Labiaplasty: A (very) Personal Decision


Patients share their personal concerns with their doctors. This is certainly among the most personal and intimate of cosmetic surgical issues. 
Labiaplasty can be described as plastic surgery of the vaginal area.

It’s true that today, “styles” have changed. Waxing has become so prevalent that the vaginal area is, frankly, much more visible than in years past. And yes, many women have concerns about their appearance “down there.”
What I’d like to address first, are the main reasons women come in, seeking Labiaplasty. For most patients, it is not a cosmetic fix they’re looking for.

  • First– to correct problems
  • Pain or Discomfort
  • Physical factors causing problems with intimacy
  • Emotional factors related to the above
  • Cosmetic alteration
  • Size of the Labia, both inner (labia minora), and outer (labia majora)
  • Labia may be naturally large, or hanging. Or, may have stretched due to age, childbirth, or other factors.
  • Sometimes, the concern is the opposite. Labia may be naturally small.
  • Whether enlarged, or too small, labia size can cause a great deal of everyday discomfort:
  • Fitted clothing, or even underwear, can cause significant and ongoing irritation. Exercise, including bike riding, becomes painful.
  • Intimate situations become painful, or uncomfortable, causing the added issue of emotional distress in relationships.
During surgery, the enlarged or stretched labia are reduced – or – the smaller labia are enhanced.
  • The procedure is done either under general anesthesia, or sedation.
  • Excess skin and tissue are removed, and the remaining tissue carefully re-shaped.
  • Or, labia that are naturally small or have lost volume may be enhanced. One method is fat injection. (this would require an additional step of liposuction to harvest the patient’s own fat from another area). And, injectable fillers may also be used for this purpose.
  • Plastic surgery aims to help people achieve their cosmetic goals. So, when a patient is disturbed by the aesthetics of a part of her body, that too is a legitimate concern.
  • Plastic surgeons undergo years of training to become expert at performing procedures in all parts of the body, with concentration on aesthetic results including minimizing scars, and creating artful contours.
  • For this type of surgery, once again, choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has experience performing the procedure. (not all plastic surgeons perform Labiaplasty).
  • Sit down and talk frankly with the doctor, before making your choice.
All cases are individual. But generally, there will be some swelling and discomfort for several days afterwards. You’ll be instructed to avoid strenuous exercise, and intimacy for several weeks. Naturally, you’ll be seeing your doctor during this time, and will have the information that fits your particular circumstance.

Our Labiaplasty patients tell us their surgery has made very positive changes in their daily lives, in the way they feel, and look, and in the activities they enjoy.
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San Jose Plastic Surgeon