Dr. Marci Bowers, Renowned Reconstructive Surgeon:
On March 27, 2009, at her Colorado clinic, Dr. Marci Bowers performed the first clitoral repair surgeries ever performed in the United States, successfully restoring clitoral functioning and the capacity for physical pleasure for three FGM victims, referred by CLITORAID.
The first American doctor to volunteer for CLITORAID, she traveled to France through CLITORAID’s sponsorship to train directly under Dr. Pierre Foldes, who pioneered this wonderful clitoral repair surgery that restores physical pleasure and dignity.
Dr. Bowers is a pelvic and gynecological surgeon with nearly 25 years experience, and a leading expert in the field of Transgender Healthcare. For 8 years she practiced in Trinidad, Colorado where she trained with the legendary Dr. Stanley Biber, considered the “father of Transgender Surgery”. In 2010, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and has now performed over 1000 primary Genital Reassignment Surgeries, as well as performing an additional 240 ancillary gender surgeries per year. Dr. Bowers has also become an international authority on clitoral reconstruction for women who have suffered Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She has been the subject of numerous documentaries, articles and features including appearances on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning and Discovery Health. Dr. Bowers was recently honored to be included in the 2012 World Pride Power List, as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people of the year.
The CLITORAID team is enormously grateful that Dr. Bowers has so generously volunteered her time, considerable experience and exceptional surgical skills to assist women eagerly awaiting the clitoral reconstruction procedure.
In her own words: “The restoration (of sexual pleasure) is possible because the entire clitoris is sensory, not just the amputated portion,” Bowers explained. “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."
For more information about Dr. Bowers: click herePlease see Article By Dr Pierre Foldes Published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2006click hereDr Harold J Henning Jr MD PhD FACOG:
Dr. Henning, is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. He has been in private practice since 1986, and currently lives and practices in the city of Oswego, New York, near the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Born in Kansas, he completed his medical training in that state and later earned a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology. He has been doing gynecologic surgery for about 30 years and did obstetrics for 20 of those years. He has extensive experience in working with women and women’s issues.
He was trained under Dr. Bowers in the clitoral restorative surgery and now offers this treatment in Upstate New York serving the surgical needs of FGM on the East Coast while Dr. Bowers covers the West Coast.
Dr. Henning looks forward to also performing the restorative surgery at Clitoraid’s new facility in Burkina Faso, unofficially dubbed ‘The Pleasure Hospital’ by FGM victim volunteers and plans to attend the opening. He plans to donate equipment to the project.
Doctor Henning stressed the importance of community awareness, both in Western countries and in Africa to decrease the occurrence of FGM. "Restoring the sexual pleasure that has been taken away from such victims is the beauty of the corrective surgery, and I look forward to helping these women. After joining the Raelian Movement, my eyes were opened to issues that plague women throughout the world, not just in my local community and that is what led me to be part of Clitoraid's humanitarian medical endeavor."Dr. John Reid FRCS MBChB MRCGP
I qualified in Cape Town in 1979 and specialized in general surgery. I practiced in the mission hospital environment for several years before moving to England to become a GP where I now work in several clinics in the Bristol area.
My interests in rural African health are second to none and I am motivated on humanitarian and Raelian levels to help alter the world picture for FGM victims if I can. I have met with experts in the field, including Dr Foldes of Paris where I have received instruction in his simple and effective reversal surgical technique.
I am negotiating with British Gynecologists under whose insurance remit the reversal procedure falls in our country to try and spread the word of this simple pioneering approach which involves scar excision initially followed by gentle dissection mobilization of the residual clitoral tissue to fixation on the anterior wall of the vagina. A resting place where this vital organ can reestablish itself and can at last be easily found by future sexual partners!
I look forward to finding my role in the politics, media and therapy of an unfairly mutilated but vital human tissue.Pre & Post-Operative Program
Pre and Post-operative patient therapy and counseling are essential adjuncts to clitoral repair surgery.
Genital Mutilation is such a severe childhood trauma that psychological counseling is often necessary to assist pre and post op patients mental and emotional health.
Sexual therapy is another aspect of Clitoraid's program. Dr. Foldes insists that post-op women need help in understanding how to find pleasure through stimulation of their reconstructed organ. They also need help adjusting psychologically to the reality of their new physicality, since they have been conditioned since childhood to feel guilty and ashamed about their sexual needs.
Since many FGM victims have never before experienced pleasure through clitoral stimulation, CLITORAID asked several sexologists and psychologists to design an appropriate post-op program to help them achieve it. The program includes both physical and psychological aspects.Larry Ashley, Associate Professor at UNLV and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada Scool of medecine:
Because it’s just as important to treat the psychological damage done to FGM victims as it is to repair the physical damage, the Clitoraid team was thrilled when Dr. Larry Ashley, a leading expert in sexual trauma, volunteered his services.
Professor Ashley Ed.S., LADC, LMSW, LPC CPGC is an Addictions Specialist and Associate Professor in Residence for the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He specializes in the treatment of combat and sexual traumas, with a primary focus on the training and mentoring of trauma and addiction professionals.
For Clitoraid, he will assemble and train a team of community providers and graduate students to provide counseling and therapy for FGM victims both before and after surgery. The post-surgical follow-up is especially important, since it will help the women accept and maximize their new capacity for physical pleasure.Diana Urman, LCSW, licensed psychotherapist, clinical sex therapist and sex educator:
In her private practice in San Francisco, Ms. Urman sees a vast variety of clients with the wide
spectrum of concerns ranging from of lack of intimacy and decreased sexual libido to sexual preferences, gender concerns, transgender support including clients with alternative lifestyles and sexualities. She believes that human sexuality is the source of self knowledge, exploration, and opportunity for personal growth and development.
She views sexuality not from the disfunction-based model but rather from the prospective of pleasure and quality of life.
Her professional and personal goal is to serve humanity by assisting her clients in the process of self healing and growth realizing their full potential through expressing their sexuality which she views as a basic human right.
For more information about Ms. Urman: click hereBetty Dodson, Ph.D., Famous Sexologist, Artist and Author:
Betty Dodson, Ph.D., is an artist, author and sex educator as well as an international authority on women’s sexuality. She achieved worldwide recognition for three groundbreaking, erotic art exhibitions in the 1960’s and 70’s before leaving the art world to become a feminist activist and public advocate for women’s sexual liberation.
In 1973, she began running sexual CR (consciousness-raising) groups for women that later became her Bodysex Groups. Under Dodson’s tutelage, women in these groups learned to appreciate the beauty of their genitals as well as to explore the varied experiences of orgasm through masturbation.
Dodson has a private practice in New York City and maintains an active Web site:
the past 10 years, Dodson has provided guidance to help women in Africa who suffered female genital mutilation (FGM) regain some sense of pleasure via her videos and suggestions about how to use various sexual gadgets.
For more information about Dr. Dodson: click here