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Labiaplasty Q&A

Labiaplasty Q&A

What is a labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is the most common female genital aesthetic procedure and involves the surgical reduction of the labia minora.

What should I consider when choosing a surgeon to perform a labiaplasty?

When choosing a surgeon to perform a labiaplasty, it is very important that you choose someone who is board-certified in plastic surgery.  While this does not guarantee competence, it does ensure some rigorous vetting of the surgeon.  Second, it is important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon.  A labiaplasty is an intimate procedure that should be performed by someone with whom you find relatable. 

What happens during the process of a labiaplasty?

The surgical reduction of the labia minora can involve wedge excision of the labia minora with or without reduction of the clitoral hood.  The goal is to reduce the size of the labia minora in order to improve symptoms such as difficulty with exercise, hygiene, urinary tract infections, sexual activity and other physical activity.  It is also done to improve the aesthetic appearance of an enlarged labia due to childbirth, aging, sexual activity and genetics.

Who is / is not a good candidate for a labiaplasty?

Anyone with an enlarged or asymmetric labia minora is a candidate for labiaplasty.

Does insurance ever cover a labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is not considered “medically necessary” by insurance companies and therefore not covered by most insurance.

What are the risks you should know about before deciding to have a labiaplasty?

There are risks with any surgery.  Labiaplasty is done as an outpatient procedure, under local or general anesthesia.  In addition to the general risks of surgery, risks include unsightly or painful scarring, wound dehiscence, or superficial infections.  These can be managed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in labial surgery.

How does this surgery impact the patient in terms of sexual health?

Labiaplasty can increase clitoral exposure, leading to easier or more profound orgasms.  It can also enhance confidence regarding the appearance of the vulvar area.

What is the recovery process like?

The labia are a sensitive area and activities such as rigorous exercise, tight clothing, and sexual activity should be avoided for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.  It is important to keep the area clean and dry and often a short course of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent infection and reduce inflammation.