My labiaplasty surgeon uses local anesthesia and oral sedation. What am I in for?

I have been wanting this surgery for 10 years now but I am a bit nervous because it is my first surgery ever and I will be awake. How much do you feel? I know the anesthesia shots won't be fun but I'm having major anxiety about the actual cutting. Do I just feel pressure and pulling? Will the Valium make me fall asleep? Please help!

Doctor Answers 10

Labiaplasty under local anesthesia

I hope you have addressed these concerns with your surgeon. Some anxiety before surgery is normal, but you should feel comfortable with your surgeon and trust him/her with your upcoming surgery. I do almost all my labiplasties with local anesthetic and oral sedation and the patients are comfortable and do very well. However, if you have major anxiety, you may be better off doing the surgery under general anesthesia. I give my patients that option as well. I hope this helps. 

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


Labiaplasty is often performed with local anesthesia and oral sedation.  You wont feel anything and the medicine that is prescribed will make you feel calm and sleepy. In most cases the patient falls asleep during the procedure.  Be sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in labiaplasty procedures. 

John G. Hunter, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

My labiaplasty surgeon uses local anesthesia and oral sedation. What am I in for

Thank you for your question. A labiaplasty can be performed with local anesthesia.  I normally perform labiaplasty surgery with another procedure such as a tummy tuck, using general anesthesia.  It is normal to have anxiety before any surgery.  After a local anesthetic is injected., you should not feel pain.  Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. Best wishes.  

Jeff Angobaldo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Labiaplasty with local anesthesia and oral sedation

Thank you for your question.  I offer my patients different options for anesthesia in my surgical center and have listed them to help you understand.  Local anesthesia is an injection of a buffered anesthetic to numb the nerves and skin of the surgical area.  Oral sedation is a pill or liquid that is taken by mouth to relax you and reduce your anxiety.  IV sedation is given intravenously through an IV in your arm to sedate you.  IV sedation is not general anesthesia and is much safer because you will not be put into an unconscious state with a need for intubation, it is often referred to as twilight sleep. When IV sedation is administered by a CRNA or anesthesiologist in an accredited surgical center it is very safe and will keep the patient very comfortable.

Most of the surgeries that I perform in my accredited surgical center are performed with IV sedation and my patients do extremely well with this form of anesthesia.  However, I have performed labiaplasties on select patients with local anesthesia and oral sedation and those patients were also comfortable.  The choice of anesthesia is dependent on several factors including the extent of your labiaplasty surgery, the patients health and personal desires and the surgeons preference and experience.  Please share your concerns with your surgeon and be comfortable with all of your decisions.  I hope you find this information helpful and best of luck.

Take Care,

Dr. John Serrao
Cosmetic-Plastic Gynecologist

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Local with oral sedation is a completely painless labiaplasty experience in my practice

Hopefully being awake was a choice you made and not the only option offered by your surgeon. I always offer my patients the choice of being awake completely (no sedation), with oral sedation (minimal sedation), or asleep with IV drugs and an anesthesiologist (moderate/deep) sedation. However, I operate in AAAHC-accredited facility and can offer this luxury to all of my patients. Most patients select your approach and are quite comfortable through the entire process. The key to comfort is expertise in the preparation and administration of local anesthesia. When properly administered, in my experience, the numbing injections are painless, but I can only speak for myself. There is no initial burning sensation with a properly buffered anesthetic solution and no need to brace yourself for anything at all. Creams tend to cause a burning sensation, are useless and completely unnecessary; if they were useful, I would apply them on every case.

Marco A. Pelosi III, MD
Jersey City OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


Thank you for your question.

It is important to discuss you questions and concerns with your plastic surgeon so you are both on the same page and feeling comfortable proceeding with the procedure. The only pain you may experience would be the initial sting of the local anesthetic being injected. Topical numbing cream can be applied prior to the injections to make them more comfortable. After the local anesthesia has kicked in, you should be completely numb in that area and only feel a slight pressure if anything. The valium should sedate you enough that you are calm and relaxed during the procedure and some patients even fall asleep. It affects every patient differently. Labiaplasty has a short recovery period and most of my patients even return back to work within a day or two. Best of luck.


James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Labiaplasty Using Local Anesthesia and Oral Sedation

Thank you for posting your interesting question. Since 1997, I have performed labiaplasty on many sensitive woman and offer the procedure under both local and intravenous sedation. The vast majority of the women elect to have the procedure performed under local anesthesia and do extremely well. Remember, once the tissue is numb, you will not feel anything sharp. Often, they relax by listening to music on their phones using earphones. Oral sedation is optional and will relax you as if you had a glass of wine. I recommend that you have a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is experienced with labiaplasty and can examine you, discuss your goals, answer all of your questions, show you dozens of their before and after photographs and determine the appropriate type of anesthesia for you. Best wishes, Dr. Richard Swift

Richard Wellington Swift, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

My labiaplasty surgeon uses local anesthesia and oral sedation. What am I in for?

Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on your upcoming surgery.  It is perfectly normal to have anxiety leading up to any procedure and your surgeon should be able to help calm your nerves by providing reassurance. That said, under local anesthesia you will feel the initial injections placed to help numb the tissues, and after ensuring your numbness, you will only feel pressure and generalized movement of your tissues.  If you do not think that local and oral medication will be enough for you, discuss the possibility of a deeper form of anesthesia with your surgeon. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Labiaplasty with local and oral sedation

Thank you for your question.  Valium can affect everyone differently, it will at least make you feel relaxed , some people may become drowsy and can fall asleep.  I offer IV sedation or local /oral anesthesia, when under local, I have my patients take one valium 30 minutes prior to procedure and sometimes 1 additional dose at beginning of the procedure .  After the area is anesthesized, you will just feel some mild pressure and tugging.  

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews


Hey Lah92.  Great questions!  I have a lot of patients that question what they will feel and not feel with local anesthesia, especially Labiaplasty.  Yes, you will feel the burning or stinging from the local injections.  Depending on the doctor, the number of injections will vary.  Once that sets up, you should only feel pulling or tugging, not the actual cuts.  Valium differs from patient to patient, you may just feel 'drunk'.  Usually, patients do not fall asleep.  If you chose IV sedation verses just straight local, your Valium may set in faster.  If you do not feel comfortable with local anesthesia for this procedure, ask for other options such as general.  If your surgeon does not do this procedure under general anesthesia then you might want to consider choosing one that will accommodate your preference.  Good luck!

Shelby Brantley, MD
Jackson Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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.