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U.S. surge in vaginal reconstruction

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NEW YORK, Dec 20, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Hymenoplasty, a controversial procedure prevalent in the Middle East and Latin America, is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, a report said.

Vaginal surgery that includes reattaching the hymen -- long considered the only positive proof of virginity -- is one of the fastest growing plastic surgery segments, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says.

Gynecologists who market hymenoplasty say business is booming for the procedure some undergo to improve their sex lives, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"Revirgination" can be had for as little as $1,800 at New York's Ridgewood Health and Beauty Center owned by Cuban-born Esmeralda Vanegas.

Vanegas promotes hymenoplasties in her magazine, Esmeralda.

"Losing your virginity is like losing a member of your family," Vanegas told the newspaper. "We can make it seem like nothing ever happened."

While some criticized the surgery dishonest and immoral, hymen repair dates back to the rise of midwives, said June Reinisch, director emeritus at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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