Labiaplasty offers rejuvenation for the vaginal area
You probably know that plastic surgery can help you with concerns about the appearance of the face, breasts, or tummy. However, you may not have realized that it can also help with certain issues of the vaginal area. Although many women suffer from problems in this area, it’s rarely discussed. As a result, many women are unaware that plastic surgery can be helpful. A procedure called labiaplasty can help women who have certain types of problems with their genitals.
What is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty reduces the size of the labia minora, the “inner lips” of the vagina. Enlarged labia minora can cause a number of issues with a woman’s sexual functioning, comfort, and dissatisfaction with her body. With labiaplasty, the labia minora can be reduced to a size proportional to the labia majora (the “outer lips,” or hair-bearing skin of the vaginal area). If desired, the clitoral hood can also be reduced in size, which may enhance sexual satisfaction.
Unfortunately, there are still many surgeons using an outdated technique, in which the excess tissue is simply clamped off around the edges and then removed. A more careful surgical technique can avoid complications such as nerve damage, and create better results for women. Dr. Miles uses a technique known as wedge resection. He selects a small wedge of tissue to be removed, with the location being selected to avoid damage to important structures such as nerves and arteries. The outer layers of tissue are removed, but the inner layers, where vital structures are located, are carefully preserved. After the tissue is removed, the edges are sewn together, leaving a smooth border of the labia minora. The resulting scars are well-hidden.
Why might a woman choose labiaplasty?
Women may consider labiaplasty for a variety of different reasons. Some women have felt uncomfortable with the shape of their genitals for nearly their entire lives. Enlarged labia minora may rub against clothing (particularly snug clothing such as yoga pants, swimsuits, leggings), making women uncomfortable. Activities such as riding bicycles or running may lead to discomfort. For many women, the enlarged labia minora can make sex uncomfortable, and some women even avoid having sex because of this issue. Labiaplasty can help to increase a woman’s comfort in these situations.
Excessive folds and creases of the tissue may also create an environment where yeast and bacteria can thrive, which can lead to problems like frequent yeast infections. In addition, the aesthetics of their genitals may be bothersome to some women, making them feel self-conscious during sexual situations or in a locker room. Labiaplasty may help with these issues as well.
Women who have given birth often experience changes to their vaginal area afterward. The labia minora may be looser and may be a bit enlarged as a result of the stretching that occurs during the process of childbirth. Sex may be less pleasurable, and certain clothing and daily activities may cause irritation or discomfort. Labiaplasty can help to restore the appearance and function of the tissues around the vagina. This procedure is commonly part of a “mommy makeover,” along with other procedures such as a breast augmentation, breast lift, and tummy tuck, to help restore a woman’s body after pregnancy.
Labiaplasty is intended to increase a patient’s personal comfort and self-confidence. The procedure should never be considered as an option to please another person, such as a sexual partner.
Labiaplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in our surgical center using a long-acting local anesthetic, combined with general anesthesia for patient comfort. Precise markings are placed to ensure that the excess tissue is removed without constricting the vaginal opening. Dr. Miles will remove the excess tissue with a wedge resection, and then reshape the remaining tissue to create a beautiful and functional vaginal area. The surgical incisions are closed in multiple layers using dissolvable sutures, which will slowly dissolve on their own and don’t require removal.
For a few days after a labiaplasty, you can expect to have swelling and slight discomfort in the vaginal area. Ice packs can be used to help manage this, along with pain medications. Elevating the bottom on pillows can also help to manage swelling. Most patients take a week off from work for recovery, although some are ready to go back within a few days.
It will be two weeks before you’re ready for exercise again (beyond light walking), and six weeks before you can resume sex or use tampons. It’s important to allow adequate time for the tissues to heal to get the best results from your procedure.
Labiaplasty has a very high satisfaction rate, with studies showing that well over 90% of patients who undergo labiaplasty are satisfied with the results.
Are you considering labiaplasty?
If you’re experiencing discomfort or dissatisfaction with your vaginal area, and you’re in the Charlotte area, please visit Dr. Erik Miles for a consultation to discuss if labiaplasty is right for you. With two board certifications, his extensive training at high-quality institutions, and many years of experience performing labiaplasty procedures with excellent results, you can trust him with this sensitive area of your body. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Miles, please contact our office.