Women are very much aware of their looks and their bodies, and one aspect of their body they may wish to improve upon is the appearance of their external genitalia.
The anatomy of the female genital area includes paired labia minora which are adjacent to the vaginal introitus, paired labia majora adjacent to these towards the inner thigh, and the clitoris with its skin covering at the apex of the labia.
Adult women and adolescent girls may have any number of labial conditions for which they seek labiaplasty. Congenital issues which are evident after puberty include asymmetry, where the labia are different sizes and protrude to different degrees, and hypertrophy, where the labia may be thickened or excessive in length. Acquired problems which occur later in life may also involve labial hypertrophy, as well as loss of volume and rounded shape of the labia majora.
Enlargement and protrusion of the labia minora, the smaller external skin lips on either side of the vagina, may cause pain, irritation and embarrassment, produce discomfort when wearing certain clothing items, and interfere with sports activities such as horseback riding and cycling, as well as sexual intercourse. This condition may be genetic, or may become more pronounced from a number of conditions, such as after childbirth, due to hormonal changes or aging. Colloquially referred to as “butterfly wings”, the labia minora may become thickened or pendulous, or there may be asymmetry between the two sides.
Labiaplasty is a procedure which can both improve the appearance of the labia as well as reduce the symptoms associated with enlarged labia and provide better symmetry. Deciding on the most appropriate option for female genital cosmetic surgery requires open communication between patient and surgeon so that the desired result is achieved. The procedure may also be combined with correction of excessive clitoral hooding or vaginal rejuvenation, depending on the patient’s wishes.
There are a number of different surgical options available for improvement of the appearance of the labia:
- labiaplasty with reduction, bilateral or unilateral, to correct asymmetry of the labia minora or labia majora
- labiaplasty with liposuction of the labia majora
- fat injections of the labia majora or use of fillers to improve contour and correct thinning of the tissues
Dr. Hutchinson performs labiaplasty in the privacy and safety of her AAAASF certified Operating Room on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in NYC. Most often labiaplasty surgery is done under local anaesthesia with sedation in order to maximize patient comfort. Some degree of swelling is normal after surgery, and bruising may occur as well. Recovery requires several days, and possibly a couple of weeks before swelling resolves completely. Avoiding friction and prolonged pressure on the area will help prevent possible wound disruption. More rigorous exercise and sexual activity may be resumed after several weeks once discomfort has subsided.
Choosing a plastic surgeon who is well acquainted with labiaplasty and can address your particular concerns is extremely important prior to undergoing surgery. Many women choose to combine labiaplasty with other aesthetic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction or tummy tuck, or as part of an overall mommy makeover.