What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty improves the appearance and function of the labia (the “lips” surrounding the vagina). The appearance of the female genitals can vary greatly from woman to woman. While there is no single “correct” genital shape, many women turn to plastic surgery to correct asymmetry or reduce the size of their labia. Labiaplasty can give the labia a more cosmetically pleasing and youthful appearance, and it can also improve physical and emotional comfort for the patient.
The Benefits of Labiaplasty
- Reduces oversized labia
- Corrects asymmetry of the labia
- Restores youthful, aesthetic beauty to the labia
- Improves physical comfort
- Enhances emotional comfort and sexual confidence
Achieved With Labiaplasty
The labia majora, or the outer vaginal lips, are on the outside of the body. For some women, the outer labia are naturally large, and in others, atrophy or shrinkage may occur, giving an aged look. If the latter occurs, then the inner lips, the labia minora, may appear to be prominent. If the labia majora and the mons pubis are too full, liposuction may be used to reduce the puffiness. If the labia majora are too thin, then fat transfer can be used to plump up the tissues to provide a more youthful appearance.
The inner lips or labia minora may become stretched or loose due to sexual activity, childbirth, hormones, and/or aging. This can cause physical discomfort or even pain with clothing, sexual intercourse, and exercise. Labiaplasty trims away the excess tissue, contours the lips, and reduces the labia to a more modest and comfortable size.
Feminine hygiene can be difficult when the labia are overly large. Interference with the urinary stream, menstruation, and even toilet paper can lead to hygiene problems. Excess skin rubbing together in this area can also lead to hygiene problems. Functional labiaplasty can reduce the size of the labia to help the woman maintain better hygiene.
Enhanced Aesthetic Appearance
Even though there is no “correct” or “ideal” appearance of the labia, women may feel self-conscious about how theirs look. This feeling can be triggered by genetic abnormalities or asymmetries in the appearance of the labia, or it may arise because of changes to the labia after pregnancy, aging, and other related conditions. Labiaplasty can reshape the labia to produce a cosmetically prettier appearance, thereby helping the woman to feel more confident and comfortable with her appearance.
Boosted Emotional and Sexual Confidence
Women who experience physical pain during sexual intercourse because of the size of their labia may be less confident in their sexuality or in their ability to enjoy sex. Some may begin to avoid sex so that they do not have to experience this pain. Even if there is no physical pain, if the labia are considered “unattractive” by the woman herself or by her sexual partner, it can lead to emotional distress and avoidance of sex. This may also affect a woman’s overall emotional confidence and self-image. Labiaplasty can improve the appearance and function of the labia so that women can feel comfortable and confident in themselves.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Chin
Labiaplasty is an incredibly delicate procedure and requires a skilled plastic surgeon. Dr. Chin uses a refined technique and a personal approach with every patient. Either a local anesthetic, intravenous sedation, or general anesthetic is administered before the procedure. Dr. Chin measures and marks the excess skin for symmetry, and then he begins the process of removing excess skin and reshaping the remaining skin of the labia minora hypertrophy. Liposuction or fat grafting can be done at the same time to treat the labia majora. Bleeding is controlled, and absorbable sutures are used to close the incisions. The procedure takes one to two hours to complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for labiaplasty?
Candidates for this procedure are usually unhappy with the size or shape of their labia for either functional or cosmetic reasons. The ideal candidate is not pregnant, does not smoke, has not had complications from an episiotomy, and is in good physical health. Although there is no age requirement to undergo a labiaplasty, it is best for the candidate to wait until after she has had children because childbirth can cause the labia to stretch.
What will my recovery be like after labiaplasty?
Some swelling and pain should be expected after labiaplasty. Dr. Chin will give you oral medication that will help alleviate pain in the days following the procedure. Pain should lessen each day and should subside after about 10 days. Depending on your occupation, this is the ideal amount of time you should request off from work. There will be some scarring after labiaplasty; however, the scars will not be very noticeable and will fade with time. Regular exercise and sexual activity can resume after six weeks.
What are the risks of undergoing labiaplasty?
As with any surgery, there are some risks involved with labiaplasty:
- Tight scars can occur and make vaginal penetration painful.
- The incisions can open before they are fully healed.
- Nerve damage or hypersensitivity can impair sexual arousal and pleasure.
- Excess bleeding can occur due to the large number of blood vessels within the labia.
Dr. Chin can review these risks with you in further detail, and help you decide if a labiaplasty is the right procedure for you.