Sometimes called a labial reduction, labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses the folds of skin that make up the inner and outer labia. While many are unaware of the range of natural variation in the appearance of vulvas, some women are uncomfortable with that part of their bodies. For women whose vaginal lips have become slightly distended with age or after childbirth, Kegel exercises may restore vaginal muscle tone in a way that addresses the issue. In a consultation with Dr. Franckle, you can learn about non-surgical options as well as details of the labiaplasty procedure. Researching your options is an important first step for anyone interested in a cosmetic procedure, and we make a point of providing patients with as much information as possible.
Reasons to Consider Labiaplasty
There is significant variation in the color, shape, and prominence of the labia for different women, and the appearance can change naturally over time. Childbirth is a common cause of labial hypertrophy or increased size. Loss of skin elasticity with age is also a common factor. For some woman this can be a lifelong problem.
Significant labial hypertrophy can result in physical discomfort and irritation. Riding a bicycle, wearing underwear, and sexual intercourse can all be sensitive or even painful. Women who simply do not like the appearance of their vaginas may also be motivated to seek out a solution. The decision to schedule a consultation with a labiaplasty surgeon like Dr. Franckle, is not a commitment to move forward with the procedure. Rather, it is an opportunity to learn more about the specific issues that this surgery can address.
Qualifications of Good Candidates for the Surgery
As with any cosmetic surgery, good candidates for a labiaplasty have realistic expectations for what to expect in terms of results. Smoking can be a contributing factor for complications after the surgery, and we will want to know about any allergies or other conditions that may affect the healing process. It is always a good idea to volunteer information about past surgeries and any long-term medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart or respiratory conditions, and diabetes. Diabetic patients often experience a slower healing process, which increases the risks associated with elective surgery. Most patients who undergo the procedure report increased sexual function and general satisfaction with the results.
How the Procedure Works
As a relatively simple outpatient procedure, labiaplasty is performed in a single visit. Local anesthesia and sedation are two common options for this procedure. The patient’s medical history and other circumstances can influence which option is best. Many patients prefer to have as much privacy as possible, so when possible a local anesthesia so you will be able to safely drive yourself home. In cases where sedation or general anesthesia needs to be used, you will be asked to bring a friend or family member who can drive you home after the surgery.
There are three categories of surgical approaches to the labiaplasty procedure. The amputation technique is simplest because it simply removes the excess, protruding portion of skin and tissue. Sutures are used to close the newly defined edge. Because of the differences in skin pigmentation along the edge of the labia, this procedure can result in a difference in coloration that some patients prefer to avoid. Another option is called the “wedge technique,” and it involves the removal of a V-shaped section of the excess skin. Depending on the individual patient, wedges may be removed from the middle, front, or rear of the labia. The third surgical option is de-epithelialization, which removes a central section of tissue. The third option preserves the natural edge of the labia, which means that more natural coloration and nerve function is generally preserved. Because of the nature of de-epithelialization, however, only a limited amount of the tissue can be removed, and the labia may again become prominent over several years following the surgery.
Financing Options Available
Our practice is proud to offer no-interest payment plans for up to six months. For patients who qualify, our extended payment plans, with low APR rates, can stretch up to 60 months. We work with CareCredit® as well as Prosper Healthcare Lending to help make sure that cosmetic surgery is accessible. As an elective surgery, labiaplasty procedures are not covered by most insurance plans. For the convenience of our patients, we also accept cash, checks, or several of the major credit cards.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Franckle, and find out more about the benefits of choosing a labiaplasty surgeon with a wide range of services. Our practice is proud to offer a range of non-surgical procedures that can improve confidence and rejuvenate the face, skin, and body.
Pre- and Post-Op Care
Very little preparation is needed before a labiaplasty procedure. The presence of pubic hair is not a problem, and it’s actually important for patients to avoid shaving the area on the day of the procedure. Tiny cuts and irritation associated with shaving can increase the risk of infection. As with any surgery, it is important to follow the instructions that we provide to you when it comes to preparing for the procedure.
After surgery, antibiotic ointment is applied as recommended for the first few days to prevent infection. In case of bleeding, many patients choose to wear a sanitary pad during the healing process. By applying pressure with the sanitary pad for a period of ten minutes, the patient should be able to stop any bleeding from the surgical site. Bathing is possible after two full days. Follow-up appointments are generally scheduled for one week and one month after the labiaplasty procedure, and patients are advised to abstain from sexual intercourse for the month of recovery.