Can you please explain vaginoplasty and what the procedure is? How long is the healing process? What is pain like post op?

I have 4 kids and am seriously considering Vagnioplasty. My inner labia look like butterfly wings and I find them uncomfortable when wearing certain things. My significant other has no complaints with my sexual performance but after 4 kids (which include twins) I'm sure a lil tune up couldn't hurt

Doctor Answers 10

Vaginoplasty Defined

A vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the caliber of the vaginal canal through an incision along the back wall of the vagina and perineu. It involves a layered suturing of the kegel muscles and the outer muscles of the perineum. The labia minora (the inner labia) are not touched during a vaginoplasty. If you want the labia minora reduced, the procedure you would want is called a labiaplasty or a labia minora reduction.

Jersey City OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Can you please explain vaginoplasty and what the procedure is? How long is the healing process? What is pain like post op?

Surgery can be considered in this situation. An exam would be necessary to determine what may be appropriate.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Overview of vaginoplasty and labiaplasty

If the issue is not sexual performance but only appearance, you will be better served by labiaplasty alone.  If you have the feeling of laxity after several vaginal deliveries, vaginoplasty is the proper procedure.  If your concern is both appearance and function, you can have both procedures at the same surgical setting.

The healing process is similar for both, and the postoperative discomfort ranges from very little to a moderate amount.  Within a few days, there is often no discomfort at all.  Sexual activity can safely resume in around six weeks.  Satisfaction rates for both procedures are very high for those of us who perform this procedure often.  

Thomas A. Pane, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Vaginoplasty versus labiaplasty

If your labia have a butterfly shape and are long, you may benefit from a labiaplasty alone .  The vaginoplasty only deals with the inside and aims at tightening the perineum and vaginal canal (see attached video ). An in person consultation will give you the most appropriate answers to your questions .

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty

Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation are two totally different procedures done for completely different reasons on different pieces of anatomy.

Surgical prices vary by region, surgeon, and surgical experience. I currently charge $4500 for labiaplasty and additional fees if a clitoral hoodectomy is also required. I have been performing this procedure for 14 years in Beverly Hills, CA as one of my specialties. I also authored a book on it a couple of years ago.
Because the surgery appears simple, there are many physicians nowadays offering up their services for labiaplasty. Keep in mind however that the first time around has the absolute best chance for success and that revisions are very difficult.

Your story and concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy). Although photos would be helpful,   anatomy of the vulva after 4 children is somewhat typical of someone who seriously considers having these procedures and turns out to be a huge (sexual) self-confidence booster after.
Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years. 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 7-8 mm actually. 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. 

Vaginal Rejuvenation (a.k.a. vaginoplasty) is performed to reconstruct (more or less tighten) the vaginal vault most commonly following natural vaginal birth. Again, like most other surgery, the experience of and “attention to detail” (a.k.a. compulsiveness) by the surgeon is the most important element to achieving a good result. Although there is some merit to Kegal exercises, many patients with laxity after natural vaginal birth fail to obtain sufficient tightening. For these patients, vaginoplasty, tightening of the vaginal vault muscles from the introits (opening) up to the cervix is typically the best solution. The procedure is commonly done on an outpatient basis in about an hour under either deep intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Recovery is gradual but probably the worst for the first 4-5 days until swelling starts to reside then patients feel better each day thereafter. Sexual activity is usually refrained for about 6 weeks. In a study I was involved in back in 2009, 87% of vaginoplasty patients were satisfied with their results and had an improved sexual experience post-operatively. Typical (all inclusive) fee at my office/surgery center is $9000+. Glad to help.

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Vaginal surgeries

A vaginoplasty tightens the muscles of the vagina for a tighter vagina during intercourse. This increases your sexual sensations and satisfaction during intercourse. After 4 kids, most women could use this procedure. If your labia are too long, then you need another procedure called a labiaplasty. You can see my technique on the link below, with other answers to your questions. 

Robert L. True, MD
Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Thank you for your question. Vaginoplasty, often called vaginaplasty, vaginal rejuvenation, making young again, or vaginal tightening, is a procedure that repairs lazy/careless internal muscles, and may increase sexual pleasure to help you feel like yourself again after pregnancy. For others, the increase in sexual friction (accomplished or gained with effort) through more direct contact of the (sex organs) during intercourse can improve one’s feelings of sexual emotional closeness.
Plan to rest for the first few days after surgery. Stool softeners are highly recommended. You may become aware of some injuring (without bleeding) and swelling, both of which can be helped (to reduce) with the use of ice packs or oral medicine. Most women return to work and their daily commonly-done actions after 2 or 3 days, although sexual activity and tampon use should not resume for at least 6 weeks. Specific exercises such as vaginal (expanding/enlarging) and scar massage may be put into place during this period. You should also avoid baths, swimming and hot tubs during your recovery period.
Dhaval M. Patel Double board certifiedPlastic surgeon Hoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Vaginoplasty Explained

Candidates of Vaginal Rejuvenation or Vaginoplasty surgery are women who desire a more youthful appearance and function of the vulvas and vaginal area. For some women, the effects of childbirth, aging, trauma, and/or genetics, causes their vaginal tissue and muscles to become stretched, which results in loss of strength and tone in the vaginal area. This can lead to unsatisfying intimate contact and discomfort.
These surgeries are best performed by carefully selected Plastic Surgeons or Gynecologists. As this is not a very common procedure it is important that you choose a specialist who has significant experience in these procedures to get the best result with the least number of complications.
Intended ResultThe intended results of cosmetic labia and vaginal surgery are to return a youthful sensation and appearance to the labial and vaginal areas or in other cases, to remove physical and psychological discomfort.
The surgical procedure, Vaginoplasty, in many cases, can increase friction during intercourse, giving women more control of vaginal muscles, increasing sexual satisfaction, while also creating a more attractive and appealing appearance to the vaginal area.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Vaginoplasty and what the procedure is? How long is the healing process? What is pain like post op?

Dear Lady Duval
It does sound like the procedure you would want is called a labiaplasty. You are not alone. Labia reduction is not uncommon. Re healing- the initial healing is a period of about a week. I ask patients to refrain from sexual intercourse for four to six weeks. I give patients pain mediations but they usually dont take many as they do not reprt the procedure to be very painful.
Chances are you will be happy if you select and experienced plastic surgeon.

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Feminine rejuvenation, Pearls and Pitfalls of Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty Surgery and Recovery

Your question is a good one.  First of all there are two different components, Labiaplasty involves addressing the external appearance of the labia minora and sometimes majora an clitoral hood.  Vaginoplasty involves internal changes to the vaginal canal and can involve "g-spot" enhancement as well.  Both procedures can be a wonderful improvement in your life but there are many ways to go wrong with techniques that cause horrible complications.  I will give you a brief rundown on each.

Labiaplasty-  Labiaplasty can be a reletively simple procedure and for this reason all sorts of practitioners have started performing it to generate additional revenue.  Unfortunately the most commonly used procedure is the edge trim which is essentially an amputation.  this procedure leads to a ridged scar that is both unsightly and uncomfortable.  It can also lead to pain with sex and can really be a horrible problem.  Another technique is called wedge excision which is much better than an edge trim as far as safety but it can also cause inconveniently placed scarring and it leaves the edge of the labia minora with a pigmented and rough aged appearance.  I use a different technique that involves rotating smooth pink youthful appearing surface to the new labia and also preserves all deep tissues avoiding notches and deep scars.  A commonly overlooked part of labiaplasty is the labia majora.  The labia majora tends to deflate with age giving the genitalia an "open" appearance.  I commonly fat graft the labia majora to create a youthful closed or "kissing" appearance.

Vaginoplasty describes tightening of the vaginal wall for increased sexual pleasure of both partners.  As with labiaplasty, it is easy to discover horrror stories in which a patients sexual life is ruined from attempted vaginoplasty.  In the past most vaginoplasties involved tightening the deep muscular sling aroung the vagina.  This involved a painful healing process and deep scarring in the muscle that could cause ongoing pain with sexual intercourse.  Fortunately an excellent result in vaginoplasty does not require cutting.  I use a special fat grafting technique to narrow the vaginal wall circumferentially and I enhance the "g-spot" area on the anterior vaginal wall which greatly enhances pleasure for both sexual partners.

In general seek out a plastic surgeon who has experience with these sort of tissue preserving techniques as this is one area of the bdy that does not tolerate deep scarring.  I hope this helps!

All the best,

Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Rian A. Maercks, MD
Miami Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.