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Is Labiaplasty Right for You? A Guide to Costs, Benefits, and Realistic Expectations

Dr. Nazarian
by Dr. Nazarian@DoctorNazarian
Dr. Nazarian

Despite the rise in popularity of cosmetic surgery procedures, many people still have no idea what a labiaplasty is. Let’s review if it is the right procedure for you.

What is a Labiaplasty?

A labiaplasty is a procedure that reduces or remodels the size of the labia minora. While there is no specific way the labia should be shaped, some people are uncomfortable with the size or shape of their labia and want it tucked, reshaped, or resized.

Two folds cover and protect the vagina:

  • The Labia Majora
  • The Labia Minora

The Labia Majora is the outer fold of skin that protects the female genital organ. They are large, fleshy folds and have pubic hair from puberty.

The Labia Minora is the inner fold—smaller, less fleshy, and protects the urethra and vagina.

Labiaplasty is part of vaginal rejuvenation. It is a plastic surgery that reduces or remodels the size of the labia minora. The common causes of enlarged labia in women include:

  • Genetics;
  • Hormonal Changes—puberty, menopause, etc;
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth;
  • Weight Changes;

Enlarged labia minora can be uncomfortable during exercise, or while wearing certain clothing. A labiaplasty may help with this.

Even though there may be medical indications for labiaplasty, the most common reasons are cosmetic.

In women who are not comfortable with the size or shape of their labia, they opt for labiaplasty where the surgeon will trim or reconstruct their labia based on their desired results.

How Does it Work?

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The one chosen depends on the previously discussed plan for the patient. It can be done as The result is better-looking labia.

There are two approaches for Labiaplasty—Trim and Wedge Labiaplasty.

  • Trim Labiaplasty: In this, the surgeon trims skin from the outer edges of the labia minora. This can be done on either one or two of the labia. This keeps them even with or smaller than the labia majora—the outer lips. This technique is perfect for women with minor asymmetry or elongated labia.
  • Wedge Labiaplasty: In this approach, the surgeon cuts out a wedge or V-shaped piece of skin from the central part of the labia. This maintains the natural edges of the labia. For a woman who wants a reduction in size while maintaining a natural-looking contour, wedge labiaplasty is perfect.

Before Surgery

The procedure begins with a consultation. You will meet with our experts, who will:

  • Check your general health status
  • Explore your desires after the Labiaplasty
  • Explain the procedure to you
  • Instruct you on when to stop eating and drinking
  • Inform you of risks and potential complications

Before the procedure, there are things to change. You should:

  • Stop smoking 2-4 weeks before the surgery
  • Avoid Blood thinners, alcohol, Vitamin E, etc. at least a week before the surgery.

During the Surgery

During the surgery, the expert will:

  1. Marking: The surgeon will mark the tissue area to be removed during the surgery. This ensures there is no mistake during the surgery.
  2. Incisions: The surgeon chooses an incision type based on the planned approach—trim or wedge. The expert makes the incision following the markings made
  3. Tissue Removal: The surgeon cuts the excess tissue and reshapes the labia minora or labia majora for the desired aesthetic outcome.
  4. Closure: The incisions are meticulously sutured using dissolvable sutures for minimal scarring.

The procedure usually takes about 1-2 hours depending on the complexity. It is done under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia.

Post-Op

After the procedure, there will be some discomfort and swelling for about a week, some people more, some less. 

Here are some things to do after the surgery.

  • Rest and avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks.
  • Keep the area clean and dry to promote healing.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to minimize friction and irritation.
  • Use prescribed pain medication and antibiotics.
  • Apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • The surgeon will tell you when it is safe to go back to your originally stopped medications.
  • No smoking for at least 4 weeks pre and post-op
  • No alcohol for at least 2 weeks pre and post-surgery.
  • No vaginal intercourse until at least 4 weeks after the surgery or when you’re cleared by your doctor
  • Avoid driving until you’re at least 24 hours off your pain medications.
  • No tampon use till 4 weeks post-op. Use sanitary pads.

Cost of Labiaplasty

The average cost of Labiaplasty in the US is between $5,000-15,000. This price varies owing to several factors—geographic location, expertise of the surgeon, and desired results.

Note that Labiaplasty is mostly done as a cosmetic surgical procedure. If so, it will not be covered by insurance. However, if you’re having a Labiaplasty for medical reasons, discuss with your insurance provider concerning coverage by insurance.

How does location affect the cost of Labiaplasty

The price of Labiaplasty varies from one location to the other. In Florida, the average cost is $3,000-10,000. In high-brow areas like Beverly Hills, Labiaplasty costs as much as $26,000.

Centres in Los Angeles 

Areas with more demand usually have higher costs. However, there is also a plethora of options available in this area. This ensures there will be a place within your budget.

Other Factors Affecting Cost

  •  Anesthesia Choice: Because each procedure is unique and the patient’s desires are not the same, the prices vary as well. The choice of anesthesia to use for the procedure is a key factor in determining the price of Labiaplasty. Choosing either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia will influence the price of the procedure.
  • Expertise of Surgeon: The more experience a surgeon has with these kinds of procedures, the better results you will get. However, the cost of Labiaplasty is higher if your surgeon is very experienced.

Benefits of Labiaplasty

Why is Labiaplasty so special? Let’s see the benefits of this procedure and why it is becoming popular among women in the US.

  • Labiaplasty increases your comfort: It prevents chafing, twisting, and tugging. It produces overall comfort and relaxation.
  • It improves your vagina’s appearance: Labiaplasty removes the extra skin of the labia that makes it look odd. Your vagina will look better and increase your confidence.
  • Labiaplasty improves sexual pleasure: Excess labia skin can make sex painful and unpleasant. Labiaplasty removes this excess skin, increasing your sensitivity, decreasing pain, and improving your sexual pleasure.
  • Athletic performance is improved: Labiaplasty is great for athletes. It saves them the bother of chafing and twisting their labia. They can throw caution to the wind and give their best.
  • Labiaplasty can improve hygiene: With large labia, cleaning it properly can be difficult. This would cause pathogens to fester and cause UTIs. Labiaplasty improves this greatly!

Labiaplasty vs Vaginoplasty

Some people may confuse Labiaplasty for Vaginoplasty. Even though they are both vaginal rejuvenation procedures, they are different and have distinct functions. While Vaginoplasty tightens the vagina, Labiaplasty improves the appearance of the labia!

Is Labiaplasty for me?

You may be wondering if Labiaplasty is the right procedure for your needs. Here are some things to help you make that choice.

If you’re experiencing any of these, then Labiaplasty is for you

  • Twisting and tugging of the labia;
  • Hygiene problems, leading to recurrent UTI;
  • Asymmetry/stretching of the labia;
  • Sexual problems during intercourse;
  • Need for self-confidence and positivity;

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are you tighter after labiaplasty?
    1. No you’re not! The surgery needed to make your vagina tighter is a Vaginoplasty. Labiaplasty will improve the appearance of the labia and not the tightness of the vagina
  2. How long does labiaplasty take?
    1. The duration of a Labiaplasty depends on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s desires. However, it takes an average 1-2 hours to do a Labiaplasty.
  3. Will labiaplasty affect sexual sensation?
    1. Yes it will! Women with long labia experience pain during intercourse. Removing this excess skin reduces the pain and increases sensation. Sexual satisfaction is enhanced.
  4. Is labiaplasty covered by insurance?
    1. Most Labiaplasty procedures are for cosmetic reasons. These are not covered by insurance. However, in some cases where the indication is medical, it may be covered by insurance.
  5. How much does labiaplasty cost?
    1. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that varies in cost based on the expertise of the surgeon, geographic location, and patient’s desires—surgery technique, and anaesthesia choice.

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