Body Procedures » Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty

This is a procedure that trims the labia around the vagina.  In most cases the inner labia (the labia minora) is trimmed.  Occasionally a women will benefit from trimming of the outer labia (the labia majora).  There is wide variation in anatomy and labiaplasty is always a custom procedure with no two procedures being exactly alike.

Most of the women in my Seattle practice who desire this procedure are very active and find that their elongated labia bothersome while biking, running, kite boarding or rock climbing. Other patients just don’t like the way they look “down there” or have difficulty with intercourse.

Labiaplasty is becoming more and more common now that women, thanks mostly to the internet, are discovering that something can be done!

Check out my blog on my recommended technique for labiaplasty.

Quick facts:

  • Costs: $4500 – $6000 depending on how long the surgery takes.
  • Post-operative pain: moderate. 
  • Time off work or school:  about 4 days – 1 week depending on occupation.  But you have to use a donut cushion for sitting.  Tell your nosy co-workers that you broke your tail bone doing Roller Derby.
  • Time off driving the kids to lacrosse:  4 days – 1  week or once you are off narcotic pain meds.
  • Time off the gym:  3-4 weeks.
  • Time off sexual intercourse: 3-4 weeks.
  • Time off the slopes:  3-4  weeks.
  • Time off the kite board: 4-6 weeks.
  • Time off house work:  forever!  Just kidding, usually 1 week.
  • How long does it last:  forever unless you have a baby and deliver vaginally and get stretched out.  If that happens (it probably won’t), further surgery may be in order.
  • Patient satisfaction: high.

The fine print:

The demand for labiaplasty has increased in recent years as women have become more informed of the possibility of trimming this area. Most women who elect to undergo labiaplasty have discomfort and irritation because of their labia or are embarrassed at how the labia look with tight or no clothing.  Some women are born with excessively prominent labia minora, others develop this condition at puberty and others find that childbearing results in enlargement. Major asymmetry can also cause concern and/or discomfort.  Minor asymmetry is normal both before and after surgery.

The extent and technique of labioplasty is determined by the patient’s anatomy and desire. The appearance of this area is highly variable and it is important for patients to have realistic expectations. It is not possible to make a middle aged woman’s genitalia look like a teenager’s! Now that I think about it, this holds true for just about everything I do.

I use either a “wedge” excision technique or a ” zig zag” excision technique.  I think it is important to avoid a simple amputation technique which leaves a scar right at the edge of the shortened labia.  That scar can be tender and painful.  Both “wedge” and “zig zag” avoid that scar along the edge.  Also, patients sometimes have excess folds around the clitoris, the so-called clitoral hood.  That can be trimmed at the same time as labiaplasty so the area looks balanced.  Clitoral sensitivity is not affected with this surgery.

Labioplasty is an outpatient procedure. It is done under a general anesthetic in my AAAASF certified Seattle operating room or at Seattle Surgery Center which is located  a block away from my office building. The stitches that are used dissolve after a week or two. Most patients take 3 or 4 days off of work. It is very important to spend a couple of days reclining with an ice pack on the operative site. Intercourse can usually be resumed 4 weeks after surgery. Healing is usually quite rapid in this area.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call (206) 467-1101.