For some women, one of the most intimate and intimidating surgical procedures one can undergo is labial surgery. But, did you know that labiaplasty has many positive benefits? Before I go any further, here’s what you need to know about the labiaplasty procedure.
What is the anatomy down there? Basically, there are three main structures of the vulva. There are the inner lips, outer lips, and the clitoris at the top. The inner lips of the vulva are called the labia minora. The outer lips are called the labia majora. The shape and size of the labia minora and labia majora are greatly impacted by aging, gravity, and number of children you delivered vaginally.
What is a labiaplasty? A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that sculpts and reshapes the labia minora and labia majora. Since the labia are small and very sensitive structures, the labiaplasty surgery needs to be performed by an expert plastic surgeon with significant experience in performing labiaplasty surgery. Usually, either the labia minora and/or labia majora are reduced in size. However, sometimes labial augmentation may be required to correct for labial symmetry and balance.
How do I know if I need a labiaplasty?
1) These are medical reasons why women undergo labiaplasty surgery.
- Pain during intercourse due to excessively large labia
- Sexual avoidance due to anticipated pain associated with intercourse
- Sexual avoidance for fear of ridicule or rejection by your sexual partner
- Pain while riding a horse or bicycle due to excessively large labia
- Pain wearing tight clothes due to overly large labia
2) There are cosmetic reasons why women undergo labiaplasty surgery.
- Labial sagging
- Labial asymmetry
- Labial enlargement
- You just don't like the appearance of your labia
- You want your vulva region to look more youthful
- You want a better sexual experience
3) There are cultural and social which can influence a woman's choice to undergo labiaplasty surgery.
- The labiaplasty procedure was once considered a taboo surgery. Presently, the labiaplasty procedure is mainstream and socially acceptable.
- The labiaplasty procedure was once considered unsafe. Now, labiaplasty surgery is considered safe, if performed by an experienced plastic surgeon.
- The labiaplasty procedure was once considered expensive surgery only for the rich. Now, the labiaplasty is much more affordable.
Once the decision is made to go ahead with labiaplasty surgery, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Katzen will consult with you. He will provide you with all the information necessary for a successful labiaplasty surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Katzen will advise you what to expect before, during, and after the labiaplasty surgery.
Do I need general anesthesia? The labiaplasty procedure can be performed under IV sedation (light sleep), but is usually performed under general anesthesia (deep sleep). Since the vulva is a very sensitive region, Dr. Katzen suggests general anesthesia.
What is done during the labiaplasty surgery? Dr. Katzen will make small, curvilinear incisions to remove excess labial skin and fat. Labial asymmetries will also be corrected. After the excess labial tissue is removed, the labial incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.
How long does it take for the dissolvable sutures to dissolve? Usually, the dissolvable sutures fall out two weeks after your labiaplasty procedure.
How long does the labiaplasty procedure take? The labiaplasty procedure takes about one hour to perform. Revisions or complicated labiaplasty cases will take longer. When can I return to work after a labiaplasty? You can return to work three to four days after a labiaplasty.
After a labiaplasty, will there be scarring? There will be little if any, scarring and minimal bruising.
After a labiaplasty, how long is there swelling? In general, most of the labial swelling is gone two weeks after a labiaplasty. Four to six weeks after a labiaplasty, almost all the labial swelling should be gone.
After a labiaplasty, when can I have sex? If all heals well, three to four weeks after a labiaplasty, the patient can have intercourse.
What happens after the labiaplasty procedure? To make sure the healing process is going smoothly, patients will come to the office for routine weekly post-op check-ups. As the healing process progresses, patients will be able to do more physical activity. If you are concerned about the appearance of your labia, please visit the office for a free consult. If you have any other questions regarding labiaplasty or any other plastic surgery procedure, call Dr. Katzen at (310) 859-7770. For your convenience, Dr. Katzen has offices in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas.