Labiaplasty? Labia lift? (Photo)

I am wondering what needs to be done here. Purely amputation? or are there other procedures. This may seem weird but when I pull the labias down everything looks fine. I'm looking to make a consultation soon but I want to feel a bit more knowledgable. I am in my late teens and have not had any children.

Doctor Answers 20

Labiaplasty or Labia lift?

There is a trend to have less prominent labia, but this is a matter of choice and there are no medical reasons to do so other than improving your appearance down there. Candidates for a Labiaplasty procedure are women who are concerned about the appearance of their labia or experience discomfort due to exceptionally large or long labia of either the inner our outer lips. Labia unevenness can result in discomfort with intimate contact, chronic rubbing, as well as psychological discomfort, which leads to the inability to wear certain types of tight clothing. Most women live with these symptoms, and actually are not even aware that a certain surgical procedure exists to help to correct this problem and restore their femininity.

Labiaplasty options

Thanks for posting your question.  Based on your photographs you appear to be an ideal candidate for labiaplasty using a wedge approach to remove the excess tissue.  Arrange a consultation with a fully qualified plastic surgeon to discuss the procedure in detail.

Different Procedures Available

I perform a variety of treatments and surgeries in Newport Beach, Orange County to enhance, restore and rejuvenate the female genital region.  This includes procedures to improve moisture, and sensitivity and tighten the vaginal canal; enhance orgasm and restore or improve the appearance of the vulva including the labia minora, labia majora, the clitoral region and the vestibule of the vagina.  The mons pubis can also be improved with techniques noted below. There are many names for these procedures which include: Designer Vagina, Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation, LVR, Monsplasty, Labiaplasty, Labia Rejuvenation, Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery, Aesthetic Vaginal Sugery, Perineoplasty, and Hymenoplasty. Vaginal Enhancement Surgery is basically cosmetic surgery of a woman’s “Private Parts” or genital region.

Women have a wide range of normal color, texture, size and asymmetries of their genitilia. This is true of the Vulva and all of its parts, the same as other parts of the body. Candidates for #labiaplasty and #vaginal surgery include women concerned about the appearance of their genitals, or those who experience discomfort, pain or difficulty with sexual relations.  Moisture can create problems such as yeast infections.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons may have experience and training in performing these surgeries.  Training in reconstructive genital surgery and transgender surgery along with experience in aesthetic procedures, provide Plastic Surgeons with special skills to perform these operations.  Some gynecologists and uro-gynecologists have special interest and training in this aspect of women’s care. You should be able to seek out a local surgeon for a consultation to have all the specifics of your questions covered and determine which procedure would be best for your desired results. Also, there is the option to have multiple consultations before making a final decision on a surgeon or procedure. Good luck to you!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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What procedures do I need?

Thank you for your great questions and excellent photos. I particularly like your fourth photo where you are pulling down on your labia since it tells me what you may want to look like. Based on this photo you certainly don't want a labial amputation since it looks natural and aesthetically pleasing to have labia still present. In this photo the "labia" you see are actually redundant lateral prepuce (hood) which needs to be reduced at the time of your complex Intimate Makeover®.

You also have dark and wrinkly edges to your labia minora which give you an older appearance than that of someone in her late teens - for this reason you would not be happy with a wedge resection. There is also excess perineal skin which needs to be reduced, but very precisely since this may lead to pain with penetration if not performed properly.

Overall - you need more than just a Labiaplasty. You really need to do your research well and find the best surgeon that you feel comfortable with. You will likely need to travel. See link below for additional information in finding that surgeon. There, you may also view thousands of Before and After photos to help you understand the procedures you need to achieve "that look" you want.

We see women from all over the U.S. and are accustomed to streamlining your consultation and surgery all in one short trip.

Best of luck,

Oscar A. Aguirre, MD

Aguirre Specialty Care - Pelvic Surgery & Intimate Aesthetics®

Oscar A. Aguirre, MD
Denver Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews


I reviewed your photos. Your labia minora are enlarged but not massively enlarged. A labiaplasty is a good idea, but it must be performed by a surgeon with experience. One of the two most common techniques is the central wedge technique, which I invented in 1995 and published in the plastic surgery textbooks.  It is also known as the "V" or wedge technique. Gynecologists and most plastic surgeons perform a labioplasty very differently. They essentially trim the labia minora (inner vaginal lips) and leave a long suture line instead of the normal labial edge. Their technique is the same whether a scalpel or a laser is used. In contrast, the central wedge removes triangles of tissue and bring the normal edges together. Thus, the normal labial edges, normal color, and normal anatomy are preserved, but the darkest labial tissue is usually removed.  Since you have extra tissue on your clitoral hood, it can be reduced it at the same time. No matter the technique, an inexperienced or unskilled surgeon can lead to a high rate of complications, chronic scar discomfort, labial deformities, and further surgery.

Gary J. Alter, M.D.
Beverly Hills, CA - Manhattan, NY

Gary J. Alter, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


It is not uncommon for me to see women of all ages including teens with similar concerns as yours. Many women are embarrassed to talk about these types of issues and I applaud you for talking about it at a young age. I would agree with the others in regards to a labiaplasty with possible perineoplasty. I perform both a wedge and trim technique. It all depends on what look you are trying to achieve and we would sit down and have a thoughtful discussion about the pros and cons of both. Experience matters when it comes to cosmetic surgery so be careful choosing a surgeon based upon price alone. Best wishes!

Linear resection ( NOT a complete amputation) vs wedge resection

Thanks for sharing the photos and questions.  To get the best results I would recommend :  1) labia minora reduction using a linear resection 2) reduction of the lateral prepuce ( the skin on either side of the clitoral hood) and 3) a superficial perineoplasty ( reduction of the skin above the anus and immediately below the vaginal opening.  The last of these procedures #3 will help to pull excess skin or stretch the skin much in the same manor in which you did in the last photo.   Many different surgeons will offer many different opinions.  Remember to choose a surgeon with experience, expertise, a great reputation and one who achieve great results ( please see their before and after photos on their website). 

There are many different techniques to decrease the protruding the labia minora and the two most common techniques are 1) the curvilinear reduction or linear reduction and 2) a wedge resection.  NO matter which technique you pursue choose a surgeon with experience, expertise, reputation and one who achieves great results.  These qualities are not achieved by being a "plastic surgeon" or even being "board certified" but instead they come through great training, years of surgical experience, common sense, logic and innate talent.    All too often surgeons tell patients what post operative cosmetic results should be instead of asking a patient : " what results do you hope to achieve"?   The surgeon should be able to communicate with a patient and discuss whether her postoperative desired results are achievable. A surgeon should communicate with a patient what is and what is NOT achievable for that individual patient. 

My partner and I have been performing labiaplasty surgery for more than 15 years and we have written the largest single center study in the world addressing just this question: What are your postoperative aesthetic expectations?  What we learned in one study  from 550 labiaplasty patients over a 3.5 year period actually dictates whether we perform a) the curvilinear reduction or b) a wedge resection.  99% of caucasian women do NOT want the so called "natural border and skin" of their labia.  They do NOT want a dark labia minora skin edge if it is at all possible----- 99% of women prefer a lighter, pinker skin edge which is NOT attainable with a wedge resection.  The wedge resection can remove some of the more darkened edge but not lighten the labia through its entire length..The lighter/pinker ( more youthful appearance) is only achievable through a linear resection.  The normal anatomy of the bulk of the labia minora is preserved and just the edge of the labia is removed.  This doesn't mean that a wedge resection is not a great technique. The results of the wedge and the linear resection are only as good as the surgeon performing the procedure. 

The second part of your procedure is the lateral thickness of tissue on both side of the clitoral hood this is known by some surgeons including myself as :  lateral redundant prepuce.  These can be reduced at the time of labia minora reduction surgery with minimal discomfort. Removing the lateral prepuce will not affect your clitoral function and will reduce the width of the clitoral hood are giving you a more natural appearance. The third technique  I am recommended above I have already explained .

During your consultation with your potential surgeon you should point out specifically what bothers you and he/she should be able to tell you step by step how to fix each problem which bothers you.  Do NOT let a surgeon tell you what you want done......make sure you have  say so in your final results.  Remember though the surgeon must have vast experience and get great results or you should NOT be going to them.   Sounds like common sense but all you need to do is look at the woman's results who wrote in just after you  (October 5, @ 12:26 I just had a labiaplasty 6 weeks ago and it looks like I don't have labia).  View her results and this will encourage you to seek out a highly qualified cosmetic vaginal surgeon.  Do not choose a surgeon based upon familiarity, location or price.  Best of luck in your care.

John R Miklos MD

Atlanta ~ Beverly Hills ~ Dubai

Labiaplasty candidate

You are definitely a candidate for a labiaplasty. Most women want the most aesthetically beautiful genital area they can have, thus I created my technique of doing labiaplasty called the True Labiaplasty. I recently presented my technique at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

There are many types of labiaplasty procedures. I personally prefer my method of doing labiaplasty procedures using a modified posterior wedge technique. It can give you very good symmetry of the labia and it excises excess tissue around the clitoris (i.e. prepuce and clitoral hood) when needed.

It looks the best aesthetically, and postoperatively patients experience less pain, in my experience. In addition, many patients have more satisfying sex since the sensitive thin delicate labial edges are left intact. You can learn more on the link below.  Details are on my website on the link below. Your concerns are exactly the reason why I developed my technique. Good luck.

Robert L. True, MD
Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Considering Labiaplasty Surgery

Thank you for your photos and questions. There are normal variations to all labia shape and size. If you are bothered by the size and appearance of your labia minora, you would be a candidate for labiaplasty with clitoral hood and posterior fourchette reduction. Best of luck. 

Labiaplasty indication?

Your story and concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy).  Based upon your photos, your anatomy is very typical of someone who seriously considers having these procedures and experiences a major boost in (sexual) self-confidence and pleasure thereafter. 

Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips) but not infrequently trimming or tucking of the labia majora (outer/thicker lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years.  Most commonly it is done under light sedation (aka twighlight sleep) with local anesthesia, in which case the patient should feel no pain during the operation.  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.  Most women, just like yourself, prefer to have as much of the darker pigmented edges removed as possible.  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 - typically ~10 mm or so of the dry part of the labia.  To achieve these three most important elements, I have found that the "Trim Method" satisfies best.  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 is 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.
Although there is no guarantee, women frequently do seek clitoral hood reduction (Hoodectomy) to improve exposure of the clitoris and hence better stimulation during sexual activity. By removing some of the excess &/or redundant skin concealing the clitoris, it becomes more readily exposed to sexual stimulation and hence a heightened sexual experience/orgasm is possible.  Sometimes I recommend adding hoodectomy to labiaplasty to better harmonize the aesthetic outcome.  Again, the key is seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or gynecologist who performs this procedure regularly (>2-3 x/month) so that just the right amount of tissue is removed and just the right amount remains such that the clitoris is not constantly exposed and rubbing on clothing, etc... Typical fee for a hoodectomy is ~$3000 but reduced to about half that price if done along with a labiaplasty.
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 or Percocet 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.  Glad to help.

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 101 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.