What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure performed to change the size and/or shape of the labia (the inner and outer lips of the vagina). The goal of labiaplasty is to make them smaller or correct asymmetrical differences between them.
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Labiaplasty is a Type of Vaginal Rejuvenation
Labiaplasty falls under the category of vaginal rejuvenation surgery, which focuses on all cosmetic or surgical procedures that involve irregularities to the pelvic floor.
Labiaplasty, in particular, deals with the labia minor and the labia majora. The labia minora are the inner fleshy lips that often distend out of the vagina. They can be seen by pulling back the folds of the labia majora.
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The labia majora are the visible outer lips of a woman’s vagina. These can usually be seen easily by holding a mirror to the genitalia.
labiaplasty addresses the labia minora, though both anatomical parts can be
included in the procedure, if necessary.
What Causes Large or Asymmetrical Labia?
Large or asymmetrical labia can be present from birth. Irregularities may also be the result of childbirth, or simply the gravitational pull of natural aging. Whatever the cause, even minor distortions can lead to many concerns, and may need surgical intervention to correct or alleviate some of the problems that can occur from excess protrusion.
Though many women opt for this surgery in order to attain a neater and trimmer look, labiaplasty has many additional benefits that far surpass aesthetic value.
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Problems Caused by Large or Asymmetrical Labia
labia can cause discomfort, pain, chafing, lack of sensation and rash. Interference
with everyday activities such as sports, exercise, and wearing tight or
revealing clothing– even walking may occur.
or fleshy labia can hamper satisfying intimacy and even cause damage, along
with minor to excruciating pain. If surplus skin is pinched, folded, or pulled
into the vagina during intercourse, tearing and bleeding from friction can compromise
delicate internal vaginal tissue.
some women may suffer from embarrassment, low self-esteem, or other emotional concerns
over the appearance of their genitalia.
Labiaplasty can and does address all of these issues, and can enable women to regain confidence by providing a trimmer and shapelier appearance to the labia, while also alleviating more distressing and painful symptoms.
“Procedures such as vaginal rejuvenation not only address changes in sexual response for the woman and her partner, but the surgery also helps a woman feel much better physically.”
– Dr. Litrel on vaginal rejuvenation
Labiaplasty: Cosmetic Versus Reconstructive Surgery
Labiaplasty can be performed for the purposes of both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgery is intended to improve the function of a body part, while cosmetic surgery changes the aesthetics of a particular part of the anatomy.
The distinction between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery is important in regards to labiaplasty because ACOG is still skeptical of vaginal surgeries for the purposes of increasing aesthetic appeal only. According to Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president for health policy for ACOG, the popularity of the Brazilian bikini wax has made women more aware of what their genitals look like, and the rise of popularity of procedures like labiaplasty is in part due to conventional plastic surgeons seizing an opportunity to increase business.
Labiaplasty can be a medically necessary procedure in cases such as labia hypertrophy (overgrowth) caused by excess testosterone, congenital conditions, or ongoing irritation, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). When considering labiaplasty surgery, is it imperative to discuss concerns and expectations with your surgeon.
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So, What Kind of Doctor Should Perform My Labiaplasty?
A doctor who is a gynecologist, urogynecologist and practicing obstetrician is the ideal physician to perform labiaplasty. Doctors with these credentials have the most extensive knowledge of a woman’s body and the unique issues they present with, enabling them to make the best decision for each woman and their individual needs.
Dr. Litrel, Dr. Gandhi and Dr. Haley are also certified in the subspecialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). Their certifications allow them to bring additional training and skills to perform all intricate pelvic floor surgeries, including labiaplasty to their patients.
Women From All Over to Seek the Expertise of our Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgeons
At Cherokee Women’s Health, three of our doctors are double board-certified gynecologists, urogynecologists and practicing obstetricians, giving them the highest professional qualifications and credentials. Their expertise allows them to fully understand a woman’s body both inside and out, which translates into the best treatment with the best outcome.
Women travel from all over to visit Cherokee Women’s Health at their Woodstock and Canton offices in north metro Atlanta.
If you’re interested in labiaplasty or to see if labiaplasty may be right for you, please call us at 770.721.6060 or request an appointment online.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How Do I Know if Labiaplasty is Right for Me?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your labia, find that your labia can interfere with sexual pleasure because of size, pain, and discomfort, or if wearing snug clothing is uncomfortable or unsightly, a Labiaplasty may be a good choice for you.
What Can I Expect if I Get a Labiaplasty?
You will first need to consult one of our specialists on the matter. There are several ways to approach labiaplasty. Your particular surgery will be explained in detail to you after a consultation and examination depending on your individual needs. Your doctor will discuss exactly what procedure is right for you, based on your desires, preferences, and other criteria.
Forms of sedation will also be discussed, along with where the surgery will take place. Any post-operative information about what to expect while you are healing will also be provided. Rest assured that all your questions and concerns will be fully addressed, including many of the following ones here.
Can Any Woman Get Labiaplasty?
Most women can undergo this surgery as long they are in good health, free from certain medical conditions, don’t smoke, and don’t take certain medications regularly that can interfere with healing, anesthesia, or the surgery itself. Women who have this surgery performed for aesthetic reasons should always be in sound psychological health so that they will have a reasonable expectation of labiaplasty results.
How Do I Schedule a Labiaplasty?
You need to book an appointments for a consultation and examination with one of our specialists and answer some preliminary questions regarding your symptoms, needs, and concerns.
After an examination, if it has been determined that you need and/or want labiaplasty, your physician will explain in full detail what needs to be done. You will be informed of the amount of time needed for your procedure, what anesthetic will be used, costs you will incur, and what outcome you may expect, along with any risks that may worry you.
You will then be given a time and location for your surgery, and some additional written material on pre-operative preparation.
How Should I Prepare for My First Consultation?
Once you have made an appointment for a consultation and examination, you should get a complete record of your medical history and list all medications you are taking. Bring those with you for your first appointment. You should also jot down any questions or concerns you may have.
Are There Any Other Preparations I Should Make Before My Labiaplasty?
If you are already scheduled for labiaplasty, make all necessary arrangements to take off at least one week from work, or from any strenuous activity. You will need to rest during this time, so if you have small children, arrange for help during your recovery period. Practice a healthy lifestyle preceding your surgery, such as eating properly, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water to clear your system of impurities. If you smoke, quit. Avoid alcohol. These measures will go a long way towards speedier healing time.
Because you will advised to remain as inactive as possible while recovering, make sure you have enough essentials ahead of time, such as groceries and necessary medications to last for the duration of your recovery.
How Long Does the Entire Labiaplasty Procedure Last?
Labiaplasty surgery can last anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will be able to go home that same day. It is recommended that you travel by car rather than public transit, and you should arrange to have someone drive you home.
Are There Any Risks Involved with Labiaplasty?
Every surgery, even the least invasive, always has some risk involved. Labiaplasty is a safe procedure when performed by an expert in the field of cosmetic surgery-one who is familiar with the unique feminine anatomy.
Like with any other operation, some problems may occur. These include infection, scarring that might make vaginal sex uncomfortable, possible vulvar desensitization, hematoma, dryness, numbness, and bleeding. With scrupulous post-operative care, even these are rare. One particular approach of Labiaplasty, called the wedge procedure can sometimes compromise healing time, especially if you are on certain medications or eat certain foods that enable the blood vessels to shrink. You may be advised to avoid these items pre or post surgically.
Depending on the nature of your Labiaplasty, and how much trimming must be done, the most common complication we see is over-resection, which is why, yet again, only a specialist familiar with the procedure should be selected.
How Can I Expect to Feel Following Labiaplasty?
You will feel a tenderness for several days, of course because of the sensitive area that has just undergone surgery, but you will be given any necessary medication to make this discomfort as minimal as possible until it disappears. Antibiotics will also be prescribed to stave off infection.
Urination may sting, so you’ll be counselled on how to dilute your urine with water to counteract this. It is normal to feel some itching and swelling after about a week as healing occurs, but this will diminish. Your surgeon will advise you on how to relieve these irritations. Avoid baths or submerging the area in water.
Any follow-up appointments will be scheduled at this time, and it is important that you attend all of them so that we can be sure you are healing properly. Your stitches will dissolve by themselves, so no removal is necessary.
What Postoperative Symptoms Should I Watch Out for Following Labiaplasty?
Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any bleeding, unusual swelling, discharge, foul smell, signs of infection, unmanageable pain, or extreme itching after one week.
How Long Will it Be Before I Recover Fully From a Labiaplasty Procedure?
You may return to work after about a week, but should refrain from any strenuous exercise for a minimum of four weeks. You may possibly need more time than this depending on your progress. Most women recover fully within 6 to 8 weeks.
When Can I Resume Sexual Activity?
We usually advise women to wait 6 to 8 weeks before having intercourse again.
Will I Still be Able to Wear Tampons After Having a Labiaplasty?
If you are healing normally, you will be able to use tampons again after 6 to 8 weeks.
Will I See a Physical Improvement Right Away?
Since some swelling and redness can be expected, you will see a gradual difference in appearance. There will also be some scarring, but as you heal over the course of several months, you will see the improvements you were hoping for.
Does Labiaplasty Cause Desensitization or Affect Sexual Gratification?
No. the clitoris, which is the part of the anatomy that provides pleasurable sensation and climax for many women is not touched or altered in any way unless labial skin needs to be trimmed around it, and then, only the skin is removed or altered. Therefore, a labiaplasty should not interfere with that. However, a labiaplasty should change any negative sensation you felt prior to your surgery such as chafing, pinching, pulling, or other discomfort caused by excess of labial tissue.
Will My Partner Notice Any Difference After My Labiaplasty?
If there was any sexual hindrance during intercourse caused by excess labial skin, your partner will notice it is no longer there.
Can Vaginoplasty Be Performed at the Same Time as Labiaplasty?
Yes, in fact, it’s quite common to combine the two surgeries at the same time. Women often request a clitoral hood reduction or vaginal tightening to be done at the same time as well.
How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost?
Cost depends on the procedure necessary to meet your expectations, costs may vary. You will be told up front the full price of your personal labiaplasty once your doctor establishes how much or how little needs to be done in your case.
How Much Will the First Consultation Cost?
The consultation fee is $100. This fee goes toward the cost of surgery if it is performed within 12 months) or can bill insurance if we accept it.
Is Labiaplasty Covered by Insurance?
Labiaplasty is usually an elective surgery, and therefore rarely covered by any health insurance plan. In cases when this is considered a necessary medical procedure, some insurances may cover it.
Once you have all your information, it is advisable to contact your provider and make sure before going forward.
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