How Much Labia Skin Can Safely Be Removed with Labiaplasty?

I am interested to know how much skin can be removed with Labiaplasty. Can the skin around the vaginal opening be trimmed, if the labia happens to have excess in that area? Can the labia be trimmed extremely low, so that they are ALMOST non existent? Why are so many doctors performing labiaplasty and leaving so much skin ? I only know one doctor who seems to do a good job. Most women's after photos, still look pretty "meaty".

Doctor Answers 7

How Much Labia Skin Can Safely Be Removed with Labiaplasty?

You are correct, nearly all of the inner labial fold skin can be removed and still have a normal, and pretty appearance.  The reason this is not the routine of most surgeons is because if, after surgery, the woman believes too little skin was removed, more can always be taken off.  If the woman believes, after labiaplasty, that too much was removed, this is a much more difficult problem.  Specialized labial skin cannot be easily restored.  The wise, experienced surgeon does not take such risks.  If you want it all removed, you can look great.  Just tell the surgeon, and sign an informed consent document memorializing your emphatic wish that enough of your labia minora folds be removed that they are nearly flat, and almost non-existent. 

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Labiaplasty options for surgical excision of the labia minora

The point of labiaplasty is to restore a normal appearance to the labia minora.  Excessive reduction may cause secondary problems with scarring and dryness. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Labiaplasty Trimmed Down

   The labia can be reduced to almost nothing if you want, but the patient determines that to some extent.

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

Labia Minora Are Normal

Some amount of skin of the labia minora is normal. This skin is usually symmetrical and does not protrude from the labia majora significantly.  Most surgeons aim to restore anatomy closer to normal, not eliminate a normal anatomical finding. It would be helpful for you discuss your concerns about this anatomy further with your surgeon. Best wishes.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Labiaplasty results

will vary depending on just what is concerning to you.  Your labia majora (the hair bearing skin) can become atrophic and hang and could benefit from resection or fat grafting to plump them up again.  Your minora should have some excess as it contributes to the lubrication during intimacy.  It is always better to be conservative in excisions and revise as needed rather than trying to excise aggressively and be a genital cripple.  That is why most doctors have a clear revision policy in case you do not achieve the result you expected.  And then you can add clitoral hood issues which can also be addressed.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Labia skin removal

The amount of skin that should be removed during labiaplasty is up to the patient.  I typically advise patients to leave enough tissue that the labia minora is nicely defined, but not redundant.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

How Much Labia Skin Can Safely Be Removed with Labiaplasty?

It's a good question but it doesn't have a simple answer.  You need to rely on your surgeon's experience, in combination with what your expressed desires are with the understanding that not all things are possible.  Leaving excessive tension, such as can occur when too much tissue is removed (it can also occur if there is an infection, trauma, too much movement or exercise early post-op, etc) risks having the healing wound open up.  It may need to be resutured or otherwise repaired, and that will inevitably lead to increased concerns, however well that is addressed.  So leaving a little "extra" tissue can be prudent.  The specifics of that, though, need to be individualized.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 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.