Should I get Labiaplasty? (photos)

I think my vagina lips have gotten larger recently. I am not sure why. I do masterbate more regularly and have become embarrassed that new partners will not like the look of my vagina.

Doctor Answers 16

If you think men care about the appearance of your labia, guess again

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Simply put, men don't care about the appearance of your labia or vagina. All they care about is access. Masturbation doesn't cause your labia to enlarge. If you don't like the appearance of the labia for your own personal aesthetic sense, then consider having them reduced, but if you think men share your concerns, they do not.

Should you get a labiaplasty?

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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.


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Your labia minora are normal but enlarged . A labiaplasty can be done, 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.  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

Vaginal lips too large

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I do believe that you would like the look of your lips following reduction. However, your lips are not that large maybe slightly larger than average.

Labiaplasty preferred procedure

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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.

Labiaplasty indication

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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.

Should I get a labiaplasty?

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Thank you for sharing your question and photographs.  Though your current appearance is well within normal, the decision to pursue any elective, aesthetic procedure is a personal decision.  I would have a consultation with a labiaplasty surgeon for an in-person examination and discussion of your desired goals. Best wishes.

The Age-Old Question: "Should I get a Labiaplasty?!?

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"Am I "normal?" "Should I get a labiaplasty??"   The same question could be asked about one's nose, or breasts, or other parts of your body!  There is a delightful variation in size, shape, and location of the labia minora, majora, clitoral hood and vaginal introitus ("entryway.") We're all different and distinct; in fact, if you look closely, even the 2 sides of a woman's lips are anatomically different from each other.  

Yes, it's all "normal." Yes, you have "robust" labia.  When a man has a "robust" penis or testicular size, he is not unhappy, but larger sized labial folds and/or clitoral hood tissue "bugs" many women, either visually and/or functionally.    

Same as breast size, if a woman is on the bigger or smaller side, it can be bothersome to some women but not so to others.  And, just because you are "normal" (which you are!), does not mean you might want to do something about it if bugs you visually, interferes with your self-esteem, holds you back sexually, causes hygenic difficulties, chafes with sports activities, slips out of thong undergarments, gets in the way with sexual intimacy, etc.  

So...  You are normal. You are robust.  Believe me, you are a beautiful woman as you are, and your potential sexual partners, if they care for you, will be OVERJOYED to love you just as you are! Don't mess with it if it does not bother you. ("...If it ain't broke, don't fix it..!)  However, if it is an "issue," here is important advice for your self-protection (this comes from someone-me- who had done >650 labiaplasties on women of every size, shape, arrangement and individual desires, as well as someone who has been an "expert withness" in many legal cases involving "botched labiaplasites..!")  

1. Consult only with surgeons who "specialize" in this type of surgery (yes, you may have to travel), who can either show you evidence that they have either trained with an expert or have performed at least> 25 procedures (ask to see their own "before and after" photos.) There is nothing wrong with consulting with more than one surgeon to get different opinions. Also, do your homework! Look at several surgeon's websites. Become educated. SEE A SPECIALIST! 

2. Best to work with a surgeon who can prove to you that they are skilled in both Curvilinear Resection ("Trim") AND modified V-Wedge surgical techniques, as then they can CHOOSE the exact procedure that would best fit both your anatomy and specific aesthetic desires.  

3. Ask if you can speak with other women whom the surgeon has operated on, to get their opinions.  

4. It is best if your surgeon performs your surgery under local anesthesia, perhaps in their own surgical suite.  

5. Understand that it is hugely important to follow your surgeon's post-op instructions to the letter to get your best results!  

My very best to you.  Please click on the link below for eductional information.  Also, look at recent blogposts on the site; there is SPECIFIC information on the pros and cons of the individual techniques for labiaplasty -Michael P Goodman, MD Davis, CA, USA


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If you are not sure if you need a labiaplasty, my advice is not to have this done. Labiaplasty is done for discomfort with clothes / sports / intercourse or for cosmetic reasons. This is all relative. Surgery might not improve things for you, but will put you at a risk of surgical complication. I don't think labial shape is that important for men and if it is, then it is not well known or documented.

Only if it bothers YOU

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Hello and thanks for the question and photos.  "Should" you get a labiaplasty?  From the photos you submitted, it appears that there is nothing grossly abnormal about your external genitalia.  Your labia appear to me to be only slightly above average in size.  Now, just because I (or anyone else) say you look normal, that does not mean you "shouldn't" get a labiaplasty if the size of your labia has increased in recent years and you don't like it.  Also, trust me, new partners are NOT going to be critical of the appearance your labia.  If you decide to get a labiaplasty, only do it because YOU do not like the way you look, not because of what a future partner might think.  If you decide to do it, make sure to seek a consultation with a surgeon who has a lot of experience with this procedure (plastic surgeon or cosmetic gynecologist).

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.