Maybe you’ve always felt this way or perhaps this is a new sensation, following childbirth or as you’ve grown older. No matter when it began, it is interfering with your full enjoyment of life.
Some women are terribly embarrassed about their appearance without clothing because of the size and/or projection of their labia. This can involve the labia minor, the small inner flaps of tissue surrounding the vagina, or the labia majora, the fleshy outer lips. The labia may be elongated as a result of sexual activity, childbirth, genetics, or the aging process. In some cases, the problem may even interfere with certain activities such as riding a bicycle, wearing tight pants, or sexual intercourse.
Labiaplasty is a minor surgical procedure that can alleviate the symptoms of enlarged labia by trimming and reshaping the vagina’s inner lips (labia minor), outer lips (labia majora), or both. You have a choice. You don’t have to live with things the way they are. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bartell, a board-certified plastic surgeon, to learn more and find out if labiaplasty is right for you.
Best Candidates for Labiaplasty Surgery
The best candidates for labiaplasty are women in generally good health who are uncomfortable about the appearance of their genital area. Those who are having discomfort due to pinching or chaffing of their labia are especially good candidates. While a labiaplasty can enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence, you may not be able to achieve your ideal image. The best way to know if a labiaplasty is right for you is to schedule a consultation. Dr. Bartell will discuss your needs and options and explain the procedure in more detail. He will also provide a quote for your labiaplasty procedure.
Potential Risks of Labiaplasty Surgery
Thousands of labiaplasty procedures are performed successfully every year. Modern techniques are very safe and usually result in a happy patient.
Complications are rare, but you should know the risks before choosing surgery:
- Bleeding or infection. Possible in any surgery, but extremely unlikely.
- Fluid accumulation under the skin
- Pigmentary changes
- Excessive scar buildup (lumpiness)
- Sexual dysfunction
In some cases, additional surgery might be necessary to address complications. You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Bartell’s instructions before and after the surgery.
Please feel free to talk with Dr. Bartell about the risks and consequences of labiaplasty surgery. One of the best ways to decrease your risk is to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bartell.
Planning for Your Labiaplasty Surgery
At your consultation, Dr. Bartell will listen to your concerns, perform a short exam, and describe the procedure. You will receive a firm labiaplasty price quote, which includes all associated fees. Financing information is also available.
If you decide to have labiaplasty, Dr. Bartell will meet with you to perform a more thorough history and physical examination.
Be sure to inform Dr. Bartell if you:
- Have allergies
- Take any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)
Dr. Bartell will give you prescriptions for any medications you may need before and after the surgery. You will receive a printed set of pre- and post-operative instructions. These will prepare you for what you should do before surgery, what to have on hand at home for afterward, and what to do on the day of your surgery. Dr. Bartell will review these instructions with you, but it’s important to read these instructions carefully on your own and keep them accessible for easy reference.
If you smoke, plan to quit at least three weeks before your surgery and remain smoke-free for at least three weeks after your surgery. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery probably will likely be postponed until you are feeling better.
Labiaplasty surgery is performed using a short general anesthetic, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. It can also be performed with local anesthesia only, if desired. Surgery usually lasts between one and two hours. The most common labiaplasty technique involves removing a wedge of the labia, thus significantly reducing the prominence. Differing amounts of tissue can be removed from each side to improve symmetry. If the labia majora are enlarged, these can also be reduced at the same time. The surgery is completed with the placement of dissolving sutures.
Recovery post surgery
Most patients spend a short time in the recovery area before going home. You will need to arrange a ride home from the surgery center in the case of a general anesthetic. Make sure you have someone available to stay with you for at least 24 hours.
Following surgery you will need to keep the area clean and avoid sexual intercourse for four weeks.
While there is some pain following surgery, most can be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Bartell. Ice packs are also very helpful. Most patients can be back at deskwork within three to five days.
Your decision to have labiaplasty is a highly personal one that not everyone will understand. The important thing is how you feel about it. If the procedure results meet your goals, then your surgery is truly a success.