For this and other reasons, De Villers said she could not advocate the procedure under most circumstances.
"It's really radical, and most women have perfectly normal vaginas," De Villers said. "I do not recommend it."
The exception, she said, is when a doctor might suggest restructuring after a woman gives birth if there is a high degree of stretching and incontinence.
Women are not the only ones to look for a surgical solution to better sex. Some men seek a surgeon's help when it comes to getting a longer or thicker penis.
Dr. Darius Paduch, a urologist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, who is an expert in male sexual function, said the idea that a larger penis may lead to more pleasurable sex is not an unfounded one, as past research has shown that length and thickness plays a part in the orgasm of a female partner.
"From the female perspective, penis size and girth matters," Paduch said.
But the surgical procedures that lead to a larger penis are not without risks. Paduch said that if improperly done, serious injury can result. He noted that while some of these injuries come from botched surgery at the hands of an untrained practitioner, others are the result of a man using a device or technique in an attempt to lengthen his penis on his own.
In the latter category, he said he has seen men who have come in with serious damage to the nerves and blood vessels in their penises.
The surgery to lengthen a penis also involves the cutting of the suspensory ligament, a tough band of tissue that anchors the penis to the pubic bone. Severing this connection does allow for greater length, but it can also mean less control and a decrease in erection angle.
Likewise, surgical procedures to increase the thickness of the penis also have their potential complications. One approach, which involves removing fat from one part of the body and injecting it into the shaft of the penis, has already been branded with a strong contraindication by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
"Enlargement of the penis by fat injection is considered an experimental high-risk procedure, and there is currently insufficient data to establish its safety and effectiveness," the society states on its Web site.
Could It Help Your Sex Life?
For men with certain medical conditions that affect the size of their penis, it is likely that such surgical interventions could have some positive effect. But for most men, Paduch said, the need for such surgery exists only in their minds.
"The problem is that a lot of men have this gym locker room complex," he said. "The overall message is that there is definitely something about length and girth, but most men are of average size when erect -- about 5¼ to 5½ inches in length.
"I have never had a male patient who, after the reassurance that they are of a normal size, tells me that they still want to have something done."
The idea is, for lack of a better term, seductive. Implant a few electrodes close to your spinal nerves, turn a dial on a box, and sit back while you experience an intense orgasm.