Labiaplasty in Miami
Labiaplasty is a type of vaginal cosmetic surgery that helps women overcome discomfort, itching, irritation, self-consciousness, and embarrassment from enlargement of the labia.
The word “Labia” comes from the Latin word for “lips.” The labia are the folds of skin on each side of the opening to the vagina. The function of the labia is to protect a woman’s clitoris and vagina from trauma. Pubic hair covers the labia majora, or the fleshy outer lips, in most adult women. The inner lips, or labia minora, are the hairless folds of skin beneath the labia majora.
Just like every other part of the human body, no two labia are the same. They can vary in size and color from woman to woman. Labia on one side of a woman’s body can even look different from the labia on the other side of her body.
Many women are born with large or irregularly shaped labia because of genetics. Others develop large labia during puberty as the result of higher levels of estrogen and other female hormones at this stage in life. Increased blood flow to the genital area during pregnancy can increase pressure and cause feelings of heaviness in the labia. Aging can also cause changes in the size and shape of the labia. In some cases, large or irregularly shaped labia are the result of infection or trauma to the area. Large labia are not the result of masturbation or sexually transmitted diseases.
Why do Women Undergo Labiaplasty?
Women have many reasons for undergoing labiaplasty surgery, also known as vaginoplasty. Some have experienced labial stretching or tearing during childbirth, for example. In these cases, labiaplasty restores the natural shape and size of the inner labia.
A few women consider labiaplasty surgery because they have had enlargement of the labia minora, known as labia minora hypertrophy, which causes the inner lips to start growing until they extend outward past the outer lips. Other women undergo labiaplasty surgery because the labia minora naturally protrudes past the outer lips. In either case, protrusion of the inner lips past the outer lips makes the sensitive tissue of the labia minora vulnerable to irritation and discomfort during everyday physical activities. Enlargement of the labia minora can also cause embarrassment during sexual intimacy.
A growing number of women consider labiaplasty purely for cosmetic reasons. Large labia can cause women to feel embarrassed or avoid certain types of tight-fitting clothing. Labiaplasty gives the labia a more balanced appearance, thereby improving the overall look of a woman’s vaginal region.
What to Expect During Labiaplasty
Not everyone is a good candidate for labiaplasty. Women with excess bulk in the genital area that affects comfort or self-esteem may be good candidates for labiaplasty. Candidates should be in good overall physical health and have realistic expectations of the outcome of the procedure. Women who are not in good health or who experienced complications after an episiotomy may not be good candidates. Those who smoke or have poor nutrition may need to improve their lifestyles prior to undergoing surgery, as smoking and poor nutrition prevent healing by restricting the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the healing tissue. Pregnant women should avoid undergoing the procedure until after giving birth.
Assessing candidacy is an important part of the surgical process. During an initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will assess the patient’s labia, discuss various treatment options, and review the types of results the patient could expect from labiaplasty. The plastic surgeon will also determine if the patient is a good candidate for the procedure.
Labiaplasty, also known as vaginal rejuvenation, is a simple procedure. The goal of labiaplasty is to reduce the excess labial tissue and to reshape the labia carefully, so that the labia is less obtrusive and looks better.
Labiaplasty is an outpatient treatment, which means it does not require an overnight stay in a hospital. Prior to the procedure, the surgical team administers local anesthesia to the treatment area, which provides maximum comfort. In some cases, general anesthesia can be administered.
There are two main labiaplasty procedures: trim and wedge. The trim procedure is the most popular type of labiaplasty, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The procedure involves trimming excess tissue from the edge of the labia minora, or inner lips, and sewing up the remaining tissue so that it tucks neatly inside the outer lips.
Many women prefer the trim technique because it removes the part of the labia that tends to have a dark discoloration, which is a cosmetic issue for many women. The trim procedure is also more flexible when it comes to correcting asymmetries between the left and the right labia. Surgeons can perform the technique along with other aspects of labiaplasty, such as rejuvenation of the outer labia and trimming excess skin around the clitoris.
The wedge technique involves the use of a wedge-shaped incision to reduce the size of the labia. In other words, the surgeon removes a v-shaped wedge from both sides of the labia then reshapes the tissue by stitching the remaining area together.
This technique may be right for women who want a natural contour. It may not be the right technique for women who are concerned about darker labial tissue, as the procedure leaves this tissue intact.
Labiaplasty may be of the inner labia, outer labia, or both, depending on the patient’s natural anatomy and outcome goals. Because so many variations are possible, patients should discuss all the various options with their plastic surgeons.
Recovery takes about a week. Patients use ice packs and over-the-counter medications to reduce discomfort. Most swelling usually disappears within 6 weeks.
Most women are very satisfied with the outcomes of labiaplasty.
For more information about labiaplasty, its benefits, and whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, contact Dr. Lenny. Our plastic surgeon, Leonard A. Roudner M.D., is a world-renowned plastic surgeon who has already revolutionized the lives of thousands of patients through advanced plastic surgery techniques. Contact the Miami office of Dr. Lenny to find out if labiaplasty is right for you.