What is a Labiaplasty?

There are multiple factors that can contribute to the development of enlarged tissue around the vaginal opening, also known as the labia minora, including: genetics, the natural aging process, menopause, weight loss, and difficult childbirth. The condition can often cause women to experience sexual discomfort and difficulty wearing certain types of clothing. Exercise and daily physical activities can also be affected by enlarged labial tissue. 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.

What Are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?

By removing excess labia minora tissue, labiaplasty offers both physical and mental benefits. Some positives of the surgical procedure include:

  • Pain and irritation relief
  • Feeling more comfortable in tighter clothing
  • A boost in self-confidence
  • Enhanced ability to participate in physical activities, including horseback riding, bike riding, and sexual intercourse
  • A decrease in potential hygiene issues
  • An improvement in quality of life

Am I a Labiaplasty Candidate?

Candidates for labiaplasty often pursue vaginal rejuvenation for cosmetic reasons or to relieve discomfort associated with enlarged or excess vaginal tissue. For most candidates with enlarged labia minora tissues that extend beyond the labia majora, the condition can cause irritation, chafing, or pain. This discomfort may be intensified during intercourse and some candidates may also develop hygiene issues as a result of excess vaginal tissue. Another concern many ideal candidates share is that clothing, particularly athletic leggings or swimwear bottoms, no longer fit 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?

The most common method of performing the labiaplasty is under local anesthesia with Pro-Nox (laughing gas). Dr. Cohen likes to use very strong numbing cream for about 15 minutes prior to the procedure. This will numb up the area so that you won’t feel the numbing needle. A member of our team will then bring you into our accredited operating room and you will be given Pro-Nox to help you feel more comfortable. The surgery will last about one hour. General anesthesia can be administered if a patient wishes, but the most common way labiaplasty is performed is under local anesthesia as we have found that patients are well numbed and comfortable.

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.

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 the labiaplasty procedure, the labia typically appears 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. Form-fitting clothing often fits better and many patients find exercise and intercourse to be more comfortable and enjoyable. Most patients also report a boost in self-esteem after the surgery.

Will I Have Labiaplasty Scars?

As with most surgical procedures, labiaplasty can result in some degree of scarring; however, Dr. Cohen’s personal Cohen Ellipse technique entails making incisions in well-hidden locations. This approach also preserves the look, feel, and function of the labia.

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. Side effects such as these are rare when labiaplasty is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Cohen in an approved, licensed, and state-of-the-art facility. One study highlights that four years after labiaplasty, more than 95 percent of patients were happy and satisfied with the outcome of this procedure.

A common misconception about labiaplasty is that it may decrease a woman’s sexual pleasure. 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.

Choosing a Labiaplasty Plastic Surgeon

A key factor in achieving satisfactory results is choosing a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Cohen. When researching plastic surgeons, opt for one that has plenty of experience performing labiaplasty surgeries. As with any plastic surgery procedure, it is important to feel comfortable with your surgeon as well. Select a provider that you feel at ease with, one that you have an easy rapport with, and one that you can easily discuss concerns or questions with. Additional research you can do includes reading patient testimonials and reviewing a surgeon’s educational background. Talented and experienced plastic surgeons are more likely to produce results that patients are happy with.

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.