Clitoral Hood Reduction

Clitoral Hood Reduction

  • Introduction
  • What is Clitoral Hood Reduction?
  • Types of Clitoral Surgery
  • Recovery
  • Success Rate
  • FAQs


    The clitoris contains the majority of nerve endings in the vaginal area and it is usually retracted underneath a layer of skin referred to as a "hood". The clitoral hood is attached to the labia minora, (inner labia) and during sexual activity; the stimulation of the labia creates stimulation in the clitoral hood. This in turn causes the clitoris to become aroused and to perhaps protrude. The clitoral hood consists of folds of skin that protect the extremely sensitive tissue of the clitoris. During sexual stimulation, the clitoris enlarges, emerging from the folds of tissue. Some women are unable to reach a climax during sexual intercourse. While some individuals may insist that this is strictly an emotional or psychological issue, there are also physiological reasons why some women cannot reach a climax. One possible reason is excess skin in the clitoral hood. Excess skin on the sides of the clitoris often causes the clitoris to look enlarged or uneven. Genetics, estrogen, and testosterone exposure can make significant changes in the way the clitoral area appears. Sometimes, these folds of tissue can be too large, making it difficult for the clitoris to receive sufficient stimulation to achieve orgasm. Or the clitoral hood can be overly large in relation to the labia minora, leading to an unbalanced appearance. This is particularly possible after a labiaplasty, when the labia minora are reduced in size mostly recommended along with a labiaplasty, though this recommendation will depend on your individual situation. Some women who have difficulty achieving orgasm, or who are unable to achieve orgasm at all, will undergo a clitoral hood reduction to remove this physical barrier to sexual satisfaction. Other women simply wish to have the folds of the clitoral hood be more in proportion with the labia minora. As with any plastic surgery procedure, and genital surgery in particular, the choice to have a clitoral hood reduction is highly personal. Beverly Hills Medical Group and the staff are aware of and sensitive to their patients privacy and concerns, and will be sure you feel completely comfortable with your decision to undergo a clitoral hood reduction or any other plastic surgery procedure.

    What is Clitoral Hood Reduction?

    A clitoral hood refinement, also called clitoral hood reduction, or a hoodectomy, removes a portion of the clitoral hood to allow the clitoris to be accessed and stimulated. The clitoral hood is not removed perse, but simply reduced in size. The procedure does not interfere with the nerves of the clitoris, so clitoral sensitivity and response are not affected. In fact, with the size of the hood reduced, clitoral response should be increased. This may sound like a major procedure, but it is brief and removes only a small section of the clitoral hood. It is completed in less than an hour.

    Clitoral hood refinement enables your body to function more fully during sexual activity. Because large labia are often indicative of a large clitoral hood, a clitoral hood reduction is often performed with labiaplasty of the labia minora. Clitoral hood reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the clitoral hood. Clitoral hood reduction is performed most often as part of a labiaplasty (labia minora reduction). Some doctors recommend against clitoral hood reduction as part of labiaplasty. The goal of clitoral hood reduction may be to contribute to the overall goal of labiaplasty: to improve the aesthetic and functional nature of the labia minora. Sometimes, clitoral hood reduction is performed to allow greater exposure of the glans clitoris during stimulation with the goal of improving a woman's sexual experience, including the likelihood of orgasm. One technique for reducing the clitoral hood is to excise tissue lateral to the clitoris on each side. This results in the exposure of the clitoris. Care must be taken to maintain the clitoris in the midline.

    Types of Clitoral Surgery

    There are three main groups of plastic clitoral procedures:

    Clitorectomy or Clitoral Amputation -This operation simply removes all that can be seen of the clitoris (ie all of the glans clitoris), and usually involves dissection and partial removal of the corpora.

    Clitoral Recession - In this procedure, none of the clitoral structures are removed, instead the clitoral structures are dissected out and then folded up and moved in their entirety, backwards under the symphysis pubis.

    Clitoral Reduction- In this procedure the glans clitoris is preserved, and the corpora are dissected and partially or totally removed. Most procedures today will identify the two dorsal clitoral nerves and maintain their connection to the clitoral glans.


    Recovery varies from person to person. It could take up to 2 weeks to fully recover. Try to minimize the amount of time spent sitting down, including driving. Do also try to avoid strenous exercises and carrying very heavy objects.

    Success Rate

    In terms of improving appearance and functionality, labiaplasty procedures have a high rate of satisfaction and a low rate of complications. Only 4.4% of patients experienced significant complications. Studies published rate of satisfaction indicates that 98% of patients would have labiaplasty again.3 "Almost all patients" in sample of 407 patients had concurrent clitoral hood reduction, although exactly how many and how they correlated to satisfaction rates is not given in detail. Other results from the study included an average patient satisfaction score of 9.2 out of 10, with 95% of patients experiencing reduced discomfort, 93% of patients experiencing improved self esteem, and 71% experiencing an improved sex life. Only one respondent (0.6%) indicated a worsened sex life following clitoral hood reduction.

    Nearly all women (about 97%) who have labiaplasty to relieve physical or emotional discomfort are satisfied with their surgical results. About two-thirds of women who have labiaplasty with clitoral hood reduction experience mild, moderate, or significant enhancement of sexual pleasure.


    Who Q: Why clitoral hood reduction?

    A: The solitary function of the clitoris is to induce sexual pleasure. As the female equivalent to a man's penis, the clitoris is covered by a hood (which is similar to a man's foreskin). Occasionally this hood or tissue covering can be large, redundant (also called clitoral hypertrophy) and cause inability to achieve stimulation to the clitoris. The redundant tissue can also be uncomfortable while wearing a bathing suit or tight fitting clothing.

    Q: How do I know if clitoral hood reduction is right for me?

    A: Women who need a clitoral hood reduction generally complain of lack of ability for stimulation of their clitoris. The hood covers the clitoris to the extent that adequate stimulation is difficult.

    Q: How is Clitoral Hood Reduction Performed?

    A: The procedure to reduce the clitoral hood is a simple, outpatient procedure where the hood is surgically incised and the excess skin tissue is removed to allow for improved stimulation of the clitoris. As the female equivalent to a mans penis, the clitoris is covered by a hood (which is similar to a mans foreskin). Just like during a circumcision of the male, the excess skin overhanging the clitoris can be reduced surgically.

    Normally the procedure is performed using mild sedation and a local anesthetic. Patients thus are awake during the procedure and do not require a general anesthetic. After the procedure, most women complain of mild to moderate pain, treated adequately with pain medicine and topical anesthetic ointments.

    Q: What other procedures are usually done with Clitoral Hood Reduction?

    A: Clitoral hood hypertrophy is often seen in women who also have labial hypertrophy, or excess labia minora where their tissue hangs down below their vulva. In these circumstances, reduction of the tissue covering the clitoris can be performed at the same time. The nerves that supply the clitoris are not involved in these procedures, and therefore there is no decrease in sensation or orgasm experienced.

    Q: What should I expect from the procedure?

    A: The procedure to reduce the clitoral hood is a simple, outpatient procedure where the hood is surgically incised and an adequate amount of tissue removed to allow for the clitoris to be stimulated easily. When performed with labiaplasty, it should be emphasized that the nerves that supply the clitoris are not involved in these procedures, and therefore there is no decrease in sensation or orgasm experienced.

    Clitoropexy is the careful fixation of the clitoris when it protrudes beyond its normal anatomic location.

    Clitoral hood hypertrophy is often seen in women who also have labial hypertrophy, and reduction of the tissue covering the clitoris is usually performed at the time of labiaplasty if desired. The nerves that supply the clitoris are not involved in these procedures, and therefore there is no decrease in sensation or orgasm experienced.

    Q: What does the surgery involve?

    A: It is actually similar to circumcision of the male penis. Like the penis the clitoris has a hood that can prevent required sensitivity in sexual intercourse. This operation is extremely delicate and the gynecologist performing it must have a great deal of experience. This is necessary because the clitoris has more nerve endings in it than in all the tissues surrounding it. The hood is either partially removed or split to allow the clitoris freedom to enlarge when you feel aroused. The procedure may be done using laser.