On November 29, 2013 Dr. Marci Bowers restored the clitoris of four victims at the San Mateo Surgery Center in California. One of the women came all the way from West Africa to have the surgery.
Dr. Bowers donates her time as head surgeon for Clitoraid, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of the brutal tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The restoration (of sexual pleasure) is possible because the entire clitoris is sensory, not just the amputated portion. Sensation is robbed through FGM because the amputated portion retracts back and then gets covered by scar tissue. The clitoris is foreshortened by FGM but it isn’t removed – not even a majority of it. The restoration surgery exposes the clitoral stump. Then, with plastic surgery techniques, we are able to bring the exposed portion to the surface, suture it there and even create new labia minora in many cases by utilizing the available surrounding skin. The exposed sensory portion, free of overlying skin and scar tissue, is then there to function.
Sexuality should be considered one of the basic human senses… imagine if we took our children and poked their eyes out in childhood? or their sense of hearing? or even smell? it would be an outrage and we all should feel no less outraged about this process of FGM and how important it is to do what we can to return that sense.