If you’re considering labiaplasty…
Below-the-belt plastic surgery, including labiaplasty, is growing in popularity. Women turn to these procedures for a host of reasons. Some may be seeking relief from genital pain, while others may have cosmetic concerns about the look of their vagina. Still others may be hoping to enhance their sexual satisfaction.
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to trim and shape the vagina’s inner lips (labia minora), outer lips (labia majora) or both. The labia minora are the inner flaps of skin that cover the clitoris and vagina. The labia majora are the parts of the labia on the outside of the body. The labia may be elongated or asymmetrical as a result of sexual intercourse, childbirth, genetics or the aging process.
It should be noted that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is currently against this procedure, having stated that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed
A labiaplasty may be performed in Dr. Beals office-based facility, or at the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center.
The Best Candidates For Labiaplasty
Candidates include women with enlarged inner and outer vaginal lips that cause pain or make them feel self-conscious. Long labia may cause pain during sexual intercourse, exercise or even while wearing skinny jeans. Fully developed young women and adult women who are in good health make the most appropriate candidates.
The surgery is not designed to enhance sexual pleasure or satisfaction. If your goal is to increase sexual satisfaction, talk with Dr. Beals about other procedures.
Labiaplasty is not the only type of cosmetic surgery that can be performed on the vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation, for example, involves tightening the vaginal and perineum areas, which can become stretched during childbirth. Some surgeons suggest vaginal rejuvenation increases sexual pleasure for both partners.
- Temporary numbness
- Asymmetry between the inner and outer labia lips
- Pigmentation changes
- Decreased feeling in that area
- Excess scar tissue buildup (appearing as lumps on the treated area)
- Hematoma (break in blood vessel causing localized blood-filled area or blood clot)
- Puckering or creases of the skin
- Sexual dysfunction
Dr. Beals will likely suggest that you stop taking certain medications, including aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and blood thinners, all of which can increase bleeding risk.
Certain herbal remedies, including vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea and ginkgo biloba, also may increase bleeding risk during and after surgery.
During surgery, larger or uneven inner vaginal lips are cut and shortened using specialized scissors, a scalpel or a laser. The appropriate incision location depends on many individual factors, including the configuration, texture and size of the labia.
In addition, the labia majora, on the outside of the body, can be reduced with either surgery or liposuction, if needed. A hoodectomy, which exposes the clitoris in an attempt to increase sexual stimulation, may be performed at the same time.
Dr. Beals will then suture the incision(s) closed with dissolvable stitches.
Labiaplasty Questions to Ask Dr. Beals:
- Am I a good candidate?
- How many labiaplasty procedures have you performed?
- How often do you perform this surgery?
- Are you board-certified and by what medical board?
- Do you have before-and-after pictures of women who have had the procedure?
- Can I speak to one of your former patients?
- What are the benefits of the procedure for me, and why do you feel they outweigh the risks?
- What guidelines should I follow before surgery?
- What type of instrument will you be using to trim my labia?
- Is labiaplasty painful?
- How much downtime is there after labiaplasty surgery?
- Will the procedure enhance my sexual function?
- Are there any other surgeries that can be done with labiaplasty to improve the aesthetic and functional results?
- How long must I wait to have intercourse again after the labiaplasty?
- Will there be scars?
- When will the stitches typically dissolve?
- How much will my labiaplasty cost?
- Will insurance cover the cost?
- Will intercourse be painful the first time after the procedure?
- What if I am unhappy with the results?
Oral medications can reduce pain, and antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection after your surgery.
You will be asked to avoid any heavy, strenuous exercise for three or more weeks after surgery.