LABIAPLASTY AT POWER PLASTIC SURGERY
Patients may have concerns regarding size or symmetry of their labia. As a female plastic surgeon, Dr. Power appreciates the sensitive nature of these complaints and strives to make patients comfortable throughout their care, from initial consultation through surgery and post-operative management.
Labiaplasty (labial reduction) may be performed for either overall size reduction, or limited to one side in order to improve symmetry depending on each patient’s specific concerns and presentation. Incisions are placed along natural labial contours, and scars are fairly inconspicuous once fully healed.
"One woman described feeling more confident even walking down the sidewalk after labiaplasty. More comfortable and confident, even when fully clothed. Her little secret."
- DR. STEPHANIE POWER
Labiaplasty is performed as an out-patient procedure under local anesthetic in a minor procedure room. This ensures maximum patient privacy and comfort. Resorbable sutures are used and patients are generally able to return to work within one week. Dr. Power will discuss further activity restrictions following surgery.
Here are a few common questions regarding Labiaplasty:
What are common concerns of patients considering labiaplasty?
- There is typically a wide age range of patients who consider undergoing labiaplasty.
- Younger patients (late adolescence and beyond) often express concerns about how their labia minora (inner labia) have developed following puberty.
- They are often self-conscious about their development and may experience discomfort when wearing tight-fitting clothing or during sexual activity
- Prominent labia minora may also lead to irritation when performing certain exercises, e.g. bicycling or spinning classes.
- Following pregnancy or during the normal aging process, the labia minora may appear elongated as tissue elasticity decreases and laxity develops.
Who is a suitable candidate for labiaplasty?
- Patients with well-defined concerns about their anatomy with reasonable goals are often good candidates for labiaplasty.
- A complete medical history and examination will be performed during consultation to ensure that there are no contraindications to surgery or any conditions that may need optimization before elective surgery is performed.
- Smoking cessation at least 4 weeks pre- and post-operatively has been shown to lower risk of complications, particularly relating to infection and delayed wound healing.
- It is also important for patients to understand and comply with post-operative wound care instructions and recommended activity modifications until well-healed to lower risk of complications.
How is a labiaplasty typically performed?
- The two most common types of labiaplasty are the trim vs. wedge techniques.
- Both techniques are effective in reducing labia minora projection.
- The technique of labiaplasty recommended for you will be based on your specific concerns and clinical presentation and will be discussed in detail during consultation.
What are the different types of labiaplasty?
- During a trim labiaplasty, excess length of the labia minora which projects beyond the labia majora (outer labia) is resected.
- This technique also removes any darkened tissue which is of concern to some patients and may be present at the leading edge.
- Trim labiaplasty results in decreased projection of the labia minora and restoration of pink healthy tissue at the leading edge margin.
- This technique places a scar along the length of the labia minora, which is often subtle in appearance once healed and scar maturation has been completed.
During this technique, a V-shaped wedge of labia minora is resected to reduce its size. The wedge labiaplasty technique does not resect the darkened margin of tissue, but the scar may be even less apparent once healed.
What are the risks with labiaplasty?
There is also risk of sensitive scar formation or altered sensation. As with any cosmetic procedure performed bilaterally (on both sides of the body), there is risk of asymmetry post-operatively. In fact, the labia minora are often asymmetric pre-operatively, which will be assessed during your initial consultation. Additional aesthetic complications include overcorrection, undercorrection, dissatisfaction with cosmetic result, and potential need for revision surgery.
Labiaplasty is generally a well-tolerated procedure. The majority of patients report improved self-image post-operatively, which may lead to enhanced sexual experience and self-confidence.
Dr. Power has an all female team in her office. This may be important to some patients considering labiaplasty. We strive to make patients comfortable during every stage, from initial consultation through operative procedure and follow up visits.
Why would you get a labiaplasty?
You would get a labiaplasty if you have concerns about the appearance of your labia minora (inner labia) or if you have any associated discomfort. You might be concerned about asymmetry or length if it projects beyond the outer labia. You might also consider labiaplasty if you experience irritation during sexual activity or when sitting, biking, or wearing certain clothing.
What is labial rejuvenation?
Labial rejuvenation is a surgical procedure performed on the labia minora or majora (inner or outer labia). Labiaplasty addresses the inner labia to reduce length or to improve symmetry. Reduction of the labia majora may also be performed based on your aesthetic concerns. If you have lost volume of the labia majora over time, fat grafting or labial puff surgery is another option for rejuvenation.
What should I expect on the day of labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is performed in a minor procedure roomnOn the day of surgery, a topical anesthetic cream will first be applied to the region to reduce discomfort associated with the local anesthetic (freezing) infiltrationnPre-operative photographs will be taken with consent as part of your medical record and surgical markings performednThe local anesthetic will then be injected through a series of small needles where the topical anesthetic cream had been appliednAfter relaxing for approximately 10-15 minutes as the local anesthetic takes effect, the area will then be tested to ensure well anaesthetizednDuring surgery you may experience a mild pressure or pulling sensation periodically, but there should be no associated painnThe surgery itself generally takes between 30-60 minutes depending on whether one or both sides are being reducednResorbable (dissolvable) sutures are used for wound closurenFollowing surgery, a dressing will be placed and you will be discharged home
What should I expect following labiaplasty?
The local anesthetic generally wears off within 3-4 hours following surgerynPatients generally require pain medication for a few days post-operativelynA prescription will be given to you following surgery in addition to a post-operative wound care instruction sheetnI recommend cold compresses during the acute post-operative period to reduce swelling, bruising, and discomfortnThis should be applied 15 minutes on and off as tolerated for the first 24-48 hours while awakenIt is important to place a face cloth in between the surgical site and the cold pack to avoid direct contact with skin, which lowers risk of a frostbite injurynPatients should begin showering daily starting the day after labiaplasty and to gently wash the incisions with soap and waternFollowing the shower, it is important to gently dab the incisions dry to avoid disrupting the suturesnLightly apply Vaseline twice daily as well as a maxi pad or gauze within your undergarment for a few days after surgery until there is no bleeding from the sitenA small amount of bleeding is to be expected following any surgery, particularly in this region, given that the labia minora is quite vascular and also subject to irritation when sitting, walking, and performing genitourinary functions
When may I resume normal activity after labiaplasty?
Most patients are able to return to school or work within a few days of surgerynFollow up is scheduled approximately ten days post-operativelynAny sutures which have not resorbed by this point will be gently removednI recommend refraining from exercise and sexual activity for one month post-operatively until medically cleared based on incision healingnI also advise against taking baths or swimming until the incisions are well-healed, generally 2-3 weeks following labiaplasty
What are potential complications of labiaplasty?
BleedingnPotential for hematoma formation (collection of blood or ongoing bleeding within the tissues)nInfectionnDelayed wound healingnWound dehiscence (wound separation)nnThere is also risk of sensitive scar formation or altered sensation. As with any cosmetic procedure performed bilaterally (on both sides of the body), there is risk of asymmetry post-operatively. In fact, the labia minora are often asymmetric pre-operatively, which will be assessed during your initial consultation. Additional aesthetic complications include overcorrection, undercorrection, dissatisfaction with cosmetic result, and potential need for revision surgery.
What is the purpose of a labiaplasty?
The purpose of a labiaplasty is to reduce the length of the labia minora (inner labia) and in many cases to improve symmetry. It may reduce discomfort associated with excessnlabial tissue, for example, when biking, during sexual activity, or when wearing tight-fitting clothing. Many women express increased self-confidence and sexual satisfaction as well following labiaplasty.
What is vaginal rejuvenation?
Vaginal rejuvenation may include both surgical and non-surgical procedures to enhance vaginal appearance and function. It may be performed to address cosmetic or health concerns, including urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, and reduced tone.
Does labiaplasty leave scars?
Labiaplasty leaves scars. They are typically fairly inconspicuous once healed given that mucosal tissue heals quite well with little tension and an excellent blood supply. If risk factors for greater scarring are identified during your consultation, this will be discussed in detail before undergoing labiaplasty.
What are the side effects of labiaplasty?
After labiaplasty, it is common to experience discomfort, swelling, and bruising. These side effects generally resolve over the first couple of weeks. Most patients require prescription pain medication for 1-2 days post-operatively. You may also feel uncomfortable sitting during early healing.
Can you be awake during labiaplasty?
Yes, labiaplasty is most commonly performed while you are awake under local anesthetic. Applying a topical anesthetic cream approximately an hour before surgery may reduce discomfort associated with the local anesthetic. You will remain awake and comfortable during the procedure.
How long does a labiaplasty procedure take?
On average, a labiaplasty procedure takes about an hour to perform. Surgery will be shorter if only one size requires reduction.
How long is recovery after labiaplasty?
Depending on your job, you can expect to return to your regular schedule within a few days of surgery – however, you should avoid extensive activity for about one month.
Does labiaplasty affect sensation?
There are very few nerve endings affected by removal during labiaplasty, so there’s no change in sensitivity after a successful labiaplasty. However, a decrease in sensitivity is a risk with any surgical procedure so Dr. Power will discuss your options.