My daughter is 15 and has been very insecure about her labia minora for around three years. It causes her discomfort both physically and mentally. She has thought very hard over the past three years whether she wants surgery or not and she has decided she would want it soon. She is very mature and understands what she is doing. Will she have to wait another year or is there any way she can have labia surgery at 15?
Can You Get a Labiaplasty at 15 Years Old?
Doctor Answers (8)
Labiaplasty as an Teenager?
Indeed with a relatively mature teenager and parental consent it is reasonable to consider and undergo Labiaplasty surgery. Many times with these two ingredients I have performed labiaplasty for patients as young as 15 -17 years old. When done properly, these are very satisfying success stories for not only the surgeon but especially the patient who has agonized over the excessive growth of her labia minora.
Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years. Whether the surgery is done using a laser, scalpel, or scissors does not really matter but what does matter is "symmetry". Symmetry is the most important aspect to the final aesthetic result. Also, it's not how much tissue is removed but how much is left remaining because a certain amount is necessary to maintain proper form and function. To achieve these two most important elements, it is extremely important to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in this operation (does at least 1 - 2 per week). It may cost you a bit more but it this type of result you will want to live with for the rest of your life. Typical (all inclusive) fee at my office/surgery center is $4500.
Now for recovery, because the labia tissue is so robust with blood supply it has an amazing ability to heal relatively quickly. Most patients are sore for 4-5 days before things start to get a lot better from there. Some patients can resume work before this time depending upon their occupation. No exercise for two weeks, no baths/jacuzzi or swimming for 3 weeks, and no sexual activity for typically 4 weeks. My patients are given an oral pain medication such as Vicodin but icing the area for the first 48 hours and applying some custom made take-home topical local anesthetic cream seems to work the best.
There is no definitive age that qualifies a person to have a labioplasty.
Labiaplasty and teenagers
It is important to support your teenager with positive reinforcement during their developmental years as it is common to feel a myriad of insecurities and inadequacies. Most of these feelings will pass as the child further matures and you must be careful to avoid "treating" these natural feelings with Plastic Surgery. It is beneficial for her to undergo gynecologic evaluation so that she can be reassured of her normal anatomy. If she truely has a deformity and experiences significant discomfort in daily activities, then surgery may be a valid option when she is mature and able to understand the risks and benefits. Psychological evaluation and counseling may further allow proper assessment of her situation and shed light on possible triggers for her feelings.
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Labiaplasty on teenagers
Age 15 is probably too young to do a labiaplasty, in my opinion, unless she has a significant deformity.
Labia Minora Reduction for 15 Year Old?
Thank you for the question.
Based on the description of your daughter's concerns and maturity level, she may be a good candidate for the labia minora reduction surgery at this time. Of course, this will depend on her physical examination and careful assessment by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. This assessment will include her history, physical examination, motivation, maturity level, and understanding of the procedure as well as the risks/complications associated with the procedure.
I'm sure she is very grateful that you have an understanding of her concerns...
Labiaplasty for 15 year old
I have performed the operation on patients that young. The labia are adult size by that time and if the parents are fully involved with the informed consent process then I believe it is reasonable to proceed. Even though a 15 year old is not an adult, she is mature enough to understand the risks and benefits of surgery and make the appropriate choice with parental guidance. This is a similar story to males with gynecomastia. If the deformity is embarrassing and affects the child's self esteem, then it is reasonable to proceed. The surgery is very well tolerated if done by an experienced surgeon and has a high success rate.
All my best,
Daniel A. Medalie, MD
Any plastic surgery for an adolescent must be considered weighing the problem to be addressed and the physical and psychological maturity of the teenager. Many young women suffer from physical impairment and are unable to participate in certain sports and activities because of overly enlarged labia. The impact on self-esteem must also be considered in respect to the degree of deformity. A consultation and examination by a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in labiaplasty is essential to determine if surgery is indicated and when would be the best time to perform it.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.