Labiaplasty is a surgery to reduce the size of the labia, which is the set of skin flaps that are located at either side of the vaginal opening.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the shape of your vaginal lips. Depending on the goals for labiaplasty, you might have surgery on the labia majora—the outer vaginal lips—or the labia minora—the inner lips that are typically smaller.
Labiaplasty is performed to:
- Change the size and/or shape of the labia
- Correct an asymmetry between the inner and outer labia
- Enhance the appearance of the vulva
- Reduce pain or irritation (as a result of childbirth, trauma, or aging)
What are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is increasing in popularity in the United States and across the world—there has been a 73.3% rise in these procedures compared with 2015 statistics, with nearly 90% of those who get the surgery being pleased with the results.
Labiaplasty changes the aesthetics of your vagina. It can also improve your self-esteem, in addition to reducing:
- Discomfort or pain if the injury to vaginal lips occurs as a result of trauma, aging, or childbirth
Is Labiaplasty Treatment Right for You?
Everyone's vulvas are different—there is no right or wrong way for your vaginal lips to look. But, if you've experienced changes to your labia due to aging, childbirth, and trauma, or if you find that the look of your labia causes you mental distress, a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide whether a labiaplasty is right for you.
Good candidates for labiaplasty include people who:
- Have large labia majora and minora
- Are looking to resolve asymmetrical labia
- Experience pain or discomfort from their labia as a result of trauma, childbirth, or aging
In addition to your overall health, you must not be a smoker in order to be a candidate for labiaplasty.
What to Expect During a Labiaplasty Procedure
Labiaplasty is a relatively simple surgical procedure where the patient undergoes local anesthetic only. An injection is used to numb the surgery area, and patients might be given an oral sedative to assist in keeping them calm and remaining still during the surgery.
Once the patient is sedated and numb, the labia minora are trimmed down in one of two ways:
- The wedge excision
- The trim technique
Dissolvable stitches are used to close the incisions. Some patients may also request dermal fillers to plump up the labia. Depending on the requirements, your plastic surgeon may inject fat or another filler material to achieve the desired plumpness.
Labiaplasty surgery usually takes about one to two hours, with recovery taking up to six weeks. The early stages of post-labiaplasty recovery will just require rest and the use of a pad to prevent bleeding. Patients will also need to hold off on intense working out and sex for up the duration of the recovery period.
Labiaplasty is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Labiaplasty is well-tolerated in most cases, and the healing time is minimal. Despite fears that popular culture is leading to an increase in these surgeries, most women who request this surgery seek a change that they can feel good about for themselves, especially while intimate.