Plastic surgery is more popular than ever, but not many know about labiaplasty, also known as vaginal rejuvenation.
This procedure involves a variety of outcomes such as vaginal tightening, reducing incontinence, and vaginal dryness.
The purpose of a labiaplasty is to ensure that the labia minora is flush with your labia majora to reduce pain and irritation, among other goals.
There are many reasons women may have enlarged labia: childbirth, the aging process, genetics, and sexual activity. In addition, they choose to have this procedure for many functional reasons, including difficulty exercising, urinary tract infections, hygiene, and sexual activity.
It is estimated that approximately 10,000 labiaplasties are done per year.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who can perform labiaplasty to address many common issues women have after childbirth. She also can perform additional cosmetic procedures on your body and face in the New Jersey, New York City, and Tri-state areas.
There once was only one procedure for labiaplasty but technology and techniques have evolved. Now there are two options:
- Trim procedure: This was the original procedure where the extra part of the labia minora is removed so that it is even with the labia majora.
- Wedge procedure: A wedge is removed from the thick portion of the labia minora, but the submucosa is left intact by only removing a part of it. This option provides the vagina with a more natural appearance by preserving the wrinkles on the edges.
If you consider this procedure, the most important decision is to use a board-certified plastic surgeon skilled in labiaplasty.
When performed by a skilled surgeon, labiaplasty offers excellent results with few complications.
Benefits Of Labiaplasty
Some of the benefits of labiaplasty include:
For women who have oversized labia, the biggest issue is how it affects their self-confidence. Wearing tight clothes, bikinis, or having intercourse can be stressful as they worry about how they look below the waist. This can be especially difficult when engaging in intimate relations with a partner.
Labiaplasty can remove that self-consciousness and worry that lets you feel more confident in the way you look.
Wearing a swimsuit, leggings, or snug jeans can be a problem with an oversized labia. But, whether it feels irritated or pulled, or you worry about it being visible, labiaplasty gives you freedom in what you wear.
Enhanced Sexual Pleasure
Being self-conscious also can affect your pleasure in the bedroom. And many women may have discomfort during sexual intercourse because the extra tissue is caught or pulled. Again, the last thing you want during this moment is discomfort.
Correcting this problem with labiaplasty will prevent these problems and boost your sexual confidence. In turn, you will enjoy sexual relations more and be more relaxed.
The labia are delicate, and when it’s exposed, it can be irritated from having sex and tight clothes. Also, riding a bike or jogging may irritate and twist the labia, making activities uncomfortable.
Labiaplasty trims away the extra tissue so you can enjoy your daily activities. Most women who have this procedure say it’s much easier to run, do aerobics, swim, hike, and ride a bike.
Extra labia tissue may contain bacteria and cause infections. This can lead to chronic urinary tract infections, which can lead to more severe health problems.
Ideal Candidates For Labiaplasty
If you have chafing, discomfort, or a lack of self-confidence because of the size of your labia, you could be a good candidate. Other factors include:
- Being at least 18
- Being in good overall health
- Having a realistic outlook about labiaplasty
- Having stretching or tearing of the labia from childbirth
- Feeling discomfort during sex, exercise, riding a bike, and other activities
- Being self-conscious about the appearance of your vagina
It’s also important to want to do this surgery for yourself and not someone else.
Surgery Preparation For Labiaplasty
After you decide you want labiaplasty, you should start planning for the procedure and recovery. It is recommended to take at least one week off work.
As your surgery date approaches, you should eat a healthy diet, drink a lot of water, and get plenty of rest. Having healthy habits before the procedure will ensure you have a fast recovery.
The first three or four days after surgery should be focused on rest, so ask friends and family to help you around the home. This is especially true if you have small children. Also, buy groceries, medical supplies, and any critical items you need before surgery so you can take it easy afterward.
Labiaplasty Additional Details
Labiaplasty usually gives the women a shorter labia that doesn’t hang down below the labia majora. Most patients who had problems with the labia tugging and twisting find significant relief after this procedure.
Experts note there is a wide variation in a ‘normal’ length and appearance of a woman’s labia. Some surgeons note that just as no two earlobes are precisely the same in length or thickness, the same is true with the labia.
Dr. Smita will examine your anatomy and determine the best course of action to give your genitals the appearance and function you want.
Labiaplasty may be medically necessary in a few cases because the labia can get tucked or sucked into the vagina during intercourse. If this happens to you, it’s possible the surgery could be covered by insurance.
In addition, most like their genital appearance after the procedure and say they have higher sexual satisfaction.
Labiaplasty Risks And Complications
Labiaplasty conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon is safe, but any surgery has risks. The most significant risks are:
- Reduced sensitivity of the vulva
- Vaginal dryness
- Temporary numbness
- Scarring that makes sex more painful
Dr. Smita adds that you should be in good psychological health before having labiaplasty and have realistic expectations. Candidates who want the labia to be perfect may not be satisfied generally with plastic surgery.
Most labiaplasty patients take about a week off from work to reduce pain and swelling with cold packs on the genital over the underwear. You can do this for about 20 minutes, take a break for 20 minutes, then reapply.
You can usually start to have intercourse and use tampons after four to six weeks. You also will want to take a break from vigorous activities for about a month.
Most swelling will fade after six weeks, but you could have minor swelling for up to six months.
You can heal faster from labiaplasty if you follow these tips:
- Take all medications that Dr. Smita prescribes
- Use cold compresses to reduce pain
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke for several weeks after surgery
Avoid strenuous activities for one month
Also, you may have procedures related to the labiaplasty, such as clitoral hood reduction or vaginal tightening.
Dr. Smita will perform a medical evaluation and discuss your goals before giving you her recommendations.
You can benefit from having more than one procedure at once because all of your recoveries can be completed simultaneously. It’s also more cost-effective to have multiple procedures on the same day.
Below are some of the most common questions about labiaplasty:
Who Should I Talk To About Labiaplasty?
Being as informed as possible will help you make the best decision. You should talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Smita to provide the best advice.
Does A Labiaplasty Make Me Less Sensitive?
A clinical study done by the American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that most labiaplasties are performed safely and don’t cause sensation loss because nerve density in the labia minora is uniform.
How Do I Know I Need This Procedure?
Some women cannot wear the clothing they want because of their labia; it may get twisted or torn and cause discomfort when they wear tight clothing. Also, they sometimes cannot engage in physical activities such as riding a bicycle because of the discomfort and pain.
Is My Labiaplasty Medically Necessary?
Women may want a labiaplasty for several reasons. First, studies show that most women want the procedure to repair a labia that is elongated or enlarged because of aging or childbirth.
If your labia is getting stuck or sucked into the vagina during sex, you should talk to Dr. Smita to determine if the procedure is medically necessary. In some cases, this can lead to infection and other problems, and insurance could cover the procedure
What Are The Biggest Risks Of Labiaplasty?
Most labiaplasties go well, but the most common problems are excessive scarring, infections, and hematoma. Sometimes, a follow-up procedure is needed to correct complications.
Is It Normal To Have An Enlarged Labia?
Some women have larger labia than others, and this is normal. However, if your labia causes you discomfort when you wear tight clothes, have sex, or exercise, you may want to consider labiaplasty.
How Painful Is Labiaplasty Recovery?
Labiaplasty isn’t a painful procedure, and you should be up and about after two or three days. However, you can expect mild pain and swelling afterward. Most patients say the swelling disappears after a week or two.
Does A Labiaplasty Help With Yeast Infections?
If you have chronic yeast infections and enlarged labia, this procedure can help you control symptoms. In addition, after the surgery, the inner lips will be shorter than the vulvar lips so you have fewer infections.
When Will The Stitches Fall Out After Labiaplasty?
During this procedure, the surgeon usually uses dissolvable stitches that will be gone in three or four weeks. The scars blend in with the labia minora because of its many folds and wrinkles.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Have A Labiaplasty?
As with any surgery, it’s essential to be in good overall health before having a labiaplasty. Anyone who has a severe illness or disease should not have this procedure.
You also should be in good mental health to have the procedure because there are no ‘perfect’ labia. So if you expect your results to look a certain way, you could be disappointed.
Can I Be Awake During Labiaplasty?
Most surgeons use general anesthesia for labiaplasty. It only takes an hour or two to recover from anesthesia, but you will need someone to drive you home.
How Long After This Procedure Can You Wear Jeans?
You’ll need to wear loose clothing for about six weeks after the procedure. However, you should be able to wear jeans again after six to eight weeks. During your follow-up visits, Dr. Smita will check your anatomy and let you know when it’s appropriate to wear tighter-fitting clothing again.
Are A Labiaplasty’s Results Guaranteed?
The purpose of a labiaplasty is to shorten the labia for functional and appearance reasons. People who have had their labia get tugged, twisted, or torn will find immediate relief; many say the procedure is life-changing.
If you have realistic expectations about this procedure, you should be pleased with the outcome.
Does This Procedure Cause Vaginal Dryness?
In a few cases, chronic vaginal dryness does happen. This can lead to a higher chance of yeast or bacterial infections, painful sex, and discomfort.
If you have vaginal dryness after labiaplasty, using a lubricant can make sex more satisfying.
How Common Is This Procedure?
Labiaplasty is more common than a decade ago, but it’s still relatively rare. It’s estimated that 12.756 labiaplasties were done in 2018.
When Can I Walk After Labiaplasty?
Like any surgery, you will need recovery time after labiaplasty. You should avoid physical activity for about two days after surgery, including exercise, walking, or sex. After a few days, you can go for walks, but you But, again don’t have sex or exercise intensely for about four weeks.
How Long Will I Take To Heal After Labiaplasty?
Most people can go back to their regular activities after one or two weeks.
Every vagina is not identical, and many factors can affect the appearance of the outer labia. If you do not feel confident or comfortable because of the shape and size of your labia, find out more information about vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Talk to plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham about your concerns and needs so she can develop your personal labiaplasty treatment plan. Schedule an appointment at our facility in New Jersey to hear more about a labiaplasty for vaginal rejuvenation.
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