One type of surgery that is becoming increasingly popular, especially among young women, is labiaplasty. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to change the shape of the labia, the outer area surrounding the vagina. Many women have endless questions about the surgery but may be embarrassed to ask. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about labiaplasty and the answers!

What Exactly is the Labia?

The labia are the four folds of the vulva on either side of the vagina. You have the labia majora, which are the fuller, wider outer portion of your vagina, and you have the labia minora, which are the slimmer, inner portion of the vagina that come together to help keep the vaginal introitus (opening) moist and protected. Many people have come to know this as the outer and inner “lips” of the vagina.

What Is the Difference Between Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty?

The main difference between labiaplasty and vaginoplasty is what they involve surgically. Labiaplasty only changes the shape of the labia, while vaginoplasty tightens the vagina. Both labiaplasty and vaginoplasty can be performed for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes, but typically are not covered by insurance.

Can You Change the Shape of the Outer and Inner Labia?

Labiaplasty can involve altering the outer labia majora, or the inner labia minora. Typically, as women age, or lose weight, they may notice that the outer, labia majora, will lose volume. The outer labia majora can be made to appear fuller, or more plump, by fat grafting to this area. This is a safe way to use your own body’s fat cells to improve shape and fullness. The inner labia, or labia minora can be reduced in what is known as a labia minora reduction (see below!)

What is a Labia Minor Reduction?

A labia minora reduction is indicated for patients who have labia minora that extend beyond the borders of the labia majora, or for patients who feel that they stick out too far. The labia minora can also appear darker than the surrounding skin, which can also be fixed with a labia minora reduction. Often, there is asymmetry between the two labia minora, and this can be repaired to appear more symmetric.

What Will Labiaplasty Do for Me?

Labiaplasty can change the shape of your labia, making them smaller or correcting asymmetry. The surgery can also reduce the size of the clitoral hood, and the fleshy tissue surrounding the clitoris if necessary. Many women choose to have labiaplasty for a multitude of reasons, including, but not limited to, physical appearance, inability to wear tight fitting workout clothes, discomfort with bike riding and horseback riding, and discomfort with sexual intercourse.

Does Labiaplasty Affect My Ability to Have Children?

No, labiaplasty will not affect your ability to have children.

What Are the Medical Benefits of Labiaplasty?

In addition to increasing self-confidence and improving your appearance, labiaplasty can also help with physical discomfort and hygiene. If you experience pain during everyday activities like riding a bike, having intercourse, or having hygiene issues, labiaplasty can help.

How Should I Prepare for Labiaplasty?

It would be best to avoid smoking and taking certain medications, like ibuprofen and aspirin, for four weeks before and after the surgery. You should also avoid douching, using tampons, or having sex for four to six weeks after the surgery.

How Long Does Labiaplasty Take?

Labiaplasty is usually a quick outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. The surgery itself only takes about one hour and is typically done with light sedation and local anesthetic. General anesthesia is always an option for patients who prefer to be completely asleep.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?

A few conditions might make you not a good candidate for labiaplasty. You should wait to undergo this procedure if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have a vaginal infection, you’ll need to clear that up before surgery.

How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost?

Labiaplasty costs can vary depending on the surgeon, the location of the surgery, and the type of procedure you have.

Labiaplasty is a popular surgery that can help with aesthetic and physical concerns. Charlottesville Plastic Surgery is a renown plastic surgery center that that performs Labiaplasty often. Dr. Willis has published a leading article on labiaplasty technique and its benefits (see link below). Schedule a consultation today to learn more.


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