What's the best labiaplasty method? Can it also get rid of the dark purple color near the end of labia minora?

I have stretched labia minora, more on one side and not so much on the other, so I've been considering labiaplasty. Also it's more of a dark color towards the end, while the rest is pink. Can it be trimmed off or fixed? And is there a way to fix discoloration for the labia majora as well? How long does it take before you can walk like you don't have a cramp? If your period comes, will it delay in healing or sting? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 14

Best labiaplasty method?

The two most common ways to reduce the labia minora are the wedge and the trim/linear methods.  Both are good procedures and work well. Which method is best for you will be determined by your plastic surgeon at your pre-op appointment.  The shape of the labia will determine which one will achieve your desired results.  The pigmented coloring along the edge of the labia can be removed by trimming the edge, provided there is enough extra tissue there to be removed.  This is a very personal procedure and requires a very personalized approach.  Find a BC plastic surgeon who takes the time to listen and explain to you your options.

Concord Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Best labiaplasty technique

A labiaplasty 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, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

The best labiaplaty procedure

is the one the will help you achieve your goals.  An exam is required and if you're desiring to maintain more of the 'natural' pigmented border, the wedge will be recommended.  If you want the edge removed or trimmed as you say, the trim method will be recommended with great care done to minimize the risk of dog ears at the ends of your incisions and interdigitating the edges and not simply amputating the edge and throwing a baseball stitch in it as you see so often on this site.  If your surgeon only does one method, find another surgeon who can provide you choices.  Walking is not a problem and periods do not impact your healing but you cannot use a tampon and will have to resort to pads.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

So... Which labiaplasty technique is superior: Wedge or Linear?!

The "Best" labiaplasty technique is one that is designed specifically for YOUR anatomy and YOUR individual wishes for post-operative appearance. Although there definitely are different "types" of enlargement, I have never seen two women whose labia look exactly alike or, for that matter, two women whose 2 sides look exactly alike. As your surgeon should listen to you, personally evaluate your anatomy, it is important to visit a surgeon who is savvy in BOTH of the major techniques for performing LP ("Linear" and "Wedge" and their modifications,) so he/she can DESIGN the operation individually for your anatomy & your desires.

That said, if you wish to remove darkened tips and produce a "pinker" color, a "linear/trim" may be the best choice, but in this situation it is important that your surgeon doesn't cut too deeply into the inner "pink" tissue to produce these results, or you will get that amputated "OMG-- there's nothing there!!" appearance of the "botched" labiaplasties you sometime see here from women who went to the wrong, non-experienced Gyn surgeon and then end up bemoaning their awful experience on these pages. My recommendation to you is to carefully do your homework & choose expereince, even if you have to travel to find just the right surgeon. It will be worth it! To see outcome possibilities from both linear and Wedge, access the link below, and navigate the site  for lots of information. And... Best Wishes!!

As for recovery, you are back walking the next day, but you will have a strict rrecovery protocol that your surgeon will give you (See my recovery protocol in a Blog on my site, written ~ 1 year ago). Don't worrry about your period-- it will not effect your recovery. Call our office if you wish; we'll be happpy to answer all your questions!

Michael P Goodman MD
Davis, CA, USA

The best method is the new used by an experienced cosmetic surgeon!

There is a lot of talk about one method being superior over another.  The bottom line is that the best method is the one that gives the better results.That only happens with an experienced surgeon no matter which technique is utilized.   Find someone you feel comfortable with and that has lots of experience and follow their recommendation.Best of luck.

Great Questions

The best method by far and away is the extended wedge labiaplasty. Less scar, faster healing time (walking normally in 4 days), less pain. The end of the minora can be easily removed with the wedge so the pinkness is throughout, leaving only a little darker color at the very bottom towards the perineum. Say NO to the trim!The labia majora can be resurfaced with a co2 laser to help peel off the superficial skin. Topical creams can be used (hydroquinone) in addition to decrease pigment there. Menstruation doesn't matter. Before, during, or after, it's always annoying. Don't stress about that. Best doc I know on the west coast is Dr. Gary Alter.

Surgeon's Experience

Hello Lalalouo,

The best procedure is probably the one with which your surgeon has the most experience. I tend to prefer my Modified Wedge procedure for most patients. Pain varies between patients and procedures but most of my patients have discomfort for a few days to a week. 

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


Labiaplasty procedures are customized to your particular anatomy. It will take a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon to make a plan.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Labiaplasty advice for asymmetry and hyperpigmentation

No advice on technique is valid without a photo. However, there are a variety of techniques to achieve your goals. Picking or customizing a surgical approach to suit your needs is the essence of surgical expertise so I would recommend that you limit your search to experts more than specific techniques. Menses do not affect healing. Discomfort is usually limited to the first few days.

Best labiaplasty method?

Your story and concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy) 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.