What is a Labiaplasty?

Heredity, the natural aging process, menopause, weight loss, and difficult childbirth can all contribute to the development of enlarged tissue around the vaginal opening (the labia minora). The condition can often cause women to experience sexual discomfort and difficulty wearing certain types of clothing. Enlarged labial tissue can also have an effect on exercise and daily physical activity. Our plastic surgeon, Andrew T. Cohen, MD, can use labiaplasty to reduce the excess tissue and reshape the labia in a relatively quick outpatient procedure, giving patients greater comfort and an improved sense of confidence with their appearance.

Am I a Labiaplasty Candidate?

Candidates for labiaplasty may seek vaginal rejuvenation for cosmetic reasons or to relieve discomfort associated with enlarged or excess vaginal tissue. Most candidates have enlarged labia minora tissues that extend beyond the labia majora, which can cause irritation, chafing, or pain. This discomfort may be intensified during intercourse. Some candidates may also develop hygiene issues as a result of excess vaginal tissue. Other candidates find that their clothing, particularly athletic leggings or swimwear, no longer fits properly. Labiaplasty is also commonly performed as part of a more comprehensive mommy makeover. Whether labiaplasty is performed for cosmetic or medical reasons, Dr. Cohen customizes each procedure to meet the unique needs of the patient.

What Can I Expect in the Labiaplasty Procedure?

Dr. Cohen uses his own personal labiaplasty technique to remove any excess skin and create a more balanced appearance—the Cohen Ellipse technique. This is a unique way to remove the excess skin while making sure the incision is well-hidden. In addition, the Cohen Ellipse technique preserves vital structures for sensitivity and feelings. Some patients elect to have the clitoral hood trimmed at the same time.

Labiaplasty is usually performed in an outpatient surgical facility and can be completed in approximately one hour. The procedure is done with sedation anesthesia (twilight) or, if the patient requests, general anesthesia can be used. If labiaplasty is performed under sedation, a local injection into the operative site is also done. Following the procedure, the patient spends about an hour in the recovery room where a registered nurse supervises them.

What Does the Labiaplasty Recovery Entail?

Following the surgery, patients can expect minor discomfort and swelling of the surgical site for a few days, which gradually decreases. Patients can manage any discomfort with oral pain medication; antibiotics are also prescribed to avoid infection. It takes about six weeks for the healing process to be complete. Patients should not engage in sexual intercourse or use tampons for 6-8 weeks. When needed, medicated ointments or cold packs can be applied to further improve comfort during recovery.

What Can I Expect in My Labiaplasty Results?

After labiaplasty, the labia should appear more balanced, with the labia minora no longer extending past the labia majora. Any pain that was caused by enlarged labia or excess vaginal tissues should be greatly reduced if not eliminated. Patients should be able to wear form-fitting clothing, exercise, and have intercourse with significantly more comfort. Most patients also report a boost in self-esteem after the procedure.

Are There Any Risks to Labiaplasty?

As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with labiaplasty surgery. Most commonly, there is the possibility of developing scarring, bleeding, or infection. However, these side effects are rare when labiaplasty is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon in an approved and licensed facility. According to one study, four years after labiaplasty, more than 95 percent of patients were happy with the outcome of this procedure.

Some women worry that a labiaplasty may decrease their sexual pleasure. This is not true, since the clitoris, which is the female structure most associated with sensory pleasure, is not involved or changed during this procedure. The Cohen Ellipse technique is also specifically designed to preserve sensitivity.

How Much Does a Labiaplasty Cost?

There is no fixed cost for labiaplasty surgery, since each procedure is customized to achieve the woman’s individual cosmetic goals as well as address any physical discomfort. Some patients require a minimal amount of tissue to be removed while others need more extensive treatment. Factors that can influence the price of your labiaplasty include the complexity of your custom treatment plan and the type of anesthesia used during your procedure. When comparing the cost of labiaplasty among potential plastic surgeons, keep in mind that the experience of the surgeon as well as the geographic location of the practice factor into the overall price. At the end of your preliminary consultation, Dr. Cohen can provide you with a quote for your labiaplasty. For patients who could benefit from a low monthly payment plan, we offer a number of flexible plastic surgery financing options.

Schedule Your Consultation

Please contact us for more information about labiaplasty. Dr. Cohen will be happy to meet with you and discuss all aspects of your procedure in an initial consultation here at our practice.