What Type of Anesthesia is Required for a Labiaplasty?

Also, do I need to stay in the hospital afterward?

Doctor Answers 21

Anesthesia and Labiaplasty

The type of anesthetic that is used for a labiaplasty really depends on the the surgeon's and the patient's preference.  It can be safely performed in a number of ways, and in our practice we tend to recommend at least some sedation for the procedure to allow for maximum patient comfort as well as allow the surgeon to focus on contouring the area as much as possible to get the best results.  But this will vary from surgeon to surgeon, and I think it's important for patients to sit down with their surgeons and put a plan together that works well for both of them.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Anesthesia for Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty can be performed under local anesthesia, local anesthesia with conscious sedation, or general anesthesia.  I recommend discussing these options with your surgeon.  Good luck!

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Anesthesia for labiaplasty

Thank you for your question.  There are a few options for anesthesia for labiaplasty surgery.  Most often, this is performed under local anesthesia in the office.  This is an outpatient procedure, meaning you go home the same day.  Typically we use a numbing cream to take most of the sensation away.  Once this is working, we then use injections to completely numb the area.  Another option is the same plus oral sedation with valium and percocet.  Finally, this can also be done in the OR under general anesthesia, but this is rarely required.  Most of my patients choose to do this under local only and say that it is easier than going to the dentist!

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Anesthesia Varies

The type of anesthesia administered depends on your surgeon and technique applied. It is performed on an outpatient basis, which means no overnight stay is required. After your surgery, you'll just need to rest a few hours in the recovery room at the surgical facility.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

I usually perform labioplasty procedures under local anesthesia.

This avoids the complications associated with general anesthesia such nausea and vomiting, etc.  However if patients are anxious they can have oral or IV sedation.  Some patients prefer to be completely asleep but that is extremely rare and obviously the total fee would be higher.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Labiaplasty Anesthesia

I perform all of my labiaplasty procedures with IV sedation.  In my opinion, this type of anesthesia will provide for the most comfortable experience.   You are lightly sedated, but not 'put under' as with General Anesthesia. When the surgery is over, patients leave within the hour, if not 30 minutes. 

See the video below to learn the difference between IV anesthesia and General Anesthesia . Hope this helps.


Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez


Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Anaesthesia for labiaplasty

Great question! You can have a variety of anaesthesia types, ranging from local anaesthetic to full general anaesthesia.

  1. Wide awake surgery - where you have local anaesthetic injections to the labia
  2. Simple sedation anaesthesia - where you have a sedative medication (either administered by a tablet or by a drip) but are awake for the procedure and will likely remember the local anaesthetic injections
  3. Deep sedation anaesthesia - where you have sedative medications during the local anaesthetic injection so you do not remember them.
  4. General anaesthesia - where you are completely unconscious and have a breathing tube in your throat during surgery.

If you have deep sedation or general anaesthesia you will need an anaesthetist to be present during the procedure, which will increase your costs. You will need to stay at the hospital for at least 4 hours after a general anaesthetic. If you have wide awake surgery or simple sedation you will be able to go home once the procedure is performed.

For all surgery it is nice to have someone pick you up and take you home after the procedure. If you have any sedation (or a general anaesthetic) you will not be able to take yourself home via taxi or any other means of transportation.

When you return home from the hospital it is advisable to limit your activities and apply ice to the area. This will reduce post operative swelling and pain.

Jill Tomlinson, MBBS, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

Outpatient labiaplasty under local anesthesia is best, but not for all.

Virtually all of the labiaplasties I have done were performed as local anesthesia procedures only, but a few (very) anxious patients have requested intravenous sedation to ease their concerns. A well-trained board-certified plastic surgeon will be able to use local anesthesia with truly little discomfort to the patient, and being awake allows a much less costly procedure--typically one-third of the cost noted in the heading of this section. General anesthesia is certainly the least uncomfortable, has a tiny but definite risk, but can really increase costs. Is the result better with general anesthesia? Almost certainly not, but your purse will be definitely lighter! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 250 reviews

Labiaplasty usually outpatient procedure, local anesthesia

Patients have individual preferences for anesthesia, but most choose local anesthesia since it has lower risks than general anesthesia, less down time, and quicker recovery.  It also keeps prices affordable.  It is almost always done as an outpatient unless there is a medical reason to be admitted to the hospital.

Navin K. Singh, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Anesthesia for labiaplasty depends on patients' preference

In our practice, I perform labiaplasty in our JCAHO-accredited private surgical suite.  I offer my patients the option to have local anesthesia (numbing medicine) or sedation (twilight).  Over 95% chose local anesthesia.  Most are usually nervous before the procedure.  Every single patient is pleasantly surprised to see how easy the procedure is under local anesthesia.  Obviously, for those who are extremely nervous or who don't want local anesthesia, we offer IV sedation which is more than enough.  Patients who are having other procedures at the same time may have general anesthesia depending on the type of procedures they are having.  Good luck!

Dr. Parham Ganchi - NJ Plastic Surgeon

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 153 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.