Occasionally, labia minora hypertrophy will appear in women as a condition which usually presents itself around puberty, or as a result of natural childbirth. This condition is characterized by enlarged labial tissue. This can be both painful and embarrassing if the labia is visible through clothing or is prone to pinching and irritation when riding a bicycle, attending spin class, horseback riding, sitting, or during sexual intercourse. Labial reduction surgery can be performed by an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon or gynecologist with an expectation of significant improvement in the functional and aesthetic outcome. Dr. Ram Kalus and Dr. Craig Rowin at Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas have extensive experience performing labial reduction surgery and can address your unique concerns.

What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is usually intended to reduce the inner labia (“labia minora”) for both functional and aesthetic enhancement, with the procedure used to minimize the risk of twisting and tugging on excess tissue. For women who struggle with stretched or enlarged labia—a common and natural condition—labiaplasty is intended to reduce redundant tissue and minimize irritation and discomfort, as well as potentially visible bulging through clothing, bathing suits, or underwear. The procedure can also be used to correct asymmetry and improve the cosmetic appearance of the labia and the clitoral hood. This type of vaginal rejuvenation can often lead to increased self-confidence and comfort in situations that previously may have led to embarrassment and self-consciousness.

Who is a Candidate for Labiaplasty?

A labiaplasty procedure typically benefits women who have enlarged and/or asymmetrical labia minora and experience aesthetic or functional discomfort as a result. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the labia minora, an array of concerns can arise when redundant tissue is present. The symptoms that can commonly be improved or resolved through surgical labia reduction include:

  • Irritation occurring from friction
  • Pain and discomfort during physical activities
  • Skin chafing
  • Embarrassment when nude or wearing form-fitting clothing

While labial hypertrophy usually does not affect one’s health, consideration of a labiaplasty may be necessary when enlarged labia minora start to impact your quality of life or prevent you from fully engaging in certain activities. Depending on your unique needs, this form of vaginal rejuvenation can generally achieve the following:

  • Removal of stretched or excess labial tissue
  • Improved symmetry of labia
  • Reduced length of the labia minora
  • Overall improvement of sexual satisfaction and quality of life

If you are unsure whether you would benefit from a labiaplasty, Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin can determine whether this procedure is right for you during a consultation. Many women include a labiaplasty as part of a mommy makeover for a full restoration of their pre-pregnancy status.

How is Labiaplasty Performed?

The technique used in labiaplasty will depend on your specific physical findings, which will help determine the most optimal treatment plan for you. A common approach involves a trim procedure, in which excess tissue is removed with a straight-line incision along the edge of the labia. Rarely, a wedge excision may be used to eliminate redundant skin in the labia minora and restore a typical anatomic appearance. Extra skin folds in the clitoral hood may also be reduced, depending on your individual needs. Drs. Kalus and Rowin, our plastic surgeons, will discuss the details of surgery with you in person to ensure you are well-informed about the procedure. The surgical incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and skin adhesive, which acts as a water resistant sealant. Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure performed under a light general anesthesia, but local anesthesia is used in addition to keep you comfortable and pain free for at least 24 to 72 hours after surgery.

What is Recovery Like for Labiaplasty?

After labial reduction surgery, patients generally experience temporary bruising and swelling in the treated areas. Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin will administer a timed-release local anesthetic medication at the time of surgery, which should eliminate most post-operative discomfort almost entirely for two to three days. These symptoms should resolve as recovery progresses, but any discomfort can often be managed well with additional oral pain medication, for which you will be given prescriptions before your surgery. Individuals typically return to work and daily activities within a week at most, although strenuous physical activity such as exercise, spin class, riding a bicycle, and sexual intercourse should be avoided for four weeks.

As the final outcome of surgery is fully realized, patients almost uniformly report 100% satisfaction from their surgery and often experience not only alleviation of their pre-operative symptoms, but also an increased sense of confidence— particularly in situations that may have previously been anxiety provoking.

What are the Risks of Labiaplasty?

Complications are, thankfully, rare with labiaplasty, although the risks are similar to those of any surgical procedure. There is a theoretical risk of bleeding, infection, hematoma, or delayed healing in a portion of the suture line. In addition, there is a risk of asymmetry, but some degree of asymmetry in this part of the body is more the rule than the exception. In general, patients are more symmetrical after surgery than they were before surgery. Although these complications are rare it is essential to select an experienced and well-qualified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure to ensure you are receiving the highest standard of safety and care during your labiaplasty surgery. Drs. Kalus or Rowin will thoroughly evaluate your medical history and unique needs to confirm that you are a good candidate for the procedure.

How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost?

Labiaplasty is priced according to the details of your treatment plan, including the surgical technique utilized and the extent of your concerns. The surgical fee can vary between $3,500 to $5,500 depending on the complexity of the surgical correction, not including costs related to the surgical facility and anesthesia. This does not necessarily reflect the exact rates at our practice, but rest assured that our patient care coordinator will provide you with a personalized quote of your expenses after Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin evaluates your during your consultation.

Many patients can make their surgery more affordable with the payment plans available through our financing provider, CareCredit®. This reputable lending institution offers qualified applicants a multitude of low- to no-interest payment plans that can accommodate virtually any budget. For more information, please reach out to our office to speak to a member of our team.

If you are interested in labiaplasty surgery, Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin can find the best treatment plan to meet your needs. To schedule a consultation, contact our office online or by telephone today.

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