What results can I expect?

I am due for labiaplasty soon but still haven't discussed with the surgeon what results specifically I'm looking for. My labia hang out about 4cm long, would it be reasonable to ask him to remove so much of it so that my labia majora cover the minora? Is there a limit to how much can be removed without risk? Thank you !

Doctor Answers 13

What results can you expect?

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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Reasonable limitations


You should discuss what is to be done in your case more before surgery. Make an appointment to see your surgeon. What others may say here is not all that meaningful to what will happen in your specific case by your specific surgeon. There are limitations to every operation. Discussing this with your surgeon and coming to an understanding should happen before every operation. 

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Labiaplasty expectations

Thank you for your question.  You absolutely must discuss all these details with your surgeon before you actually pay for and schedule a surgery.  You should have a very clear idea of what to expect and you should feel reassured that your surgeon has heard and understood your expectations before you agree to the procedure.  You should discuss surgical technique and specifics of the end result you seek:  Do you wish to preserve the natural pigmentation changes?  Or, maybe, you don't like that and want the darker tissue gone?  Whatever the case, all of these specifics should be addressed well ahead of the actual surgery.  Assuming your surgeon is experienced and competent in these procedures, you should have an excellent outcome that comes very close to your expectations.

W. John Bullis, MD
Bellevue OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

What results can I expect?

STOP, this is a question that you must have in detail with your surgeon.  You should be very clear on what you are looking for as your end result and you both should discuss and agree to that.   Good outcomes are more likely with an experienced labiaplasty surgeon, so make sure this is something they do on a regular basis.

If a discussion of the final look and desire was not brought up by your surgeon then I would encourage to seek another procedure prior to having surgery.   You get one really good shot at making look as good as possible so use it wisely.

David Ghozland, MD
Santa Monica OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Your results will be highly determined by your surgeon's experience and your anatomy

Thank you for your great question, but this is a conversation you need to have with your surgeon. A lot depends on your anatomy but also on his/her skills and experience. Be sure to look at their photo gallery.

I perform labia reductions in the office under local anesthesia. Every woman is shaped differently and requires her own unique cosmetic correction.  What is often overlooked by most surgeons is the prepuce, or clitoral hood, which may require reduction and even lifting to achieve the optimal youthful appearance and enhanced sensation for ultimate pleasure. Please do your research before proceeding. See link below for information on choosing the right surgeon.

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 34 reviews


A labiaplasty should 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.  If 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
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

What results can I expect?

Prior to the day of your procedure, I would recommend following up with your surgeon to discuss the surgery and to ensure that your expectations will be met postoperatively. If you are scheduling with a board certified surgeon who specializes in labiaplasty procedures, they should be able to tailor the procedure so that your outcome is one you will be satisfied with. It is important that both you and your surgeon are on the same page when it comes to outcomes. If at your next follow up your surgeon does not feel that they are able to perform to your expectations, you should seek out a second opinion. It is better to discuss and know your options, rather than rushing into a procedure you may not ultimately be happy with.

George Shashoua, MD
Austin Urogynecologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


It sounds like you are a good candidate for a labiaplasty. The type you get really depends on what you want and the experience of the surgeon. 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. Look at my before and after photos either on my website on here on RealSelf and you can see what kind of results you could get. 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 9 reviews

Labiaplasty details

"Expectations" should always be discussed prior to the date of surgery. If not done so already, please schedule another preop appointment with your surgeon to do so asap. Please also read on for more surgical details:

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 119 reviews

Your expectations should be discussed during your first consultation

An expert will demand to know your expectations at the time of your first visit and establish a crystal clear plan for meeting them. Not everyone who offers labiaplasty is an expert and not everyone can meet your expectations. You need to be examined closely to determine how much work needs to be done to meet your expectations and your surgeon should have a large portfolio of before and afters that show women who started out looking like you and finished with an appearance that meets your expectations. There are always limits to how much tissue can be removed, but your request can be met by an expert.

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