What is a Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, Aesthetic Vaginal surgery, is a surgical procedure that will reduce and/or reshape the labia minora (inner labia). Some patients are born with an enlarged labia minora, while it can also occur from childbirth and aging. In some instances, patients with large labia experience pain during intercourse, feel discomfort during everyday activities or when wearing tight-fitting clothing. The purpose of a Labiaplasty is to better define the inner labia and cosmetically rejuvenate the female external genitalia.
What are the benefits of a Labiaplasty?
- Increased level of self-confidence
- Comfort during intercourse
- Reduction of asymmetry of the labia
Is a Labiaplasty Right for Me?
If you are a cis-gendered female, trans female, or non-binary individual who experiences physical or emotional pain from having unwanted, enlarged portions of the internal labia, then a Labiaplasty may be the right choice for you. Some patients are born with enlarged labia although it can also occur from childbirth and aging. This can cause asymmetry of the inner labia and discomfort during sexual intercourse or wearing tight clothes.
During this procedure, it is also common for patients to augment the labia majora, outer labia, with fat grafting to either reduce or enlarge the size. Another aspect of a Labiaplasty is a Clitoral Hood Reduction, in which Dr. Stiller can remove a small amount of tissue to have the clitoris more accessible. During your consultation with Dr. Stiller, you will have the time to go over your concerns and goals to achieve the best results for you.
How do I Know if I Need a Labiaplasty?
Having labiaplasty is a very personal decision that only you can make. Some of the reasons women choose to undergo this minor procedure include wanting to feel more comfortable with the appearance of their intimate area. Labia that are long or bulky may show through certain types of clothing, such as a bathing suit or yoga pants. Some women tell us that they want to refine the shape of their labia because these pieces of sensitive tissue get compressed by clothing or are a source of pain during intercourse.
If you experience any of these concerns and you are in good health, you may be a great candidate for labiaplasty surgery.
What Does a Labiaplasty Consist Of?
Labiaplasty surgery is a minor procedure that is often performed using a local anesthetic and twilight sedation. Avoiding general anesthesia means reducing risks associated with surgery. The local anesthetic completely numbs the tissue outside of the vaginal opening. During the brief procedure, which takes about an hour, the patient is very comfortable. Slight sensations of pressure may be felt as the doctor works but, again, no pain. The labiaplasty procedure consists of careful resection of the labia majora and, if necessary, the labia minora as well. The doctor trims tissue in a way that results in better shape and optimal symmetry.
Dr. Stiller performs the Wedge Resection technique when performing the Labiaplasty procedure. This involves the removal of a triangular wedge of tissue with the remaining portions sutured back together. In Dr. Stiller's opinion, this technique allows for the best aesthetic result and is the most valuable technique. The Wedge Resection technique can also allow for tightening at the opening of the vagina and easily hidden scars. Correcting the inner labia is a simple and reliable procedure that can create a more natural appearance and give you more confidence.
What is Recovery and Aftercare like for a Labiaplasty?
Recovery after a Labiaplasty procedure can vary between patients. You will be given a pain regimen to help manage your pain and get you through recovery as easily as possible.
A Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, so after a short period of recovery time, you will go home the same day. You will need a person 18 years old or greater with you on the day of surgery.
After surgery, you can expect bruising and swelling for about 2-4 weeks. At that time is usually when patients can return to normal activity. Patients should expect significant swelling to peak about 48 hours after surgery and then gradually decrease over 10 to 14 days. It helps to keep in mind that the labia are made to be extremely stretchy to accommodate childbirth. The swelling that occurs after surgery can extend from the labia to the tissue around the clitoris, as well. This is normal and, though it can look alarming, is not a cause for concern. Patients should not expect their labia to look normal for at least a week.
After 24 to 48 hours, a patient may be cleared to take sitz baths, in which they relax in a shallow bath for a short time. Beginning the day of surgery, patients may also apply cold compresses to the area for short periods of 10 to 15 minutes to soothe inflammation and soreness. Sitting and walking may be uncomfortable for about a week, so patients should schedule at least that much time off work and other activities.
Most commonly, it can take 6-8 weeks to return to sexual intercourse. Most patients take about 1 week off of work, some may take longer or return sooner depending on the physical demands of their job.
Will I lose feeling if I have a labiaplasty?
Sensation can change for a short time after labiaplasty. However, a loss of feeling is a temporary side effect that resolves as swelling subsides and nerve pathways return to normal. Not only does sensation return over time, but many patients say that it improves beyond what it was before surgery.
There are a few times in this world you'll meet someone with the skill and heart to fix "your life long problems with a wave of their hand. I have been a patient for years now and I don't think I've ever met a more caring doctor. Even when complications came up, he was there for me. They say your are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and the staff Dr. Stiller chooses to surround himself with are just as top notch as Dr. Stiller himself. Count yourself among the lucky if someone referred you." - Stephanie S.
"Dr Stiller and his staff are above reproach!!! They are an exceptionally professional and personal staff!! There is no medical staff I have experienced that treats you as a person and cares for you as such; NOT just another patient!!! Dr Stiller is the most personable, caring Dr I have come across during my transisiton and has made it a more incredible journey!!!" - Jenn R.
After a Labiaplasty, most patients notice a significant difference right away and continued improvement as swelling continues to go down. It is almost impossible to notice any scarring after a Labiaplasty as the scar blends in well with the labia minora tissue which naturally has multiple wrinkles and folds. With aging and childbirth, there is always a possibility to get labia hypertrophy again however, most commonly it has lasting results.
Will Insurance Cover My Labiaplasty?
Typically, insurance companies do not cover any of the costs associated with cosmetic plastic surgery. Though labiaplasty can improve a woman’s physical and emotional comfort, the procedure is not deemed medically necessary.