A labiaplasty of the labia majora is a procedure which aims to change the size and improve the shape of the labia majora (vulva) of a woman’s genitalia. It can involve reducing or increasing the volume of the vulva.
The shape and appearance of the labia majora and minora can change over time. In certain women, the vulva’s volume may decrease and it may appear “deflated”. In other words, the skin encasing the labia majora is normal, but it looks droopy because its content is insufficient. On the other hand, certain women are born with a disproportionately large vulva in comparison with their genitalia. In such cases, the labia majora may appear low-hanging. Consequently, certain women may feel embarrassed or lack self-esteem due to their perception of their body.
What does the surgery entail?
Increasing the volume of the vulva
The volume of the vulva can be increased by transferring fat collected using liposuction, often from the inner thighs or behind the knees. This surgery is done under local anesthesia. The fat is purified and injected into the parts of the vulva which appear deflated, so as to increase its volume and give it an aesthetically pleasing shape. If this surgery is combined with liposuction in another area of the body, e.g. the abdomen, the fat removed by the liposuction is used to increase the volume of the vulva.
Shortening the labia majora
This surgery is done under local anesthesia. The excess tissue is removed from the labia majora and their shape is carefully sculpted. The incision is concealed inside the vulva and closed using melting stitches, which the body absorbs in approximately two weeks. Once you have fully healed, your scars will be practically invisible.
Frequently asked questions
Medical literature has not established an aesthetic “standard” for this part of the body. Shape and size are entirely personal preferences. Women generally prefer their labia majora to be slightly rounded, concealing the labia minora when they are standing.
A labiaplasty of the labia majora is a minor procedure which can easily be done under local anesthesia, just like a trip to the dentist.
As with any surgery, labiaplasty is associated with minor risks of postoperative bleeding and infection.
In general, sensation in the genitalia is not altered by this surgery. When resuming sexual activity following a normal recovery period, certain women may experience temporary sensitivity during vaginal penetration.
The clitoris and surrounding tissue are not touched during the procedure, therefore sensation will remain the same following surgery.
Patients heal in the days following the surgery and are therefore able to return to work. Sports are generally resumed about two weeks after the surgery. However, certain physical activities may cause discomfort in the areas affected by the operation beyond the initial two-week recovery period. To ensure you heal properly, it is therefore recommended that you avoid sexual contact with vaginal penetration for the first five weeks following the procedure.
Depending on the amount of correction necessary, this minor surgery lasts approximately one to one and a half hours.
Proper hygiene following surgery is instrumental in ensuring that your wound heals well. You can clean your genitals delicately every day in the shower, letting the soapy water run off your body. However, you must avoid taking a bath during the first three weeks following surgery.
Generally, the cost of a labiaplasty varies between $4,800 and $6,200. However, additional charges may apply if the patient has a particular condition or if different surgeries are combined.
PLASTIC AND AESTHETIC SURGEON
Dr. Mario Luc
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We would be glad to help you through the process by answering all your questions and allaying your concerns.