What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is surgery to alter the shape of the vulva. The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia – the part visible to anyone looking. It’s sometimes used interchangeably with ‘vagina’ to refer to the same thing.
The labia, or vaginal lips, make up the largest part of your vulva. You have 2 sets of labia:
- Labia minora: These are more frequently the target of cosmetic procedures. The small or inner lips of the vagina are those fleshy lips extending outward. Large labia minora are cosmetically unsatisfying for some women. Moreover, they might get in the way during vaginal sex, causing pain or injury. A labiaplasty procedure can trim the small vaginal lips and bring them down in size.
- Labia majora: These are the external, skin-like edges of the vaginal. They’re less likely to cause cosmetic concerns or require cosmetic surgery.
Other components of the vulva include the vaginal opening, urethral opening, and clitoral hood, however, these are not usually a target of genital plastic surgery.
Who Might Opt For Labiaplasty?
Before reading any further, you should know this: there’s no “normal” when it comes to the shape of your vagina.
Dr Maryam makes sure all of her labiaplasty patients do it for the right reasons only. You should only consider labiaplasty if:
- You’re unhappy with your genital appearance and want to change it (cosmetic reasons)
- Your labia is getting in the way during sexual activity, causing pain or injury
- You’ve had a genital injury during birth or due to an accident
- You’ve had previous genital surgery that disfigured your vulva (e.g. vulva cancer surgery)
If you fall under any of these categories, then you may be a suitable candidate for labiaplasty surgery. Dr Maryam will discuss your desires and expected outcomes during your first labiaplasty consultation.
Why Patients Might Consider Labiaplasty
Patient might choose to undergo labiaplasty for a number of different reasons, including:
- Sex life: If your labia is getting in the way during vaginal penetration, then labiaplasty surgery may help.
- Altering the vaginal appearance: During labiaplasty procedure, Dr Maryam will alter how your vagina looks on the outside.
How Is Labia Reduction Performed?
Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you’ll be in and out of the hospital clinic on the same day. It can be done under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia.
The goal of labia surgery is to remove excess tissue from the vulva and reshape the labia.
There are two vaginal plastic surgery techniques commonly used to reduce the labia:
- Wedge resection: This is a more commonly performed labiaplasty technique. During wedge labia reduction, Dr Maryam cuts a small triangular piece (a wedge) in the middle of the labia minora on each side. She removes this excess skin wedge and then pulls the remaining labia tissue tight together. The result is smaller labia minora that are better tucked in.
- Trim procedure: This is a technique when Dr Maryam performs a vertical incision along the outer edge of the labia minora. She cuts a few millimeters off the edge of the labia to make them smaller and less outward-projecting.
There are other combinations and variants of these procedures. Dr Maryam will adapt her surgical technique according to your needs.
Labia surgery may also be combined with fat transfer or liposuction.
Recovery After Labiaplasty
Full recovery from labia reduction procedure can take 4-6 weeks post-surgery.
Labiaplasty is an invasive procedure. You should expect to experience soreness, pain, and swelling in the groin region. These are completely normal side effects of labiaplasty.
Symptoms are generally worse during the first few days after labiaplasty. As of the second week, the swelling and pain will start significantly improving, and by 6 weeks most will generally be back to normal. The exception is some swelling that might persist for a few months.
Regarding limitations after labiaplasty, here are a few things you should not:
- You can generally get back to work 5-7 days after surgery
- You should withhold sex for at least 2-3 weeks until the labiaplasty heals
- Avoid intense sports for 4-6 weeks, and once you start, start gradually
Dr Maryam will prescribe several medications, including an antibiotic and painkiller, to help you recover faster, with less pain and side effects.
Labiaplasty Aftercare Tips
To help you with your recovery after labiaplasty surgery, we’ve put together some useful tips
- Don’t use tampons after labiaplasty. Use pads instead. Tampons after labial reduction can be traumatic and irritate your healing wounds.
- Perform sitz baths once daily to reduce the swelling and soothe the pain. Make sure to use salt lukewarm water to get the full benefit.
- Apply ice packs on your underwear. This reduces the swelling and pain after labiaplasty. Do not keep the ice pack on for more than 15-20 mins continuously.
- Sleep with your behind elevated. You can do this by putting a couple of small pillows under you while you lay down. This reduces swelling from vaginal rejuvenation surgery.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight clothes might restrict blood flow to the labial reduction wound, delaying healing.
Labiaplasty Surgery Costs Sydney – How much does labiaplasty surgery cost in Sydney NSW?
How much labiaplasty costs vary depending on several factors. The type of procedure you undergo, type of anesthesia used, location (hospital or clinic) change the cost of vaginal surgery.
Dr Maryam and her team will provide you with a detailed Quote after your first appointment.
Is labiaplasty covered by Medicare or private health insurance?
If you meet certain strict criteria, you might be eligible for a partial rebate by medicare or health insurance subsidy for labiaplasty correction.
Considering Labiaplasty Surgery?
Is it normal to have extra skin down there?
It is completely normal to have extra skin coming out of the vagina. Just having excess labial tissue does not make your vulva abnormal. The shape of external genitalia varies widely, and there’s no standard shape to be called “normal”. However, if you’re unsatisfied with the extra vaginal tissue, it can be removed with vaginal rejuvenation procedures.
Does labiaplasty make you tighter?
No. Labiaplasty does not affect the tightness and size of your vagina opening. Another procedure, called vaginoplasty, involves the manipulation of the vaginal opening and canal.
Does vaginal rejuvenation include labiaplasty?
Vaginal rejuvenation can include a variety of procedures, such as clitoral hood lift, labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, and others.
Is labiaplasty surgery painful?
The groin is rich with nerve endings and nerve receptors. This is why invasive genital procedures, like labiaplasty, can be painful. However, during your surgery you will be under anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. After your surgery, Dr Hunt will give you painkillers to help reduce the pain.
Does labiaplasty affect childbirth?
No, labiaplasty does not affect your ability to deliver a child. The vaginal canal and opening will retain their width and you can pass your newborn just fine.
How long does labiaplasty surgery take to heal?
Labiaplasty wounds usually take 4-6 weeks to fully heal. By then you should have no more symptoms.
How do you clean your vagina after labiaplasty?
You can clean your wounds using sterile water and gauze. Perform a gentle tapping motion on your wounds. Sitz baths are also another effective and safe way to clean your labiaplasty wounds post-op.
When can I drive after labiaplasty?
After labial surgery, it might be a little painful and uncomfortable to drive. We recommend that you avoid driving for 3-5 days after your labiaplasty to allow your wounds to go through the first phase of healing.
Can I walk after labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty will not restrict your movement, however, you might feel slightly uncomfortable walking. In general, labiaplasty is not too painful, and patients can normally walk after the procedure.
How long will I bleed after labiaplasty?
You might notice minor bleeding and spotting for the first 2-4 days after your labiaplasty. Some women don’t notice any spotting at all. Minor spotting is normal until your wounds fully heal.
Can I have a bath after labiaplasty?
You can take a bath as of the next day after your vaginal rejuvenation procedure. Make sure to avoid irritating soap or products when cleaning your vaginal area. Mild soap without any rubbing would do. Make sure you gently pat the labia dry after you shower.
How many times can you get labiaplasty?
You can get labiaplasty as much as you need. However, if the labial tissue is not enough, or there’s too much fibrosis (scarring), then another labiaplasty might not be possible.
Can I get pregnant after labiaplasty?
Yes, of course. Labiaplasty does not affect your ability to become pregnant and have kids.
Should I get a labiaplasty before kids?
In general, pregnancy does not permanently affect the shape of your vulva. So you can choose to have labiaplasty before you have kids.
What are Risks and Complications of Labial reduction surgery?
The possible side effects include:
- Persistent bleeding
- Scar tissue formation
- Problems with sensation in the genitals
- Wound infection
Further Reading & Medical Sources about Labiaplasty Surgery
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PLASTIC SURGEON SYDNEY
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi has recently joined Dr Hunt’s practice in Edgecliff and is now available for consultations on a range of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery for breast, body and face.
She is just one of the very few dually qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons, completing both medical and dental degrees. This gives her a unique skillset and ability for face surgery, orthognathic & jaw surgery.
As a Sydney Female Plastic Surgeon, Dr Maryam offers surgery by women for women. She is supported in clinic & theatre by a completely female surgical team for those who prefer being operated on in a women-only or more female-friendly private hospital environment.