A Candid Discussion With Dr. Edward Jacobson
Medical Director – The Greenwich Center for
Restorative Vaginal Surgery
It is unfortunate that although I can consult in the UK I am unable to perform cosmetic and restorative vaginal surgery in Great Britain. Yet, in spite of this many of you continue to inquire about obtaining these surgeries from me, in the United States, when these procedures are available in the United Kingdom. So, the real question becomes, If labiaplasty, vaginoplasty and perineoplasty are available in the UK, why would you come to the United States to have the same surgery?
Does it make good financial sense that you should travel a great distance and incur expenses coming to New York when you could easily go to Harley Street? Furthermore, what happens when you return home?
These are valid concerns that need to be addressed before any decisions are made. With that in mind, I’d like to help by providing some substantive answers.
Why come to Greenwich (Connecticut USA, that is) for your surgery?
It’s well known in medical science that if someone performs the same task many times, they generally become very adept at this task. I suppose the same could be said for any repetitive endeavor. The reason, simply, is that as one does a complicated task time and again, they usually also experience many variables in the process. They see a wide variety of cases from simple to complicated and as a result they gain something along the way. . EXPERIENCE.
Never discount this aspect Experience when considering a surgeon for your procedure. Yes, many physicians and surgeons claim to have experience performing restorative vaginal surgery but in fact their training, number of cases and surgical experience may vary widely. I urge you to read How To Decide Upon A Surgeon at decide.html before committing to have a procedure with any surgeon in England or the United States. You can review my training, experience and credentials at about.html
Furthermore, here in the United States, cosmetic surgical services are performed with more frequency than any other place in the world. Simply said, feminine cosmetic genital surgery is listed in the top leading surgeries performed here in America, where these procedures originated, many years ago.
So, what does that mean to you?
It means that you can be assured that you will have a much greater chance of success and can expect excellent results . . . rather than choosing someone who has only done a handful of these delicate procedures, merely because they are in your area.
As a physician who has consulted in London for several years I am aware of what procedures and techniques are available in the UK and Europe. Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation has been marketed as the most technologically advanced method in the UK for these procedures. As someone originally trained in laser surgery, who practiced laser surgery for over five years and subsequently abandoned it, I am qualified to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the laser. There are other methods far superior to laser surgery that not only provide an excellent cosmetic result but do it with less pain, swelling and discomfort. I am referring to the use of radiofrequency surgery which is not generally available in Great Britain. You need to read about the advantages of radio surgery at
In short, the technology and expertise are readily available in America and worth the trip for what will prove to be an outstanding functional and cosmetic result.
What about the cost?
First, compare what it will cost to have your surgery in England. For a top rate surgeon you will have to go private, pay for your laboratory services, hospital and surgical suite, anesthesia, surgical assistants, medications and post-operative care. As in the United States, these services can often be obtained at a very low price. However, you should never use the least expensive physician as your major decision making factor.
When it comes to restorative vaginal surgery, and all cosmetic plastic surgery for that matter, it is always worthwhile spending more to achieve the best outcome. Meticulous surgery takes time, and the overall cost of the surgery center and its staff, anesthesia and the surgeon is based upon experience and time. This is not a procedure you want rushed. You are paying for an expert and a team who has devoted a lot of training, expense and effort to provide the best cosmetic result, not to have you realize a less than desired outcome. Let us not forget . . . once tissue is removed (excised) it is NOT possible to replace it!
How about the travel expenses?
Many patients come over with friends or family and spend time in nearby Manhattan before their surgery and allow for this when making their travel plans. In essence, they make it a medical vacation. This is an area where my staff can greatly help. Be assured that over the past eight years we have developed a seamless concierge service for those patients who ask us to make turnkey travel arrangements, whereby all of your transportation and hotel needs are cared for from the time you leave the airport until your final departure. You will always be in contact with my office or with me personally to assist you if any problems arise. If you are traveling alone we will arrange for an aide to bring you from the surgery suite back to your hotel and stay with you afterwards.
We are greatly experienced in aiding patients coming from overseas, and can assure a smooth arrival and departure. Concierge services are tailored to the individual travel needs of each patient. As for the additional cost of traveling to America, again, DO NOT easily discount the importance of getting a vastly experienced surgeon to do your procedure. To do so could be the worst decision you’ve ever made.
What happens after I return home?
It is my commitment to stay in close touch with you long after your surgery is over. It is very rare to have a problem when you return home that requires the attention of a gynaecologist, but just in case there are physicians in the UK whom we know that are familiar with my surgery and can attend to you, if, in the unlikely event they are needed. Alternatively I will communicate closely with your own gynaecologist if the need arises.
Lastly, approximately 95% of my patients come from a distance greater than 100 miles. Our surgical techniques are designed with this in mind. Virtually all post operative problems, if they occur at all, are minor and can are handled by telephone or on Skype. In planning your surgery, please be assured your inquiries will be answered promptly by my office staff, and I am available at all times by telephone. You will always feel you have a physician at the tip of your fingers. Privacy and discretion are an integral part of our practice.
Taking the next step
As previously stated, I periodically consult in London but do not perform surgery in the United Kingdom. However, I do offer a special concierge program for our international patients for surgery in Greenwich, Connecticut USA, about thirty minutes from Manhattan.
The process is very simple. Initially, we would arrange to have a personal conversation on Skype or by telephone to answer your questions. If you are interested we can go forward with a full pre-consultation regarding your medical history and what your surgical goals are. All subsequent information regarding your procedure, travel and lodging arrangements, etc. can be done by email. Preoperative laboratory testing is done upon your arrival in Greenwich. You would fly to New York prior to surgery, hopefully enjoying some time visiting the incredible sights in Manhattan as part of your medical vacation. If you wish, we can arrange to bring you by private car to your hotel (The Hyatt Regency or Delamar in Greenwich). After settling in, you would be seen at my nearby office for a comprehensive consultation and examination. All post-operative medications will be provided at that time.
Your surgery would be the following day at the nearby Summer Street Ambulatory Surgery Center. Transportation by taxi can be arranged for all visits to the surgery center and to my office for postoperative care. For vaginoplasty you will be able to return home on the third day after surgery and even earlier for labiaplasty. Additional cosmetic procedures such as injection of fillers or liposuction can be done in combination with the vaginoplasty or labiaplasty with my plastic surgeon colleague.
Fees for procedures in GBPs and Euros can be found under fees.html
An Irish patient�s experience
From the moment I heard of the procedure, I knew I wanted it done. Not that it was something glaringly obvious to others but it mattered to me. I decided to research the finer details and to set about selecting a qualified surgeon to move things along.
Travelling for the surgery seemed to make sense. By doing this I could get the benefits of an experienced doctor, a private recovery and a holiday rolled into one. Dr Edward Jacobson in Greenwich, Connecticut fit the bill nicely. His friendly and open demeanour makes him someone you automatically know you can trust. He answered my initial more general enquiries by email. His office even has a special concierge package for overseas patients that you can avail of if necessary.
The next step was a phone consult. This could be quite embarrassing but somehow Dr Jacobson put me at ease and didn’t seem to mind that I was particularly ignorant about my own anatomy. I booked then and there.
I chose to plan the trip to take in some sights and shopping in New York City before surgery I had liaised with the staff before I came over to help coordinate these plans. When I made it to the office, Paula (the office assistant) gave me such a lovely motherly welcome. Dr Jacobson was just as I expected, professional and efficient but friendly with it. He described the process in detail, did a physical examination and answered my last minute questions. The surgery would take place the following morning in an out surgery patient centre.
For some reason, I wasn’t really nervous, even right before going into theatre. The nurses were most reassuring. I just wanted to get it over with! The clinic was very plush- the American approach to health care is vastly superior to Europe from my experience. It is carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation so you wake up and don’t remember a thing. It’s not painful when you come around either.
The next morning, I returned for a checkup. Dr Jacobson was pleased with how the surgery had gone and showed me where the swelling would decrease further in the coming weeks. Obviously you are bruised initially but I was pleased with the changes right away.
I didn’t mind resting in the hotel room for the next day or so watching DVDs and ordering take out with a good excuse to do it. I flew home a few days later and no one suspected a thing! The recovery is easy with no real restrictions other than no exercise for six weeks. At about eight weeks, you can see the true result emerging, which looks close to perfect if there is such a thing!
It is now something I don’t have to think about. Everything is neater, how it should look, buying bikinis is a joy. In my opinion if it bothers you, why not get it done? I briefly considered if I was being shallow or superficial as I know it is seen by some as a controversial procedure. I asked Dr Jacobson something along those lines and he was honest saying ‘all women’s bodies vary and it doesn’t bother some at all. There is no right and wrong. But if it does cause discomfort or concern, when done in the right way it is a safe and straightforward procedure’. Not that I plan to flash the world Britney style anytime soon, but I’m so much happier and glad to have had it done.
5 May 2010