PARIS – Pioneering reconstructive surgery has brought new hope to women worldwide who have suffered the pain and sexual desolation of female genital mutilation: According to a new report published in The Lancet, the new surgical technique, developed by the French doctor Pierre Foldès and his colleagues, can help easing the pain and improve sexual pleasure of FGM-victims, reported the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics yesterday.
“The real news is that it´s feasible to give back pleasure, feasible to reconstruct the clitoris, and possible to give women back their lost identities”, says Foldès. The doctors in France performed the surgery on almost 3,000 women. Of the 866 women who attended the one- year follow-up visit, 821 patients reported an improvement – or at least no worsening – of pain, while 815 stated they now had improved clitoral pleasure.
Because internal clitoral tissue survives the mutilation, the surgeons were able to trim away scar tissue and build a new clitoris that would protrude in a normal way. ”However, women with FGM rarely have access to reconstructive surgery to improve their lives and in most developed and all developing countries, surgery remains prohibitively expensive”, explained Beatrice Cuzin, who led the research.
About 150 million women worldwide have suffered FGM and are living with numerous effects on physical, sexual and psychological health.