What is labiaplasty?
As plastic surgery becomes more mainstream and socially acceptable, procedures such as labiaplasty or labioplasty (labia beautification and reduction) are gaining popularity. Women who have large or asymmetric labias or wish to change other aesthetic issues related to their genitalia may benefit from this procedure. In many cases, women are simply born with a large labia. In other cases, they may develop an enlarged labia as a result of childbirth or aging. Labiaplasty involves the surgical reduction of large or asymmetrical labias for aesthetic or medical reasons.
Types of labiaplasty procedures
Some of the common types of labiaplasty procedures include:
- Labia Minora Reduction: This is the most common type of labiaplasty and involves reducing the size of the labia minora. It is typically performed to address discomfort or irritation caused by excessively long or asymmetrical labia minora.
- Labia Majora Reduction: Labia majora reduction is less common than labia minora reduction. It involves reducing the size or correcting sagging of the labia majora to improve their appearance.
- Clitoral Hood Reduction: This procedure involves reducing the excess tissue around the clitoral hood. It can enhance the appearance of the clitoral area and improve comfort.
- Combination Labiaplasty: In some cases, both labia minora and labia majora reduction may be performed in combination to achieve the desired results.
- Wedge Resection: The wedge resection technique involves removing a V-shaped wedge of tissue from the labia minora to reduce their size. This technique preserves the natural edge of the labia.
- Trim Method: Also known as the edge excision technique, involves removing the excess tissue along the edge of the labia minora. This technique is suitable for cases where the labia need to be shortened along their entire length.
- Laser Labiaplasty: Laser technology is used to trim and shape the labia minora. It can offer a more precise and less invasive alternative to traditional surgical methods.
- Liposuction of the Labia Majora: Liposuction can be used to reduce the size of the labia majora by removing excess fat. This technique is ideal for patients with fatty or enlarged labia majora.
- Augmentation Labiaplasty: Some women may desire an augmentation of the labia majora using fat grafting or dermal fillers to increase the fullness and improve the appearance of the outer labia.
Cost of labiaplasty treatments
On average, the cost for different types of labiaplasty procedures can range from approximately $2,000 to $8,000 or more. Here’s a general estimate for each type of procedure:
- Labia Minora Reduction: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Labia Majora Reduction: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Clitoral Hood Reduction: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Combination Labiaplasty: $4,000 to $8,000.
- Wedge Resection: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Trim Method: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Laser Labiaplasty: $3,000 to $6,000.
- Liposuction of the Labia Majora: $2,000 to $5,000.
- Augmentation Labiaplasty: The cost for augmentation may vary depending on the specific method used, but it generally falls within the range of $3,000 to $7,000.
Is it right for you?
Ideal candidates are women are unhappy with the appearance of their labia or it protrudes too far causing a source of embarrassment with a sexual partner. Many women desire vaginal beautification in order to please their sexual partner and improve their own self-esteem.
There are medical reasons for labiaplasty as well. In some cases, large labia may be a source of pain and discomfort. An excessively large or thick labia minora can cause chronic irritation when tight pants are worn or cause physical discomfort when engaging in sports or other physical activities.
Good candidates for this procedure are adult women in good overall health. They are realistic about the effects of this surgery and do not feel pressured into labiaplasty by their partner.
Potential risks include temporary numbness, bleeding, infection, changes in pigmentation, asymmetrical results, and the build up of excess scar tissue.
Because of these risks, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has expressed its concern to cosmetic surgery procedures involving the vagina, stating these procedures pose substantial risk, and their safety and effectiveness have not been established.
Despite the potential risks, labiaplasty is growing in popularity as such procedures become more socially acceptable.
The recovery process takes about a 4 to 6 weeks, although most women are able to return to work within about a week.
You will need to wear a pad for at least the first week after the procedure due to postsurgical bleeding.
Women who undergo this procedure must abstain from intercourse for at least one month, as the genitals will be swollen and tender during this recovery period. The labia and the surrounding tissue may be slightly bruised as well.
Other side effects include pain or discomfort that can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Your surgeon may offer you a donut cushion to suit on in order to relieve discomfort and avoid placing pressure on the labia as they heal.
Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. You will not be able to use tampons for at least ten days after surgery, and strenuous exercises should be avoided for three weeks after undergoing labiaplasty.
When will you see final results?
On average, it may take 4-6 months of healing time for swelling to completely go away before seeing your final results.
How long will your results last?
In most cases, the results are permanent but could be altered somewhat by pregnancy and vaginal childbirth.
Are you ready to take the next step? Find experienced plastic surgeons near you.
To learn more about labiaplasty, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website.
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