“You have to be confident in order to keep going, to keep pushing yourself through every day. Like with my job and taking care of my kids, just not giving up and just having that strength to keep on going.” – Jamie S., a Columbus, OH CVS Store Manager working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Donaldson Plastic Surgery, we are passionate about supporting our community and finding new ways to inspire confidence as we navigate the COVID-19 experience. While nobody knows when a return to normalcy will occur, many Columbus natives and DPS patients have taken this opportunity to show inspiring acts of kindness and resilience.
We asked our patients to send us stories of individuals who they have seen going above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic. After receiving over 100 written nominations, we selected the most compelling, heroic, and selfless individuals to join us for a special event we called “Confidence is Essential.” The stories you see in the video above are real Columbus community members and Donaldson Plastic Surgery patients who have played an essential role in the lives of others since the start of COVID-19. We invited them to come sit down with us, reflect on their experiences, and share why they believe inspiring confidence is essential through these uncertain times.
Our “Confidence is Essential” event, presented by our philanthropic extension DPS Cares, took place on Saturday, June 13 at the Donaldson Plastic Surgery office. Winners were invited to come receive complimentary Botox treatments on our patio, overlooking the scenic Historic Dublin pedestrian bridge and Bridge Park West Plaza. Over $35,000 worth of Botox was donated for the event, in addition to the services provided by our injectors — Dr. Donaldson, Dr. Sieffert, and Adrienne Yanich —and the rest of the Donaldson team. Keeping concerns of COVID-19 close in mind, patients were scheduled to arrive one-by-one to receive their treatments in a safe and enjoyable experience. We followed all of our practice’s regular safety protocols and took careful measures to ensure safe social distancing and mask requirements.
Complimentary Botox treatments are just one small way in which our practice is able to thank these individuals. “Because we’re not on the front lines in ICUs and treating COVID patients, we thought that the least we could do — because we are on the front lines of treating confidence — is to give back to those individuals by enhancing their day or their weekend.” explains renowned Columbus plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Donaldson. “We’re hopefully giving them a little something to look forward to in this time when there has been a lot of negative news and pessimism.”
In addition to this event, our practice has given back during COVID-19 by donating to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and establishing a laceration Suture Clinic to help alleviate local Emergency Rooms.
“This event reinvigorated us,” remarks injector for the event Adrienne Yanich. “When you are stuck behind that mask every day, and you become just another faceless number, it’s difficult to remember your purpose. This event gave us an opportunity to hear the passions that people hold and why they choose to do the work that they’re doing.”
Natalie Folchi, the Columbus, Ohio based portrait and lifestyle photographer behind Folchi Creative, donated her talents to document the event, and produced these beautiful photographs of our providers and winners as they received their treatments. We love Natalie’s keen eye and her special talent to capture the joyous and genuine moments that define our practice.
A special thank you goes out to Elevate Creative, a full-service creative agency in Columbus, OH, for the creation of our Confidence is Essential video. We loved working with their team, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the beautiful portrayal of our patients’ stories.
We would also like to thank Dublin and Bridge Park’s local businesses J. Hilburn, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, Kilwins Dublin, and Apricot Lane Boutique, who contributed their own gifts to our Confidence is Essential winners. Their donations serve as a heartwarming example of the strength and support this community is known for.
We believe matching beauty on the outside with the beauty on the inside builds confidence. And we believe that confidence extends, lifting everyone we touch. We are confident that Columbus will emerge from this time stronger than ever before.
While the principles of vaginal rejuvenation were integrated into my surgical training, my years in residency did not present me with many opportunities for exposure. It wasn’t until I started in private practice with Dr. Donaldson that I had the opportunity to observe his technique and integrate vaginal rejuvenation into my own practice. It was only then that I really understood the positive impact a labiaplasty can have on a woman’s life.
Vaginal rejuvenation is not a topic frequently or openly discussed, and I can’t blame anyone for that! Vaginal rejuvenation can be broken down into external procedures (those performed on the labia), and internal procedures (those performed on the vagina itself). Here we will be talking about procedures performed externally on the labia majora and minora, a collection of procedures commonly referred to as “labiaplasty”. Labiaplasty is performed more commonly than most would imagine, with about 12,000 procedures being performed each year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons1. Given that both Plastic Surgeons and Gynecologists perform labiaplasty, this is likely an underestimate of the total number performed nationwide.
A labiaplasty is a plastic surgical procedure that alters the appearance of the labia majora or minora. The most common procedure reduces the length of the inner “lips” (labia minora) to sit within the outer “lips” (labia majora) to create a tucked in appearance. As a popular form of vaginal rejuvenation, labiaplasty can correct cosmetic concerns as well as provide relief of symptoms associated with labial hypertrophy.
As awareness of these procedures grows, more women are seeking vaginal rejuvenation with an increase of 20% in the number of labiaplasty procedures performed annually by plastic surgeons between 2015 and 20191.
I encounter women of all ages who struggle with discomfort during intimacy, exercise, or while using tampons. They also report difficulty wearing specific clothing, embarrassment about their appearance, and questions like, “Can anything be done to help me?”, and “Is this normal?”.
First, let me say, YES! “Normal” spans a wide range of appearances, including having extra skin “down there.” It is very commonplace and doesn’t suggest that there is anything wrong with your anatomy. Second, labiaplasty is a very straightforward in-office procedure that not only alters appearance but also diminishes the symptoms associated with labial hypertrophy. Some ladies with labia minora hypertrophy don’t notice or aren’t bothered by the appearance or the presence of symptoms, while others may experience daily disturbances of their activities or desire a rejuvenated appearance.
The choice to have a labiaplasty is an incredibly personal one – and the first step to deciding if it’s right for you is to get educated!
The labia minora can become enlarged for many reasons, but most often it’s just “the way you’re made”. Most common in my practice, a labiaplasty of the labia minora removes extra tissue using a specialized “wedge” or “edge trim” technique, both of which have excellent and consistent results. I choose the best technique during a consultation with my patients, taking into account their specific anatomy, personal desires, and expected incisional recovery.
The procedure is performed comfortably in our office procedure room under local anesthesia, which includes a topical numbing gel (left on for 30 minutes, completely removes feeling in the area) and a series of painless injections to ensure your complete comfort. The procedure takes approximately an hour, and you can drive home immediately after. The numbing medicines last 4-6 hours, and a prescription of mild pain relievers is used in the first 24-48 hours to maintain comfort. I ask my patients to refrain from intimacy, tampon use, tight clothing, and strenuous exercise for 4 weeks, but you can otherwise return to normal activity within 2-3 days of your procedure. Routine incision care is performed 3-4x/day and is straightforward. Having surgery while awake may seem intimidating or painful, but almost universally women say, “That was WAY easier than I expected,” and, “I didn’t feel anything!”. I take special care to ensure my patients are totally satisfied with their comfort during the procedure, the ease of recovery, and their results.
While labiaplasty of the labia minora is the most common, changes of the labia majora can also be corrected with labiaplasty, including loss of fullness of the labia majora due to weight loss or aging. When the volume loss is severe, the labia majora can appear like a deflated balloon, and a removal procedure similar in nature to the “edge trim” technique for the labia minora is performed to remove excess skin. When the volume loss is mild, the labia majora lose fullness and their youthful appearance. In this case fat can be grafted from the lower abdomen or inner thighs to the labia majora to restore its youthful fullness. These procedures can also be combined in severe cases. Depending on the procedure recommended for you, labiaplasty on the labia majora can be performed in the operating room under twilight sedation, or in our procedure room under local anesthesia with topical numbing cream and a series of numbing injections.
Recovery includes four weeks refraining from strenuous activity, tight clothing wear, intimacy, and tampon use and may have slightly more associated post-operative discomfort. While somewhat more involved than labia minora surgery, labia majora surgery also leaves women very satisfied with the experience and their results!
While we haven’t gone into every detail of vaginal rejuvenation, I hope that this brief look into my experience with the life-changing labiaplasty procedure gives you the confidence to take the next step in your journey. During your consultation, I will take the time to discuss more intricate points and, of course, answer any questions that you have. No two women are exactly the same and the techniques used in our practice ensure that you receive beautiful results in our comfortable and safe environment.
Until Next Time!
1. Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2019. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2019/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2019.pdf. [Accessed 12 July 2020].