- Length of Treatment: 1-2 hours
- Anesthesia: Local Anesthetic, Conscious Sedation, and/or IV Sedation
- In-Patient/Out-Patient: Out-patient
- Potential Side Effects/Risks: Temporary discomfort, swelling, and sensory loss; infection; undercorrection or asymmetrical results
- Principal Benefits: Labia minora can achieve a more balanced appearance with the labia majora; discomfort from excess skin can be eliminated
- Time off Work: 5-6 days
- Physical Activity: Resume regular activities within 14 days; sexual intercourse and strenuous exercise within 6-8 weeks
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure which can reduce the size of the labia minora and/or labia majora (the inner and outer lips of the vulva) for cosmetic and medical reasons. The procedure is also designed to improve labia shape and symmetry, eliminate skin irritation, and/or create a more comfortable experience during sexual intercourse. It is important that the labiaplasty procedure be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon with additional training in labiaplasty surgery (rather than a gynecologist) to minimize risks, reduce post-operative discomfort, and improve the likelihood of a satisfactory outcome.
At our practice, one of our experienced plastic surgeons—James E. Vogel, MD or Carrie A. Houssock, MD—can design a customized labiaplasty surgical plan tailored to suit your personal needs and goals. Both Dr. Vogel and Dr. Houssock are sensitive to the delicate emotional and physical motivations women have for this procedure, and provide outstanding guidance and care at every phase of the labiaplasty process. If you are interested in learning more about the procedure and want to find out if labiaplasty might be right for you, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.
- What are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
- Who is a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?
- How is the Labiaplasty Procedure Performed?
- What is Labiaplasty Recovery Like?
- What do Labiaplasty Results Look Like?
- How Much does Labiaplasty Cost?
What are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
For many women who struggle with excess labial skin and tissue, labiaplasty surgery can offer tremendous physical and emotional relief. The procedure is customized to suit each woman’s needs and goals, and provides a variety of important benefits. Labiaplasty can:
- Alter the size, shape, and/or symmetry of the labia minora
- Create improved proportions between the labia minora and the labia majora
- Remove excess skin that causes discomfort during sexual intercourse or physical activities
- Boost body-confidence
- Correct a torn, protruding, or stretched labia
- Improve feminine hygiene
- Rejuvenate the appearance of the external female genitalia
- Be part of a comprehensive mommy makeover treatment plan
A consultation with one of our skilled plastic surgeons is the best way to find out if labiaplasty is the right solution for achieving the improved look and feel you want. During a consultation, your surgeon can listen to any concerns you have, examine the area, and discuss a personalized treatment plan that can meet your needs.
Who is a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?
Women with excess skin and tissue in the external vaginal region, who are committed to proper postoperative care are typically good candidates for the procedure. Many of the women interested in labiaplasty are motivated by a variety of different experiences and concerns, including:
- Excess labial skin resulting from significant weight loss
- A torn and/or stretched labia caused by childbirth or trauma
- Elongated labial skin that becomes easily irritated or painful
- Personal dissatisfaction with the labia’s appearance
- Hygiene concerns due to excess skin
- Self-consciousness about the labia during sexual intimacy
- Changes to the labia caused by hormonal fluctuations, aging, and/or menopause
- Hereditary labial conditions
- Pain and discomfort caused by the labia
Women of virtually any age may benefit greatly from a custom labiaplasty; however, it is important that candidates for the procedure have reasonable concerns and realistic expectations. Whether dissatisfaction with the appearance of the labia or physical discomfort motivates a patient to consider labiaplasty, Dr. Vogel and Dr. Houssock perform a comprehensive assessment to determine whether a prospective patient is a good candidate for the procedure. Candidates must be fully developed, in good health, and capable of making a full recovery.
How is the Labiaplasty Procedure Performed?
Labiaplasty can be performed either with sedation and local anesthesia, or with general anesthesia. The surgical techniques that Drs. Vogel and Houssock use during a labiaplasty procedure depend upon the unique needs and goals of the patient. Generally speaking, there are two main approaches for labial reduction: the wedge technique and the trim method. While the wedge technique removes triangular sections of the labia and connects the two edges to create a smaller, tighter appearance, the trim method removes skin from along the outside edge of the labia to reduce and reshape the tissue. Each method has benefits and drawbacks which can be explained and discussed prior to the procedure. When the desired shape and size is attained and the surgical excision of labial tissue is complete, the incisions are carefully closed, most often using dissolving sutures.
What is Labiaplasty Recovery Like?
Prior to the procedure, patients are given comprehensive post-surgical instructions, which our plastic surgeons recommend following closely. During the first couple days of recovery, it is recommended that patients apply frozen compresses (ice packs) to the treated areas—this helps reduce post-surgical swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Any prescribed oral and topical antibiotics must be taken as instructed to help minimize the possibility of infection, while pain medications may be used on an as-needed basis. Attending all follow-up appointments is critical to check on healing progress and make sure there are no signs of infection or other complications. Most patients are able to return to work after five or six days, and resume normal activities after a couple weeks. Sexual intercourse cannot be resumed until about six to eight weeks after surgery, once the skin has healed completely.
What do Labiaplasty Results Look Like?
During your consultation, you may ask Drs. Vogel and Houssock to see before-and-after photos of their previous labiaplasty patients. Reviewing these images can help you get a good idea of what your results might look like. We recommend focusing on patients who shared your same concerns and underwent treatment similar to what your plastic surgeon is proposing. Drs. Vogel and Houssock are very careful to set realistic expectations for each labiaplasty patient and take the time to answer any questions you may have so that you feel comfortable proceeding with the procedure. Our plastic surgeons have a very high patient satisfaction rate and the vast majority of their labiaplasty patients are thrilled with their results. Most women are incredibly grateful for the newfound confidence and comfort their labiaplasty procedure has given them.
How Much does Labiaplasty Cost?
Each labiaplasty procedure is customized for the unique needs and goals of the patient, which means the price can fluctuate based on the details of the surgical plan. Factors that determine the total cost of the procedure include:
- Anesthesia fees
- The surgical approach used
- Length and complexity of the procedure
- Medication costs
- Facility fees
If your labiaplasty procedure is recommended for health reasons, medical insurance may cover all or a portion of the costs. Our knowledgeable office team can help you find out if your plan covers labiaplasty. They can also advise you on obtaining any of the necessary paperwork your insurance company requires so you can receive your benefits. For patients who would like to explore plastic surgery financing opportunities, we work with CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending to provide approved applicants with loan options that make care more affordable.
If you are considering labiaplasty, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons.