What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery designed to enhance the appearance of the external folds of skin around the vagina and vulva. This type of cosmetic enhancement or correction is chosen for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most common reason is to improve the appearance and functionality of the labia after childbirth.
Why Do Women Get Labiaplasty?
Overly large labia can cause pain or discomfort and many women opt to correct congenital or traumatic defects with labiaplasty. The specific goal of the procedure is to reduce the size of skin folds on one or both sides of the vagina. Often combined with a surgical procedure designed to expose the clitoris, some women pursue surgery for increased sexual stimulation and satisfaction or to treat sexual dysfunction in women that are unable to reach orgasm.
The procedure and techniques used in labiaplasty has evolved over the years. Surgeons used to use straight amputation with sutures, but found that more favorable outcomes occurred with the advent of laser technology and more detailed surgical incisions. Currently the best outcome for this type of procedure occurs when the physician uses an inferior wedge resection and superior pedicle flap reconstruction, instead of a straight across incision with blunt sutures.
What Are The Procedure Risks?
Similar to many other cosmetic surgical procedures, labiaplasty has a general set of risks and side effects that may occur. Common post-operative complications include mild to moderate pain and swelling. Dangerous and uncommon side effects include excessive swelling, bleeding, hematoma or seroma formation, negative reaction to anesthesia, infection, wound dehiscence, extended scarring or delayed healing. Be sure to report any increase in pain, swelling or inflammation to your surgeon. These can be signs of infection and need to be treated immediately with a course of antibiotics.
There is a certain amount of controversy surrounding this cosmetic procedure and the way it affects women’s self-image and self-esteem. Some critics claim it creates an unhealthy view of what ideal female genitalia should look like. It can be assumed that these same critics have problems with other cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation or liposuction. On the other hand, many patients have found this procedure to be exactly what they are looking for as an improvement in the way they look and feel. It is also popular in sex-reassignment operations.
Am I The Right Candidate for Labiaplasty Surgery?
Complete a firmquote to determine if labiaplasty is for you. Ideal patients are young and healthy with good circulation and without complicating medical disorders such as bleeing or clotting problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes. It is also important that you stop smoking or using certain medications for several weeks before and after surgery. Cigarettes and certain medications can constrict blood flow to the incision and cause delayed or prolonged wound healing with less than satisfactory results. Request a teleconsultation and talk with your physician to determine the ideal pre- and post-operative regimen that will ensure you are happy with the procedure and satisfied with your new labia.