A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces the skin of the labia minora. The inner lips of the vagina encircle a woman’s most intimate area, but can become enlarged for a variety of reasons. The labia minora can lengthen with age, childbirth, but all labia have a particular shape and size that is individual to a woman’s body. Labia are rarely symmetrical, and all come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Unfortunately, the media would have us believe otherwise. Labiaplasties are rapidly growing in popularity, with women believing that the uniform “designer vagina” is the only acceptable appearance for female genitalia.
Scholars argue that this portrayal of the vagina turns healthy female genitalia into a means of commercial gain, or a medical symptom that is sensationalized and robs the science of plastic surgery of its “truthfulness, genuineness, and purposefulness.” (2)
As a result, women can feel that they “need” a labiaplasty to “correct” labia that are natural, unique, and healthy. However, for other women, the size and shape of their labia minora causes daily discomfort – and with today’s medical advances, there’s no “need” to suffer. Dr. Michael Yoo’s top priority is the safety and comfort of his patients. And, as a plastic surgeon, husband, and father, he is committed to a practice that allows his female patients to celebrate their bodies. If you’re struggling with labia that are impeding your ability to enjoy life, and your body, call (949) 861-3340 to schedule a consultation at his offices in Beverly Hills or Irvine.
Before and After Photos
Reasons For Labiaplasty
Choosing to undergo a labiaplasty is a personal decision, and it sure can’t get much more personal than your intimate areas! Women who struggle with large labia experience a range of physical limitations and anxiety.
In a recent survey of women seeking labiaplasties, when asked about physical symptoms, over half of the fifty patients experienced tugging during intercourse, found tight pants uncomfortable, experienced twisting of the labia, and noted that their labia were visible in yoga pants. 48% of women experienced pain during intercourse. 40% said that a bathing suit could expose their labia. 94% of these patients were self-conscious about their labia, and over half felt less attractive to their partner, experienced restricted choices of clothing, and noted a negative impact on both self-esteem and intimacy. All 50 patients experienced at least one symptom, and 92% experienced four or more. (1) While some women are endowed with larger labia than others, factors like childbirth and aging can cause changes in the labia minora, and force women to adjust to unexpected and sensitive new dimensions. These symptoms are unpleasant, but can be remedied by a labiaplasty performed by a compassionate and skilled surgeon.
Benefits and Risks
A labiaplasty can help women perform daily activities more comfortably, without the fear of exposure or pain from catching or rubbing. It can make sex more pleasurable, and increase self-confidence. This small surgery can make a big difference. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are some potential risks associated with labiaplasty. If you’re deciding whether a labiaplasty is right for you, it’s important to consider all the aspects of a surgical procedure:
- Surgical Technique: understanding that tissue will be removed via scalpel or laser, and that wounds will be sutured shut
- Recovery: You will need to take several days off of work, and won’t be fully healed for about two months, during which time you won’t be able to have sex or ride a bicycle.
- Cost: Besides the time you’ll need to take off work, the price of a labiaplasty may also be an important consideration.
- Risk of complications: Complications from a labiaplasty may cause pain, bleeding, scarring, swelling, or a permanent change in sensation. If sutures are disturbed during the healing process, an additional surgery may be required to address the resulting gap in the labia.
- Irreversibility: Once tissue is removed, it’s gone forever. A labiaplasty is a permanent surgery. Scars may be tight and stiff.
Because of the nature of this surgery, and the delicate area involved, it is incredibly important to go to a plastic surgeon who is well experienced in the procedure, such as Dr. Yoo. Dr. Yoo trained at some of the best hospitals in the United States, including USC Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. As an award-winning microsurgeon, he is well-equipped to provide his patients with optimal results in the safest way possible.
For more information about what’s involved in a labiaplasty, please feel free to schedule a consultation and Dr. Yoo will gladly review additional details of this procedure.
Labiaplasty Consultations In Beverly Hills
During your personal consultation with Dr. Yoo, you’ll enjoy an honest and compassionate discussion about your body and your goals. This is your opportunity to ask questions, and Dr. Yoo’s chance to share his expertise so that you can make an informed decision about whether a labiaplasty will be a valuable procedure for you. Any and all questions are encouraged; we want to make sure the patient is comfortable with their decision.
Dr. Yoo will perform a thorough examination and, if deemed a good candidate, he will determine what technique best suits your anatomy and your goals. His goal: a safe procedure with a successful recovery and optimal results. You’ll be given detailed instructions about how to prepare and what to expect during your procedure and recovery process. Those interested in a labiaplasty can learn more about this surgical procedure and the techniques used in labaplasties by visiting this page. To read more about the other services that Dr. Yoo’s practice provides, follow his blog!
Patients will be able to walk right after their surgery, but they may want to take several days off from work to help the healing process. Patients may shower 24 hours after the procedure with gentle, non-irritating soap, making sure to avoid rubbing or pulling on the incisions. Do not take baths or go in pools or hot tubs until fully healed, submerging the area could lead to an infection. Dr. Yoo will provide patients with a syringe that they can fill with water and clean the treatment area.Patients should avoid being seated, and instead rest lying down for the next few days.
And speaking of sitting- urinating will be uncomfortable for the first week or so. Many patients use a water bottle or pee in the shower to flood the area with warm water and alleviate any stinging.
Swelling and tenderness are to be expected and will subside in one to two weeks. Many women use ice packs and prescribed pain medication to reduce these symptoms. Wear loose-fitting clothing for a few weeks, and shouldn’t rush their transition to fitted clothing. The patient will be given antibiotics and lubricant to apply to the treatment area, generally for two days, three times a day.
Do not use tampons for six to eight weeks. Do not engage in sexual intercourse or activities that cause friction on the treatment area, including riding a bike, for at least two months or until instructed. Patients risk of causing small openings or tears of the incision if they engage in these activities any sooner. The patient should be fully healed in about two months if all postoperative instructions are followed.
There can be many benefits for women that choose to undergo a labiaplasty.
Ideal results include:
- Symmetrical appearance
- Trim, neat labia
- Comfort when exercising
- Ability to wear tight pants comfortably
- More gratifying sexual intercourse
- Increased comfort when performing physical activities like bike riding
- Improved clitoral stimulation
- Easier to maintain personal hygiene
The price of a labiaplasty procedure will depend on the individual case, the extent of the surgery, and whether the patient opts to undergo additional body enhancing procedures. The type of anesthesia required will also impact the price of a labiaplasty. Dr. Yoo will be able to provide patients with a quote during the initial consultation. Financing options like CareCredit and Alphaon are available for patients who qualify.
Should I get a labiaplasty if my labia are asymmetrical?
Most women’s labia minora are not symmetrical. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your body. Vulvas are as unique as the women that possess them and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Why should I consider a labiaplasty?
If you feel like your labia is holding you back from enjoying activities like sex, cycling, or wearing a swimsuit, you may be a good candidate for a labiaplasty. Women who have given birth may experience torn or misshapen labia following the birth of their child. The natural aging process can also result in an elongated labia that makes everyday activities uncomfortable.
- Sorice SC, Li AY, Canales FL, Furnas HJ. Abstract: Why Women Request Labiaplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016;4(9 Suppl):101-101. Published 2016 Sep 16. doi:10.1097/01.GOX.0000503005.28710.d2
- Ashong AC, Batta HE. Sensationalising the female pudenda: an examination of public communication of aesthetic genital surgery. Glob J Health Sci. 2012;5(2):153-165. Published 2012 Dec 26. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v5n2p153