Physicians from across the nation are coming to Ardmore to learn how to treat women’s health issues that have previously not been addressed.
Southern Oklahoma Women’s Health OBGYN Dr. Henry Ramirez said he developed the two ‘game-changing’ treatments, FemTite Scarless Labiaplasty and Votiva Vaginal Rejuvenation, in response to preexisting problems he was seeing among his patients.
“My biggest job is to find preventative solutions for my patients so they don’t need me,” Ramirez said. “Being an OBGYN, our college for the longest time, about five or six years ago, decided to take a stance against labiaplasties — and I think rightfully so.”
Ramirez said many patients were being “ill advised” as to what a labiaplasty was and were getting the surgery without realizing that often there would be what they perceived as too much tissue removed from their labia. Because of this, Ramirez said he had to turn many younger patients away.
At the time, Ramirez said the procedure was being referred to as “mutilation.” However, Ramirez said he disagrees with that use of the term.
“For a lot of patients their self-esteem really hangs on that hanger because they think they don’t look right, they’re self conscious and it gets in the way of their sexual health,” Ramirez said. “They hurt when they wear tight clothes, they hurt when they have sexual relations, so those patients really needed to have something done.”
Ramirez said he provided the procedure for a while but after informing patients of all that it entailed many opted out. Once Ramirez developed FemTite Scarless Labiaplasty, that changed.
While receiving training on how to use lasers to tighten up skin and destroy fat during liposuctions, Ramirez said he had a revelation. “Why not try and come up with a way of doing it to the labias— the vagina? So we don’t have to take off tissue, we don’t have to ‘mutilate’ patients,” he said.
Ramirez has already used the new procedure, released in May, 2019, to serve over 80 patients. As a part of this, Ramirez has traveled across the nation, as well as Mexico and Canada, to train other physicians on how to use FemTite Scarless Labiaplasty.
Several physicians have also traveled to Ardmore to receive training.
Using the same type of technology, Ramirez was also able to develop Votiva Vaginal Rejuvenation. This procedure helps lift, tighten and improve vaginal tissue to prevent pelvic floor dysfunction after a woman has a vaginal childbirth, Ramirez said.
“We in the United States really focus in on the baby. As soon as the baby is born, the focus is baby,” Ramirez said. “And that’s why our mortality rate has gone up really high in the United States.”
Physicians don’t want to prescribe medication that will prevent lactation after childbirth, Ramirez said. However, the use of ibuprofen disturbs the natural healing pattern for a woman and can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.
In the past, the only option was for physicians to tell patients to do Kegel exercises, Ramirez said. While some benefited from the exercise, others didn’t and began experiencing loss of feeling in their vaginal areas, as well as urinary incontinence and rectal prolapse— all complications that come with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Votive Vaginal Rejuvenation isn’t going to reduce the number of women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction to zero, but Ramirez said it has prevented 20 percent more so far in over 600 patients.
“It’s something that I think will be standardized practice in the near future because of the idea that no longer do we just want to cut the tissue off and put in mesh and wait for something to break before we fix it,” Ramirez said. “We’re supposed to be proactive.”