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Labiaplasty

More and more women are deciding to have a type of plastic
surgery called labiaplasty, and there are all sorts of reasons
for this, such as enhancing sexual satisfaction, relieving genital
pain, and for individual cosmetic reasons.
In a labiaplasty, a surgeon will trim down and shape the inner
lips (labia minora) or outer lips (labia majora) of the vagina or
both. The labia minora is the inner flap of skin that covers the
clitoris and vagina. The labia majora is the part of the labia
on the outside of the body.

There are a number of reasons why the labia may be
elongated or asymmetrical; the condition may have resulted
from sex, genetics, childbirth, or the natural aging process.

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What Surgery Is Right for Your Body Type?

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Who Is Suited For Labiaplasty?

The best candidates are women who are experiencing pain or self consciousness due to enlarged inner and outer vaginal lips. The ideal candidates are full-developed women, both young and adult, who are healthy. Women who have underlying health problems may not be accepted for this type of surgery.

The primary purpose of the surgery is not to boost sexual pleasure. If that is your goal, there are other surgical procedures that you may want to consider instead.

Risks and Side Effects of Labiaplasty

In 2007, a position statement about the dangers of cosmetic surgery on the vagina was issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The risks outlines included:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Temporary numbness
  • Decreased sensation in the vaginal area
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Asymmetry between the inner and outer labia lips
  • Excess buildup of scar tissue buildup, which appears as lumps on the treated area
  • Hematoma or blood clots
  • Puckering or creases of the skin

Getting Ready for the Labiaplasty Procedure
You should stop smoking and drinking alcohol for at least a week prior to the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will tell you to stop taking various medications, such as aspirin, blood thinners and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which can lead to9 excessive bleeding.
It’s important that you tell your doctor about all the medications that you are taking.

You should not have sex the night before the surgery.

The Labiaplasty Procedure

The Labiaplasty requires you to undergo a local anesthetic and is done on an outpatient basis. This is usually a 2-hour surgery.

During surgery, larger or uneven inner vaginal lips are cut and shortened using specialized scissors, a scalpel or a laser. In addition, the labia majora, on the outside of the body, can be reduced with either surgery or liposuction if needed. The doctor will then suture the incision with dissolvable stitches.

The Recovery Period After Labiaplasty Surgery

Following the surgery, you will be instructed to abstain from sex for about four weeks, as your genitals will be swollen, sore and slightly bruised.

You will be asked to stop any heavy, strenuous exercise for at least three weeks after surgery. And you cannot use tampons for 10 days afterward. During your recovery, you will need to wear a pad for one week or less, in case you experience any bleeding.

Considering Labiaplasty? Ask your surgeon these questions:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • How many labiaplasty procedures have you performed?
  • Are you board-certified and if so, for how long? 
  • Do you have before-and-after pictures of women who have had the procedure?
  • May I talk with one of your former patients?
  • How will this procedure benefit me?
  • What do I need to go prior to the surgery?
  • Does the operation hurt?
  • How much recovery time will I need?
  • Will the procedure enhance sexual function?
  • How long should I wait to have sex again? 
  • Will I have scars?
  • When will the stitches dissolve?
  • How much will my labiaplasty surgery cost?
  • Will insurance cover this type of procedure?
  • What if I am unhappy with the results?

Consult a Qualified Surgeon

The American Board of Plastic Surgery does not evaluate surgical skills related to labiaplasty in order to give certification for the procedure. Also, a surgeon does not have to have specific licensing requirements to do the surgery. This means you should do two things:

  • Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, or a board-certified urologist, or a board-certified gynecologist to do your procedure
  • Make certain the surgeon has considerable experience in performing labiaplasties.

The Cost of the Labiaplasty

There are three separate costs that combine for the total fee for a labiaplasty: the local anesthesia fees, facility fees and surgeon fees. You may have a labia majora reduction or labia minora reduction, or both, to produce a fully satisfactory outcome. If both procedures are done ar the same time, the overall cost will be lower, since you will only have to pay once for the anesthesia and the facility.

Labia minora or majora reduction fees can range from $5,000 to $10,000. Your insurance may cover this procedure if you need to have it, because extra-long long labia cause pain during sex or exercise. If you can’t afford the lump sum payment for the procedure, your surgeon may allow you to set up a monthly payment plan.

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