Labiaplasty: Confident at Any Age
Women’s health and well-being are of the utmost importance to Dr. Ellen Mahony. Throughout her 30 years in practice as a board-certified plastic surgeon, she’s enjoyed helping women become the most confident versions of themselves. One of the newest procedures she offers in her Westport, CT office, labiaplasty is a procedure that can help boost confidence and address some uncomfortable physical issues that are often present for women who seek this solution. Unfortunately, many women previously found it awkward to discuss the discomfort or dissatisfaction they feel regarding the lax, floppy, thin tissue that blocks their vagina, gets trapped in their underclothes, and hangs between their thighs. Even more frustrating, most don’t know there are relatively simple, quick, and effective solutions available! We’re here to help! Read on.
What is a Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is cosmetic surgery to change the shape or symmetry of the vaginal area. Performed as an in-office surgical procedure under local anesthetic, Dr. Mahony trims either the labia minora (inner folds) so that they don’t hang down below the labia majora (the outer lips of the vaginal area) or just the labia majora. These areas can become stretched from childbirth, trauma, or, in certain cases, are just naturally occurring. Women who seek this procedure have often endured pain or discomfort during sexual activity, when exercising or in everyday life and find the removal of the stretched skin greatly increases their comfort and happiness with their appearance post-surgery.
What concerns can a labiaplasty treat?
The purpose of labiaplasty surgery is to reduce the size of the labia. In many cases, it is the labia minora (inner vaginal lips) that are treated. Labiaplasty refines the shape of these pieces of tissue so they fit within the labia majora (outer vaginal lips), where they are protected from excessive pressure from clothing. By reducing labia size, this procedure addresses all of the concerns that go along with enlarged tissue between a woman’s legs, including concerns like “camel toe” and painful sexual intercourse.
What are the benefits of a labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty can achieve several benefits, including:
- Increased comfort performing exercise or normal physical activities.
- Improved appearance. Some labia are overtly noticeable, even through clothing. Reducing the amount of tissue around the vaginal opening can significantly improve intimate appearance.
- Improved confidence. When dramatically large labia have been a distraction, women often feel much more confident in their intimate relationships after labiaplasty. Additionally, women can wear clothing that they couldn’t before, like bathing suits or yoga pants, without worrying about showing through.
- Larger labia folds are a common cause of painful intercourse. After labiaplasty heals, women often feel that sex is much more pleasurable. First, because they are more relaxed and, second, because their body is not in the way.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Labiaplasty?
Many healthy women are good candidates for labiaplasty. This procedure has become one of the leading plastic surgery techniques performed around the world in recent years. While it can be beneficial for women concerned about disproportionate labia size, we want to stress that there is no “right-size” of labia that every woman should have. Like all body parts, the labia are unique to every woman.
Though some women do seek labiaplasty to correct cosmetic problems caused by oversized labia, discomfort is the most common reason for this procedure. Typical candidates are healthy women who have experienced significant changes in labia size after pregnancy and childbirth or who have always had labia that felt uncomfortably large. If you are made self-conscious or physically uncomfortable by the size of your labia, consult with Dr. Mahony about the labiaplasty procedure.
How is Labiaplasty Surgery Performed?
Labiaplasty is the vaginal revitalization surgery that trims excess tissue from the area around the vaginal opening. The trim technique involves making a straight incision to remove excess tissue from the labia minora. After the tissue has been excised to create better proportions, the incision is closed.
The wedge technique is slightly more involved. During this procedure, the surgeon makes incisions that allow for the removal of a pie-shaped piece of tissue. This technique sometimes removes or reduces extra folds around the clitoris, as well. Absorbable sutures are usually placed to close incisions, regardless of the technique used.
What is recovery like after a labiaplasty?
Once home we recommend light to no activity for 2-3 days; no exercise for at least 3 weeks and no sexual activity for about four weeks (sorry!). We’ll schedule a post-op visit for one week after your procedure to check on your healing and adjust any recommendations at that time.
How long will a labiaplasty procedure take?
Please allow about 90 min from the time you enter our office to when you’re walking out the door. Yes, you can walk right after!. This time allows for administration of your local anesthetic, cleaning and prep of the area, surgical time and a short recovery period to make sure you are ready for departure. You should have someone drive you home.
Are there any risks of labiaplasty surgery?
Labiaplasty procedures are often performed in the office using a local anesthetic. Patients are adequately comfortable during their procedure. Without general anesthesia, the risks of this minor surgery are very low. Short-term risks associated with labiaplasty include infection, scarring, and bleeding. These complications can be avoided with good aftercare. An additional risk is that the physical or cosmetic outcome predicted is not achieved. Women interested in labiaplasty should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon with ample training and experience performing this particular procedure. It is important that the surgeon not over-resect the labia. Removing too much tissue could prevent the labia from adequately protecting the vaginal opening.
"Dr. Mahony and her staff are wonderful! I could not be happier with the results of my procedure. Her and her staff answered all of my questions and walked me through everything I needed to know. Most importantly, they made me feel comfortable. She is knowledgeable and takes pride in her work. Because of her skills, I feel more confident than ever." - Rachelle N.
"It has been 3 months since my surgery and I couldn't be happier with my results. Dr. Mahony is very knowledgeable and takes pride in her work. I put 100% of my trust in her from the day of my consultation. She took the time to explain the procedure as well as reasonable expectations. Her staff is very kind and helpful. I would absolutely recommend her and would utilize her services again in the future." - Breanna B.
What results can a labiaplasty achieve?
After labiaplasty, when the patient is standing, her labia minora are tucked within the labia majora, reducing the overall visibility of this part of the body. Multiple studies have put the labiaplasty satisfaction rate above 90%. During the outpatient procedure, the plastic surgeon uses one of two techniques.
Labiaplasty FAQs: ASK DR. MAHONY
Yes, absolutely. Vaginal childbirth is one of the most amazing things a woman’s body can do but it doesn’t always occur without some consequences! Schedule a consultation with me so that I can assess your unique situation and goals and come up with the right plan for you. In addition to the labiaplasty procedure, I often recommend adding an O Shot, which uses your body’s own biologic materials (platelet rich plasma drawn from your own blood – and nothing else!) This regenerative material is injected into the clitoris and inside the vagina to increase blood flow to the area and stimulate deep cellular regeneration. It’s one of our most popular regenerative medicine procedures for improving arousal, lubrication and diminishing stress incontinence- a great one to add in when receiving a labiaplasty.