Alinsod advises patients considering vaginal surgery to research the skills and experience of their surgeons. “Trust but verify,” he says.
For more information, visit Dr. Alinsod's blog or website.
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