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Common Medical Reasons for Labiaplasty

Medical Reasons for Labiaplasty

While many people assume that labia surgery is only performed for aesthetic reasons as a cosmetic surgery, there are actually many medical reasons for labiaplasty as well.

Labiaplasty for Medical Reasons

Before exploring the main medical reasons for undergoing a labiaplasty procedure, it’s important to note that every woman is naturally shaped differently. Moreover, lifestyle and significant life events, such as pregnancy, birth, weight loss, etc. may change a person’s body in totally natural ways.

This is important to remember because women come in all different shapes and sizes. And normal, healthy labia(vaginal lips) come in a range of sizes and shapes as well.

With that said, just like any other body part, the labia (specifically the inner labia or labia minora as opposed to the labia majora) can present problems for some women. Many women, for example, do not like the look or feel of their inner labia. In this case, when labiaplasty is pursued, the core reason would be for self confidence and deemed aesthetic or cosmetic.

Of course, enlarged inner labia(inner lips),which are covered by pubic hair at puberty, can cause medical issues for women too. And when this happens, the same procedure — labiaplasty — would be performed. Only, in this case, it would be for reasons of a medical necessity.

Here are the top medical reasons for undergoing labiaplasty.

Medical LabiaplastyUrinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections may sometimes be caused or exacerbated by large labia minora. This is usually linked to the extra folds that large labia present. Secretions and sweat can sometimes gather in these areas, which can lead to infection over time.

Painful Intercourse

Sometimes called dyspareunia, painful sexual intercourse can be a chronic problem for some women with enlarged or elongated labia. The size of the labia may really make a difference when it comes to sexual activities. This issue can be both physical and psychological or emotional.

Women may have actual physical pain rather than sexual stimulation at the vaginal opening when having intercourse because of their excess labial tissue. But they may also feel embarrassed and self-conscious about the size of their labia, which can cause difficult interpersonal problems.

Hygiene Issues

Enlarged labia majora and excess tissue can also cause problems related to hygiene such as chronic body odor or even to harbor bacteria and bacterial infections.

The latter can be complicated by not being able to properly wipe all folds and crevices near the vaginal opening after using the restroom. Normal labia can be fully cleaned quite quickly, but this is more difficult with large labia and sagging skin in the area. Furthermore, secretions and sweat buildup along the affected tissue can add to the problem.

General Discomfort

Many women who have enlarged vaginal lips complain of general discomfort. In their day to day lives, they may experience frequent itching, pain, and overall discomfort when wearing tight fitting clothing. Women report having to leave social gatherings to “fix” their private area or being unable to do certain activities that they would otherwise enjoy doing — things like  riding bikes, horseback riding, or swimming (wearing a bathing suit).

Difficulty Exercising

Lastly, in addition to general discomfort because of enlarged vaginal lips, many patients find it difficult to exercise or do normal physical activity. Any motion involving the legs, hips, and trunk can cause pain, pinching, and discomfort. In particular, running, jogging, walking, biking, swimming, and sports can be difficult.

This not only holds women back from living a normal life, but it also compromises their overall physical health. When a woman cannot exercise as she chooses to and needs to, this can cause additional indirect issues such as weight gain, reduced bone and joint strength, obesity, and all of the many medical issues that accompany being overweight and out of shape.

FAQ: Labiaplasty for Medical Problems

What would make a labiaplasty medically necessary?How Much Is Labiaplasty With Insurance

The truth is, it is rare for health insurance companies to provide coverage for labiaplasty surgery. In rare cases it is considered medically needed and some health insurance providers may have certain plans that cover this medical condition.

However, even if your health insurance company and your particular plan offers coverage for labiaplasty, you will still need to prove that you need this plastic surgery for medical implications. You’ll need to have written confirmation from a licensed medical provider that labiaplasty is the only solution to solving these issues.

Will insurance cover a labiaplasty for medical reasons?

Most of the time, no, insurance coverage for labiaplasty isn’t helpful. First, the majority of labiaplasty surgeries are performed for cosmetic reasons, and these procedures will never be covered by insurance as insurance providers only want to cover “medically necessary surgeries”.

Now, at this point, many patients are quick to note that their need for a labiaplasty procedure is medically necessary. Unfortunately, whether you feel that your situation deems labiaplasty “medically necessary” or not does not matter.

It’s up to the insurance provider. And even for clinical necessity, the majority of health insurance companies do not see the day-to-day issues that often result in labiaplasty as medical conditions. Thus, this surgical procedure is very rarely covered by insurance.

How much does labiaplasty cost out of pocket?

Estimates from groups like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggest that labiaplasty cost typically ranges from $4000 to $6000. However, costs may vary between practices and might not include additional expenses like follow-up visits or anesthesiology fees.

Is labiaplasty painful?

Labiaplasty surgery is a simple outpatient procedure in most cases. Local anesthesia and sedation can be used, or general anesthesia can be used, depending on the surgical approach. The procedure itself will not be painful, but you may have some mild soreness and discomfort during the labiaplasty recovery period.

Contact Us Today to Book a Consultation

If you think labiaplasty could solve some of the medical issues you have related to enlarged labia, please contact our office today to schedule a personal consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham.


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