Calls to end 'porn-driven' surgery for girls
An increase in girls requesting genital cosmetic surgery has prompted calls to strike the procedure from the Medicare rebate list and bring in new laws to stop surgery regarded as unnecessary.
The Royal Children's Hospital's head of gynaecology, Sonia Grover, said there had been a significant rise in the number of girls requesting genital reconstructive surgery. Many sought the procedure because they "think their genitalia look abnormal".
"Ten years ago there was around one case presenting every year or two ... with concerns regarding appearance or requesting labiaplasty," Dr Grover said . "In the last few years, a case has presented every two to three months."
Dr Grover said most patients elected not to proceed with surgery as a result of information and education provided by staff.
She said fewer than five children had undergone labiaplasties or vulvoplasties at the hospital in the past 12 years. Each of them had experienced genuine symptoms to warrant the procedure, which reduces the size of female genitalia, she said.