What Type of Anesthesia is Required for a Labiaplasty?

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

Doctor Answers 22

Anesthesia and Labiaplasty

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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 155 reviews

What Type of Anesthesia is Required for a Labiaplasty?

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Labiaplasty surgery usually takes about 1 -2 hours and can be performed under a local or general anaesthetic. Labiaplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, with no overnight stay necessary


Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Anesthesia for Labiaplasty

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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!

Anesthesia for labiaplasty

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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 37 reviews

What Anesthesia is Required for a Labiaplasty

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Vaginal Rejuvenation has become a hot topic over the past ten years or so as grooming habits have changed. With the majority of women shaving, waxing or doing some type of grooming they have become more aware of the appearance of their vaginal area.

The term vaginal rejuvenation or labiaplasty are broad term that can be used to encompass several procedures with the overall goal of improving the appearance of the vaginal area. What procedure is needed to create a “sexier vagina” will depend on each patient’s particular needs and desires. The good news is that there are a variety of treatments available to enhance the appearance of the entire vaginal area.

The most common method for rejuvenation is trimming the labia minora (inner lips) this will remove the excess skin that may hang below the vagina. There are two methods for rejuvenation of the labia minora. The initial treatment was a straightforward trimming of the excess skin that many women find undesirable. The new version of this is what is called a wedge resection. The wedge resection has gained popularity as it hides the scar and keeps the natural appearance of the labial edge.

The second method is fat grafting to the labia majora (outer lips) this will add volume to the area and improve the deflated appearance that women can have after having children or after weight loss.

The two methods can be done together to give the patient the best overall aesthetic result.

The majority of patients have the procedure under local anesthesia. I typically apply numbing cream to the vaginal tissue, which does an incredible job and numbing the area. Once the cream has had time to take affect I will then inject local anesthesia to further prevent the patient from having any discomfort during the procedure. Patients do extremely well with this procedure under local anesthesia.

Since the procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia they are able to drive home and do not have the nausea and other side affects that can happen with general anesthesia.

Patients all go home after the procedure is completed and then come back for their scheduled post-operative appointments.

Anesthesia Varies

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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.

I usually perform labioplasty procedures under local anesthesia.

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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.

Labiaplasty Anesthesia

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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 98 reviews

Anaesthesia for labiaplasty

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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.

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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 263 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.