Larry Schlesinger, M.D.: Hi, I'm Larry Schlesinger and I'm a board certified plastic surgeon from Honolulu, Hawaii. And the question today is, "What is a labiaplasty?".

Well first of all, there's two sets of labia. The external labia, which are relatively large and amorphous. They become somewhat flattened, the term is atrophic, losing their definition as women get older. And we can put fat into the labia to make them thicker. Sometimes some women have too much fat in the labia and we can suction it out. That's basically what's done with the external labia.

The internal labia has the requirement of keeping moisture in the vagina. They very often get large and hang outside of the external labia, either from genetics or from pregnancy- the pressure on the tissue or prolonged labor.

At any rate, the internal labia are the main area we refer to when we're talking about the labiaplasty. Historically, there are two ways to operate on labiaplasty. You can do the trim technique, in my opinion it's a very inadequate system, it can lead to scarring, it can lead to painful intercourse. It is not, in my opinion, something that should be done.

On the other hand, internal labia reduction with the wedge technique, which was invented by Gary Alter in Beverly Hills, is a really fantastic technique. It's not scarring, it doesn't cause any problems with intercourse or sitting on a bicycle or riding a horse. And it tightens and shortens the opening to the vagina.

So internal labiaplasties done with the wedge technique are infinitely superior to those done with the trim technique. The suturing of the outside and the inside of the labia and the middle portion is usually sutured with strong thread that may last up to 30 days. That's what a labiaplasty is.

I'm Larry Schlesinger, I'm a board certified plastic surgeon from Honolulu, Hawaii and thank you very much for listening.

Labiaplasty Can Enhance or Diminish the Vagina, Based on Your Goals

Dr. Larry Schlesinger answers the common question, "What is a Labiaplasty?" He explains the internal and external labia, why women need a procedure like this, and what technique he prefers.