What is a labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty, or labia reconstruction, is a surgical procedure that aims to improve the general appearance of the female genitals. It is performed on the inner (labia minora) and outer labia, the folds of skin around the vulva.
Why are the reasons why labiaplasty is performed?
Every surgeon has different criteria to determine if a patient is able to have a labiaplasty and what type of surgery will be performed.
A labiaplasty can be done for psychological or physiological reasons. Individuals who desire aesthetic labia surgery may be self-conscious about the appearance of their genitals, as their genitalia do not fit their notion of normal. Not all individuals who desire labial rejuvenation are insecure, but many individuals seek to reduce anxiety about sexual encounters with new individuals and to increase self-esteem.
There are numerous misconceptions about labial hypertrophy and many derogatory terms used to describe the condition. Some women with this condition are called “loose,” which increases negative associations with labial hypertrophy.2 Irritation of the labia by clothing is a common problem that a labiaplasty can solve. Tight-fitting clothing can be especially irritating and may cause chronic pain as the excess skin rubs against clothes. This irritation causes an individual to focus on insecurities involving the labia even more. There can also be discomfort with excess labia during intercourse.
Every labia is different and the appearance of the female genitalia is affected by genetics, mechanical factors, and childbirth. There is no labia length that medical professionals have deemed “normal”, but if one feels uncomfortable with the length of their labia, they can discuss the matter with a trained medical professional. Surgery is not the only solution to reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem about excess labia skin, but a labiaplasty can be beneficial to individuals who desire rejuvenation.
Is a labiaplasty the same as a vaginal rejuvenation and what is the difference
No, it’s not the same.
Vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty are two terms that are often used interchangeably. While these two procedures have some similarities, they are by no means identical. There are a number of differences between a vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty:
Vaginal rejuvenation, also known as a vaginoplasty, is a procedure that aims to tighten a vagina that has loosened with age or after giving birth. Over time vaginal relaxation or loosening can result in less sexual pleasure, and vaginal rejuvenation seeks to restore this sensation by tightening the opening of the vagina.
On the other hand, a labiaplasty aims to reshape the labia, working to sculpt it into a more aesthetically pleasing shape and size. For some women, the shape and size of the labia can become a hindrance in everyday life, impacting exercise, sexual activity, or resulting in a “camel toe”. A labiaplasty reshapes the labia for both aesthetic purposes and convenience.
What is a labiaplasty recovery like?
A labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can return home the same day, so the recovery process is relatively easy, provided there are no complications.
Patients who undergo a labiaplasty are usually released from the hospital the same day; sometimes they are released as little as an hour after the surgery is completed.
Swelling and itching are common side effects which typically last two to three days after surgery, but they decrease over time. Bruising in the region is normal and should be expected. There should be minimal pain and itching after a week of surgery.4Icing can help to reduce swelling, but remember to never apply ice directly to the skin as prolonged exposure to ice can be harmful to skin. Patients are allowed to return to normal activity three to five days after a labiaplasty procedure, however, it is advised that they refrain from using tampons, avoid wearing tight or irritating undergarments, and abstain from sexual activity for at least six weeks. It is likely that a surgeon will schedule a post-operation appointment with the patient within the proceeding two months.
Complete results of a labiaplasty will appear about four to six months after surgery.