ACERS-UK Delegates Observe Reconstruction Surgery Procedure at Dr. Pierre Foldes Clinic in France

delegation from ACERS UK project.

In April 2024, a small delegation from ACERS UK project, consisting of a midwife (Juliet Albert), a consultant urogynaecologist (Dalia Saidan), and a plastic surgeon (Aurora Almadori), visited Dr. Pierre Foldes’ clinic in France to observe four women undergoing reconstruction surgery. It was an inspiring moment to watch Dr. Foldes expertly and delicately remove thick scar tissue surrounding the tip of the clitoral glans and carefully cut the suspensory ligaments behind the remaining clitoral body in order to detach and mobilise it upwards, to expose the tip again. Dr. Foldes ensured a sensitive and safe environment for the women, even in their unconscious state induced by sedation.

Dr. Foldes also expressed his willingness to support the work being carried out in the UK to progress research and access to reconstruction surgery for FGM survivors. As the pioneer of this surgery in 1998, he brings over 25 years of experience and has successfully performed this surgery on more than 5,000 women in France and parts of Africa.

ACERS-UK Delegates in France.

The availability of reconstruction surgery and psychosexual therapy for FGM survivors is standard practice in various European countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, USA, Spain, and some parts of Africa. However, such services are conspicuously absent in the UK. While the NHS does offer a procedure known as ‘de-infibulation’ for women who have undergone FGM Type 3 (or pharaonic circumcision), which involves the opening of scar tissue to uncover the urinary and vaginal openings, this falls short of comprehensive care. This gap in services can detrimentally impact FGM survivors’ quality of life and mental health.

Despite providing gender reassignment surgery and post-cancer vulva reconstruction, the NHS does not afford FGM survivors the same level of patient choice. It is imperative that we address this glaring health disparity promptly. Ensuring the availability of optimal treatment options for FGM survivors is an integral aspect of the #EndFGM campaign. If you want to find out more information about reconstruction surgery and the work of ACERS-UK project, please email Juliet at


FGM Network petition.

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