Labiaplasty, also referred to as labia reduction, is a surgical procedure that focuses on removing excess tissue in either the labia majora or the labia minora. Patients interested in labiaplasty are women who typically wish to reduce the size of their labia for functional reasons, although labiaplasty can also be used as a cosmetic procedure. Labiaplasty can introduce a number of positive changes for patients, including:
At Millennial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Marc Everett and Dr. David Shokrian want you to feel comfortable in your own body. Labiaplasty is a versatile procedure that can be used to address both the inner and outer labia. Whether you are unhappy because of discomfort or physical appearance due to excess labial tissue, consider a labiaplasty procedure to increase your quality of life and your self-confidence.
Labiaplasty can address either the labia majora or the labia minora, depending on the patient’s needs. Patients with excessive tissue located in the inner lips of the vagina are candidates for inner labiaplasty, otherwise known as labia minoraplasty. For women with excessive tissue in the outer hair-bearing lips of the vagina, outer labiaplasty, also called labia majoraplasty, will address their issues.
Labia minoraplasty is completed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Two different methods exist for performing the procedure: the wedge method and the trim method. Drs. Everett and Shokrian discuss the main advantages and disadvantages of both options with their patients before the procedure, ensuring the goals of the operation align with their desired results.
With the trim method, the outer edges of the labia minora are cut away, creating a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing vaginal profile. The newly exposed edges of the labia minora are then sutured shut using dissolvable stitches. The trim method can remove discolored and hyperpigmented tissue that often develops on the outer edges of the labia. The incisions leave behind minimal scarring along the edges of the labia that is typically not noticeable. The trim method allows for the greatest amount of excess tissue removal.
During the wedge method, a V-shaped piece of tissue is excised from the middle section of each labium. The edges of the labia are then sutured together, allowing patients to maintain the existing edges of the labia for a more natural appearance. The wedge method does not allow for the removal of as much tissue as the trim method and does not address darkened tissue. While the wedge method benefits from not producing any noticeable scarring, not every patient is a candidate for the procedure.
Labia minoraplasty surgery typically lasts one hour.
Labia majoraplasty is also completed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The procedure may begin with light liposuction to remove excess fat located in the outer lips of the vagina to reduce the vaginal profile.
Once the patient has been numbed and excess fat has been removed if necessary, two small crescents of tissue are removed from the inner portion of each outer labium. All incisions are made in the natural crease of the inner and outer labia, meaning no scarring is evident following labia majoraplasty.
After the appropriate amount of tissue has been removed from the labia majora, the labia are sutured shut. The procedure lasts one to two hours.
Labiaplasty is a relatively minor procedure that does not produce an overly painful or lengthy recovery period. Patients should plan for two to four days of downtime and up to one week off from work following surgery.
Common side effects include swelling, soreness, bruising and itchiness. Ice packs may be used intermittently to provide comfort and to help minimize swelling. Pain medication will also be prescribed to mitigate discomfort immediately following surgery. Most swelling and bruising will fade in the first few weeks of recovery, although swelling can take up to six months to completely subside. Sleeping with elevated hips will aid in recovery and swelling management.
Patients will need to refrain from exercise, strenuous activities, intercourse and using tampons for about one month. Results are evident in four to six weeks as the side effects continue to diminish. Final results develop in four to six months with the elimination of any lingering swelling.
If you are unhappy with the size, shape or appearance of your labia or experience regular discomfort during exercise or intercourse due to excess labial tissue, then you are likely a good candidate for labiaplasty. Our ideal candidate is a non-smoker, is in relatively good health and has realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Labiaplasty can be performed on women of most ages, including minors.
If your inner vaginal lips are bothersome and create functional concerns, aesthetic concerns or both, then you would benefit from labia minoraplasty or inner labiaplasty surgery. If you are unhappy with the appearance or size of your outer vaginal lips, then you would benefit from labia majoraplasty or outer labiaplasty surgery. We can discuss both options with you and clarify the difference between each procedure during an in-person evaluation.
Both procedural options are useful techniques for reducing the size and appearance of the labia minora. Typically, patients undergo the procedure using the trim method as it allows for the most amount of tissue removal and also addresses discoloration, but some patients may benefit more from the wedge method. Patients interested in eliminating discoloration along the edges of the labia minora will need to undergo the procedure using the trim method to receive optimal results. We will determine which option is best for you after an in-person consultation.
Scarring is minimal in all cases for labiaplasty surgery. During outer labiaplasty, all incisions are made in the crease of the inner and outer labia, creating inconspicuous scarring that is not noticeable. With the wedge method for inner labiaplasty, the natural edges of the labia minora are left intact and scarring is virtually nonexistent. Patients who undergo inner labiaplasty using the trim method may have scars along the exposed edges of the inner labia, but scarring is always very minimal and unnoticeable.
Because the procedure deals exclusively with the labial tissue, sensation during intercourse is not affected.
Patients can shower 24 hours following labiaplasty surgery but should wait for their incisions to heal completely before swimming or taking a bath.
Absolutely. If you are interested in rejuvenating both the inner and outer vagina, then let us know during your initial consultation and we will discuss both procedures with you.
If you feel self-conscious about the size, shape or symmetry of your labia, then consider a labiaplasty procedure at Millennial Plastic Surgery. Labiaplasty can make not only a marked improvement in your self-confidence and your sex life but can also improve your comfort when exercising or wearing tight clothing. Whether you have enlarged labia due to weight loss, aging, pregnancy or simply genetics, Drs. Everett and Shokrian will work with you to address all of your concerns in one easy procedure.
To learn more about labiaplasty and book an appointment, call us today at 212-421-7123 to reach our New York office or at 212-421-7124 for our Syosset office.