Is it realistic to have labiaplasty to remove about 1/2 inch long area of protruding skin one side?

I'm 24. For many years the right side of my labia minora has bothered me in clothes, exercise, etc. It's not that long, but it hurts sometimes. It does not protrude past the majora, but is about even. It is not even the whole side, just the middle of the labia minora on that side. About 1/2 an inch long (the length of the protruding part, not how far it protrudes). It is not wrinkly, wide, or anything like that. The left side is totally fine. Like the after pictures of labiaplasty!

Doctor Answers 14

Labiaplasty: A Personal Decision

Thank you for your question and sharing your photographs. Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that may improve one's confidence and resolve physical issues that one may have with an enlarged labia minora.   Labiaplasty is a personal decision after being well educated on the benefits and risks.  Your reason for wanting a labiaplasty is reasonable and a common reason among women.  There are several techniques, which should be discussed with you by the surgeon.   In my practice, I discuss this with my patients in order to educate them on their cosmetic issue, the surgical options and possible outcomes so that they can make an educated decision. I would recommend finding an experienced genital surgeon, which include Cosmetic Urologists, even if it involves traveling.    Best of luck.

Jeffrey S. Palmer, MD, FACS, FAAP (Cosmetic Urologist -- Cleveland, Ohio)

Cleveland Urologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Labia discomfort on one side only

It is not uncommon to have one labia side larger than the other. The sensitivity may be due to the small amount of protrusion thru the majora. The small amount of excess could be trimmed along the edge or a small wedge resection performed only on the larger side.

Christine Hamori, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Is it realistic to have labiaplasty to remove about 1/2 inch long area of protruding skin one side?

Thank you for sharing your question. There is a wide variation in the size and appearance of a women's anatomy, with some women having, or developing, 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. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, who could perform a physical exam, would be able to give you a more definitive opinion.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Candidate for a labiplasty

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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

A unilateral labiaplasty is often harder to get just right than doing both sides...

Sure- unilateral labiaplasties can be fine (go to my website or the RealSelf pics-- there are several unilateral results.) Only thing: choose your surgeon carefully! A novice surgeon, especially via NHS, can botch the larger side, leaving you worse off. This is a very important decision, as I have seen cases where the doc totally took off the "larger" side, leaving it far smaller than the originally smaller side. This ESPECIALLY is the time for an experienced surgeon, who can carefully evaluate your smaller and larger side and artistically decide whether linear resection or linear/trim is best to mimic your other side. VERY IMPORTANT to only go to a surgeon who is skilled & experienced in BOTH procedures so that (s)he can choose the proper one.

Is it realistic to have labiaplasty on one side?

Yes,  based on your description, you may be an excellent candidate for a unilateral labia minora reduction procedure.  My best suggestion: select your plastic surgery carefully.  Communicate your goals/ concerns carefully as well. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Labiaplasty on one side only?

Yes, of course you can have a labial reduction just on one side. It sounds like you are definitely a candidate for this given the symptoms that you are currently having. Please though, be sure to go to a cosmetic vaginal surgeon with extensive experience that can tailor the surgery for you. We have seen many women that just wanted one side made smaller and they ended up having both of the sides of the labia completely amputated...which was NOT what they wanted at all!! It takes experience and expertise to tailor the surgery to you and in your case it sounds like only one side needs reduced and given the description of the anatomy, it seems very reasonable that the sides can become symmetrical after labial reduction on the side that is enlarged. Make sure your surgeon is experienced in ALL techniques, not just the wedge or just the contouring technique....that way they will know the best treatment that will work for your particular case. 

Best of luck to you, 

Dr Robert D Moore

Urogynecology and Cosmetic/Reconstructive Vaginal Surgery

Atlanta - Beverly Hills - Dubai

Robert D. Moore, DO
Atlanta Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


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.  The wedge technique is much better to achieve symmetry, because it leaves the natural edge. The wedge can be adjusted to achieve the symmetry you wish. 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

Gary J. Alter, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Labiaplasty for asymmetry

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

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Asymmetric labiaplasty

Assymtric labia are actually very common. Having to treat only one side is possible but you may want both sides treated so that they look similar. The only way to tell this is to see photos or see a surgeon in consultation. Taking out a small amount or a large amount only matters to the surgeon as we would have to adjust our techniques and markings tonmatch your anatomy. As said by others don't let someone just "trim" it off as this may not produce.a result that looks as natural as your other side that you may already be happy with. Find an experienced surgeon and be critical of their results before you procede

Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.