Ontario doctors repairing cases of female genital mutilation done a world away

Ontario doctors grappling with how to treat women who as young girls were subjected to female genital mutilation are sometimes asked to reverse part of the procedure done a world away, provincial records show.The process — surgically reopening the vagina — is called “repair of infibulations,” according to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Infibulation is the clinical term for the surgical narrowing of the vagina that is one of several types of female genital mutilation (FGM) performed in 29 countries around the world, and sometimes seen as a rite of passage into womanhood or a condition of marriage.Billing records submitted by Ontario doctors show the reversal surgery has been performed 308 times in the past seven years in Ontario, though it may be done more often and billed under a different code.While repair of infibulation opens the vagina, there is no current procedure that replaces removed tissue.Female genital mutilation refers to four different procedures done in countries including Somalia, Sudan, Egypt and parts of Southeast Asia, usually by a non-medical practitioner.Article Continued BelowThis practice “damages the woman physically and emotionally,” says Dr. Joseph Daly, a gynecologist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. “Women suffer needlessly from this procedure and there’s no clinical value in the procedure,” said Daly, who has performed the reversal procedure numerous times.RELATED: