Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
1. What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that will reduce and/or reshape the labia minora – the skin that covers the female clitoris and vaginal opening. In some instances, women with large labia can experience pain during intercourse, or feel discomfort during everyday activities or when wearing tight-fitting clothing.
Others may feel unattractive, or wish to enhance their sexual experiences by removing some of the skin that covers the clitoris. The purpose of a labiaplasty is to better define the inner labia. During this procedure the urethral opening can be redefined, and if necessary improvements to the vagina may be made. The problem can be caused by genetics, sexual intercourse or difficulties in childbirth.
Labia Minora (inner lips) reduction
Many women dislike the large protuberant appearance of their labia minora. This may cause severe embarrassment with a sexual partner. The overly large labia minora can also result in constant irritation in tight pants. Surgical labial reduction can greatly improve the aesthetic appearance of the abnormally enlarged labis. Some women are born with large labia, others may develop this condition with childbirth or age.
Labia majora (outer lips) reduction
This common anatomical variation may be worsened by childbirth or by weight gain or loss. They may sometimes be improved by liposuction. In more severe cases, surgical reduction is necessary.
The best candidates for labiaplasty are women who are either experiencing sexual dysfunction or embarrassment because their labia (labia minora) are over-sized or asymmetrical. Also women who dislike the large size or shape of their labia, which may cause inelegance or awkwardness with a sexual partner.
2. Is it better to have labiaplasty done at an early age if there is a need, or is it better to wait until one gets older?
In almost every case, it’s better to have labiaplasty done when it’s needed. If large labia bother you either physically, or emotionally – then it simply doesn’t make any sense to live with these physical or emotional pains.
Only five years ago, few patients knew of labiaplasty surgery to correct problematic areas. Today, with a heightened awareness of the problem by both young girls and parents, many are now turning to the surgical methods available to correct these problems.
The reasons are that young women today are more physically active and armed with the knowledge that there is a simple, one-hour surgery to correct the problem-thus many women are moving forward with labiaplasty while still young.
As far as any medical reason for delaying a labiaplasty, there simply isn’t one. Whether or not a young woman decides to have the minimal procedure performed, or not, is up to how she feels about herself. In those cases, women and young girls who have an actual physical problem with their labia-such as large, or asymmetric labia-having labiaplasty performed early can result in an anatomical correction that results in greater patient self-esteem as they mature.
3. Will my sexual partner see or feel any changes resulting from my labiaplasty?
Feeling a change after a labiaplasty largely depends on the degree of labia abnormality to begin with. Simply said, if there is enough labia tissue present before a labiaplasty is performed that interferes with sexual activity, then usually the sexual partner will feel a difference after labiaplasty, because the excess tissue won’t interfere with any sexual act as it might have before.
It will be very apparent to your sexual partner that the external structure of the labia will have been altered visually-namely, they’ll be smaller and better aligned. Your sexual partner will clearly notice this change for the better.
4. Could labiaplasty cause insensitivity?
There is no physiological association for sensory pleasure with the labia-that function is served by the clitoris. The only sensation elicited from labia is pain upon tearing or stretching. Labiaplasty cannot cause a loss of sensitivity when it is done correctly.
5. Is the skin around my clitoris involved in the procedure?
In most instances, no. However, in those cases where women have excessively large labia, the skin around the clitoris is reduced due to the retraction of tissue during the labiaplasty procedure. In some instances, this adjunct tissue removal can result in an increase in clitoral sensation during normal sexual activity.
6. If dissolvable stitches are used when do they typically dissolve?
Dissolvable sutures are used exclusively in labiaplasty. Depending on the specific type of suture (there are a few different types), and the location of the suture, they typically dissolve at 7 – 21 days (some dissolve in 7-10 days), allowing tissues to heal in the most natural way.
7. How soon after my surgery can I resume normal sexual intercourse?
Our surgeon consults with each patient on this topic. Depending on a number of factors including age and extent of surgery, normal sexual relations can usually be resumed in 6 to 8 weeks.
The duration of surgery
The duration of the surgery is approximately 1 to 2 hours.
The recovery time
Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure usually performed under local anesthesia. After surgery, women may experience some mild discomfort and swelling, which usually disappears completely after 1-2 weeks. The labial incisions usually heal and are rarely noticeable.
8. How long until I can resume work?
You can resume work 3 to 5 days after surgery.
9. How much does it cost?
Please keep in mind not all patients are alike and some will require a slightly different operation than others. Rest assured, you will receive a specific price quotation during your consultation visit. Our staff are always happy to discuss these matters with you in more detail.