Much attention has been paid recently to the labiaplasty procedure, with news stories and reports about its surging popularity. When performed correctly and in carefully selected patients, labiaplasty can improve certain physical characteristics of female genitalia. The term covers many different types of surgery, including reduction of the labia minora (inner vaginal lips), labia majora (outer vaginal lips), and/or clitoral hood. It can also address asymmetry of the labia minora when there is a difference in size or shape between the two sides, or repair any irregularities after trauma. Younger patients are most often bothered by excessively thick or enlarged labia minora that are noticeable in a bathing suit or interfere with sports activities. In older women, labia majora that have become thinned out may be “plumped up” with fillers or fat injections for additional volume and better contour.
There is a wide spectrum of normal in the appearance of the labia, with a range in size, thickness, shape and pigmentation of the labia. Plastic surgery of the labia may be indicated in patients who experience discomfort or embarrassment due to excess tissue and interference with activities such as physical exercise and sexual intercourse. The following are some of the more common problems that we see in our practice and that may be improved with cosmetic surgery of the labia:
- Labia Minora: excessive size or length, protrusion beyond labia majora, asymmetry, irregular border
- Labia Majora: excessive width, loss of volume, droopy or hanging appearance
- Clitoral Hood: redundant skin covering resembling foreskin
The female genitalia are an exquisitely sensitive area, and surgery of any of the parts there should be performed with meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of the anatomy. Choose a plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in labiaplasty surgery and discuss all possible alternatives before proceeding with any surgery. In some patients, labiaplasty may be performed concurrently with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck or mommy makeover, with facial rejuvenation surgery (eyelid lift or rhinoplasty) or breast enhancement procedures (breast lift or breast augmentation).
Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a female board certified plastic surgeon in NYC with a practice dedicated to aesthetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body for women and men. Her office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side offers a fully certified AAAASF Operating Room for the safety, privacy and convenience of her patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.