As surprising as it may be, many women are not happy with the appearance of their labia minora, or inner lips. Also, not many women are aware there is a designated cosmetic plastic surgery procedure designed specifically for vaginal enhancement. Labiaplasty is a surgery designed to reduce enlarged labia minoras and make them neat in appearance, lying nicely inside the labia majora. This procedure actually has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of all cosmetic enhancement procedures.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, or labioplasty, is a cosmetic reconstructive surgery performed on the labia minora to reduce or enhance its appearance. Labia hypertrophy is a condition where the labia minora projects outward beyond the labia majora; this can result from puberty or present from birth. Generally there is no medical necessity to reconstruct an enlarged labia; however, it can be terribly bothersome both emotionally and physically. Bikinis and fitted pants are not top choices for women with labia hypertrophy as they can create irritation caused by friction, and the visibility can cause significant embarrassment. Labiaplasty is specially designed to address the aesthetics of the vaginal area and restore feminine confidence. It can also be used as a reparative surgery to restore a labia that has torn due to childbirth or injury.
Reasons to Undergo Labiaplasty Surgery
It is typically not medically necessary to undergo labia surgery, but some women may opt to get a labiaplasty if they experience physical and/or emotional discomfort caused by hypertrophy, or the condition of an enlarged labia minora. The following are some of the reasons women seek labiaplasty surgery:
- Unable to wear fitted pants because of friction and irritation.
- Embarrassment caused when wearing a bikini because enlarged labia minora is visible through the bottoms or the excess folds stick out from the bottoms.
- Stretching or tearing occurring from childbirth.
- Discomfort experienced with physical activities such as riding a bike or running.
- Feminine hygeine is a concern.
- Shy away from intimate encounters because of self-consciousness.
Candidates for labiaplasty are women in good health who have experienced pain or irritation from labia hypertrophy, whose labia minora has torn from childbirth, or those that are unsatisfied with the appearance of their labia minora. There is no age restriction to undergo the surgery, but it is most commonly performed on women between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.
At your initial labiaplasty consultation at Plastic Surgery Specialists, you will explain the emotional or physical discomfort you experience caused by labia hypertrophy. An examination will be performed to determine if you are a suitable candidate for labiaplasty, and if so, the correct technique will be chosen. A customized surgical plan will be created to provide you with the best results possible. Questions and inquiries concerning preparation, recovery, the procedure itself, results you can expect, and price will all be answered at this time.
- Over 50,000 procedures performed
- Over 75 years of combined experience
Our experienced team of board-certified plastic surgeons combines a unique aesthetic perspective, the ability to listen closely to your needs, and the skills to achieve those desires. This combination sets PSS apart as a world-class plastic surgery clinic, located in Marin County, CA.
The technique chosen will dictate procedure length, which can range from 30 minutes to two hours. Labiaplasty can be performed with either local or general anesthesia depending on the patient’s preference and surgeon recommendation.
Markings are made on the areas of the labia and/or clitoris that are to be excised. The surgeon will remove labia tissue based on the technique chosen during the consultation, while making sure to leave enough tissue for proper functionality; functionality and patient health are more important than aesthetics. With that said, the surgeon will excise enough tissue so the labia minora lies neatly in the labia majora and functionality is preserved. Absorbable sutures are used to close the incision so they do not need to be removed at a later date. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to assess recovery and healing progress.
After Your Procedure
Tenderness and swelling are normal occurrences post labiaplasty and will subside in several days, but ice pack applications and pain medication can help reduce any discomfort in the meantime. Patients can walk immediately following their surgery, but it is recommended that they take a few days off work to rest.
Sitting may irritate the incision site, so lying down is advised for those recovery days. Loose fitting clothing is necessary during the recovery period as well; the transition to fitted pants shouldn’t be rushed.
Patients are able to shower the day after surgery with a gentle soap, but it is important to make sure not to tug or pull on the stitches. Please stay away from pools, jacuzzis, and baths until instructed otherwise. A cream will be given to you for application for at least three days to keep the incision sites lubricated. Do not use tampons or engage in sexual activities for the first two months following surgery; these could cause the incision sites to tear.
Side effects after labiaplasty are rare, but may include pain, bleeding, or change in sensation. If the incision sites are properly taken care of they should heal wonderfully. If not, there is the possibility that the incision sites can harden or tear, requiring an additional labia surgery.
Labiaplasty procedures are wide-ranging in cost as they are completely customizable. The cost will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Poulos, Dr. Douglas or Dr. Hvistendahl. The total cost will depend on your specific procedure, and each surgery is completely customized to your needs and aesthetic preferences. PSS offers convenient financing options designed to fit a wide range of budgets.