I had a long, enlivening chat with Prof. Dr. Gress, Plastic Surgeon Specialist for Labiaplasty. Here’s the except:
What problem do you solve and why is it important?
Women suffer from decrease of sexual stimulation especially after giving birth. This is due to the widening of the entire vaginal anatomy inclusive surrounding pelvic floor muscles with loss or impairment of sexual stimulating frictional forces as a consequence.
Also changes of the outer genital appearance by age, such as hypertrophic (elongated) labia, can lead to immense psychological affection. Women then tend to be shy, avoid going naked into the sauna, or even show themselves to their partners. Also functional restrictions, such as pain during sexual intercourse or when riding bicycle, jogging, etc. can be the reason to seek surgical help.
Sexuality is one of the most important motivators in life. A huge percentage of our daily activities is focused on sex, directly or indirectly. Does it make sense after all the efforts we make, not to be prepared for these sensual and joyful moments with the parts of our body, that were made to enjoy sexuality? We don`t think so!
Why did you choose this area of practice and what motivated you to start?
I have been practicing plastic surgery in my own office now for 16 years. After collage and compulsory military service in Germany, my intention was to become actor and singer. I had the chance to participate in Musicals and Shows and my very similar Elvis-voice pushed a little my success. But life in the world of German show business did not really fulfill me. On a trip to Rio, Brazil, I met by accident Prof. Pitanguy, the most famous Plastic Surgeon world wide, who passed away just recently, and who I had the opportunity to watch during his work. To me it was like love at first sight, this is what I wanted to do. Now I am Plastic Surgeon myself having had the luck to learn from the best colleagues in the world. Every day I am grateful to be able to work in this fulfilling profession that is a beautiful combination of medical science, artistic skill and surgical work.
Performing many transgender procedures 20 years ago, I was asked by a German TV channel to help a woman with elongated inner labia who suffered from this immensely. After surgery the case was discussed on TV and I got a lot of phone calls from women with problems in the genital area and who were sent away by their gynecologists.
Until now we developed and refine procedures to enhance beauty, function and sexual stimulation on women which is a very fulfilling mission.
Who’s your target audience? In other words, whom do you help?
We help women that suffer from an unpleasant appearance and from functional restrictions of their outer genital region, e.g.by elongated inner labia’s and women, who do not have a satisfactory sexual stimulation, e.g. after childbirth.
Why do women seek cosmetic genital surgery?
The women want to enjoy sexuality as much as possible. Feel beautiful also with their genitals. They seek best anatomical conditions for optimal stimulation and a fulfilling sexuality.
Is the procedure painful? Does it come with any side effects?
There will be pain especially the first day following surgery. This is normal. Also there will be swelling and a little bruising. But this settles quite quickly. 6 weeks after surgery the patients should avoid any frictional forces such as sexual intercourse, jogging etc.
What’s the usual routine and feeling like for a patient within a week after they undergo labiaplasty?
There will be a little pain and discomfort. Sitting on the genital will cause some pain for some days. When stitches dissolve and genital hair grows again, there will be some itching. This is what patient complains about most. In these cases a special crème can be applied.
What are some hardships you’ve had to overcome in your practice and how did you overcome them?
Fortunately I have had no major hardships so far, neither economically or medically. If a patient is not really happy with something due to whatever reason, I always try to find a solution to please him. This is what is most important. It is the final outcome of surgery that counts and the way you treat your patients. They come into my office passing thousands of other plastic surgeons. This is of course a big honor for me. And I do everything to deserve this honor.
Do you serve clients outside Germany? Can non-German residents use your services in their country or do they have to come to Munich?
I had an office running also in Zürich Switzerland and in Dublin, Ireland. But since I have patients coming from all over the world, it does not really matter where they go. It is exhausting to do surgery at many places simultaneously. But the most important thing is also to be there in the aftercare period. Therefore it is better to run only one place unless you can clone yourself.
How can people find you?
They find me via our website plast-chrurgie.de and word to mouth, TV, publications, press, interviews, congresses, etc.