I asked about this but I'm asking again, I don't know if I need labiaplasty or something else? (photos)
Doctor Answers 8
Labia Changes over time
The appearance of the Vulva (external structures) certainly do change with each pregnancy and over time due to hormonal changes. The darkening can be addressed by skin lightening techniques with either skin bleaching or with laser skin lightening. The labia are difficult to see from your pictures but if your desire is to make them smaller, this can be achieved with either labiaplasty with possible clitoral hood reduction to restore a more youthful appearance. In patients desiring non-surgical shrinkage of the labia minora, this can be achieved with either Radiofrequency or laser skin tightening. This would be determined by a trained surgeon that offers both surgical and non-surgical options to help you achieve your desired look.
Labiaplasty - Solon, Ohio
Thank you for your question. The cost for a labiaplasty is dependent upon the amount of surgery necessary as well as if a clitoral hood reduction is also necessary. Without a thorough physical examination or at least photographs, it tends to be challenging to give an accurate price.
There are several types of surgeons who promote themselves as performing labiaplasty, but a Cosmetic Urologist can offer unique qualifications compared to plastic surgeons, gynecologists and general urologists.
Best of luck.
Jeffrey S. Palmer, MD, FACS, FAAP (Cosmetic Urologist -- Cleveland, Ohio)
Do you need a labiaplasty?
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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The cost of a labiaplasty varies by experience and region. it can range anywhere from $3000 - $8000 depending on who you go to. Be sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in labiaplasty procedures.
I asked about this but I'm asking again, I don't know if I need labiaplasty or something else?
Thank you for your question and photograph. There is a wide variation in the size and appearance of a women's anatomy, and your vagina falls well within normal. Some women may have, or develop, enlarged or asymmetrical labia that can make exercise, sexual intercourse, or wearing certain types of clothing difficult. In these instances, a labiaplasty allows for a reduction in the size of the labia, while also making a more symmetrical pairing. As your labia minora appear to be on the smaller end and below the level of your labia majora, surgery would change little in your overall appearance. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, who could perform a physical exam, would be able to give you a more definitive opinion.
How much does labiaplasty cost?
Your lips are certainly not significantly enlarged, but then it's up to you, not me. To answer your question directly, if you wish to be operated on by an experienced surgeon who knows what he or she is doing, the "out-the-door"(total) cost will vary around the country, but will be in the $4000-8000 range. "Local" anesthesia with surgery performed in an office surgical suite will be less than if your doc brings you into a hospital or surgicenter & operates under a general anesthesia. Beware (!) of docs who offer to "do it under insurance" in the hospital. These inexperienced docs are where all of our "botched labiaplasty" tales originate..!
Michael P Gooman, MD
Davis, CA, USA
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.
You don't NEED a labiaplasty, you WANT a labiaplasty
The labia minora enlarge at puberty if they were destined to do so. It's not the result of masturbation and neither is the darkening of the labial skin - it just happens. It's common and normal. Unlike the labia majora, there is no currently available method of lightening the labia minora skin color. Your choices are limited to labiaplasty or nothing at all.