They way we feel about ourselves revolves around our bodies and physical appearance. As the years go on and life takes its toll, some people turn to plastic surgery to feel sexier and achieve a younger look.
Many of the plastic surgeries offered at The Centre, P.C. can help men and women accomplish their cosmetic goals, but there are some that cater to women’s unique needs. Labiaplasty is one of these procedures. Labiaplasty cost between $5,000-$6,500
Labiaplasty is a specific type of vaginal rejuvenation that surgically alters the labia minora; the inner lips of the vagina that sit between the outer labia and the vaginal opening. Labiaplasty can be used to reshape an asymmetrical labia and/or reduce or enhance its size.
The most recent statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show a massive increase in the popularity of labiaplasties in the last few years. According to the ASAPS, 5,070 labiaplasty procedures were performed in 2013. In 2015, that number skyrocketed to 8,745 procedures, which translates to 42% increase in two years. At an average cost of $2,762, labiaplasty is one of the most affordable cosmetic procedures available to women.
Since the labia has no impact on sexual function or sensation, labiaplasty is a strictly cosmetic procedure to improve the external appearance of the vagina. If you are looking for a procedure that improves sexual feeling or function, you should speak with a plastic surgeon about other options. If you are a smoker, have an immune suppressive disorder, or take blood thinners, you should also consult with a plastic surgeon to determine your eligibility.
The size and shape of the labia is unique to each woman. Labiaplasty is an option for almost any sexually mature female who is unhappy with their labia. One of the most common times women seek labiaplasty is after childbirth. Pregnancy is hard on a woman’s body in a multitude of ways, but giving birth can alter the shape of the labia in an undesirable way.
Aside from childbirth, there are plenty of other reasons women might be interested in labiaplasty. If any of the following are true, you might be a good candidate for labiaplasty:
- Your labia has sagged as a result of aging, weight loss, or pregnancy.
- The appearance of your labia makes you feel unattractive or embarrassed.
- Your labia causes you to experience pain during intercourse.
- Tight clothes or certain activities (biking, horseback riding) cause pain or soreness in the labia.
Though it may seem like a superficial procedure, improving the appearance of the labia can help you improve your self esteem and reduce discomfort during sex. Of course all surgeries carry some risk. While labiaplasty is considered fairly safe and the odds of a complication occurring are low, its important to consider the risks before committing to the procedure:
- Excessive blood loss
- Painful urination
- Excessive, temporary, or permanent pain or numbness
- Broken sutures
- Asymmetry between inner and outer labia
- Change in or loss of sensation
- Discoloration or pigment changes
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Painful and/or permanent scarring
- Damage to underlying vaginal structure
- Unsatisfactory results requiring additional procedures
There are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare for labiaplasty. If you’re a smoker, your doctor will ask you to stop at least a week prior to surgery. They may also ask you to avoid consuming alcohol before your surgery. Both tobacco and alcohol use can increase the risk for bleeding and slow down healing.
There are also a number of medications and supplements that increase the risk for bleeding that should not be taken prior to a surgery. These include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Blood thinners
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Green tea
- Ginkgo biloba
In addition to avoiding these substances, your surgeon will likely ask you to avoid sexual intercourse the night before your surgery. As with any operation, it’s always best to keep your body hydrated to help it cope with the stress of surgery and heal more efficiently. Last but not least, since labiaplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, you’ll need to arrange for someone to pick you up and drive you home after surgery.
Before your procedure, your doctor will walk you through the process and tell you how everything will work. Labiaplasty takes around 2 hours and can be performed using a local anesthetic, general anesthesia, or intravenous sedation, depending on your surgeon’s preferences.
Surgical staff will prep you for surgery by inserting an IV and administering a nerve block to numb the vaginal area. The nerve block provides pain relief for the duration of the surgery and continues for another 18 and 24 hours. You will also be hooked to monitors to allow the surgical team to keep an eye on your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels.
Once you are sedated, your surgeon will make the necessary cuts and incisions to reshape your labia. Incision size and location depends on your individual needs as well as the size and shape of your labia. After your surgeon has reshaped your outer labia, he will suture the wounds closed with stitches.
Afterwards, you’ll be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored until the surgical team feels you are well enough to go home. During this time, you will have drainage tubes placed to remove excess fluid from the surgical site. Before leaving the facility, you’ll be outfitted in surgical dressings as well as a support or compression garment to aid healing.
You should take some time off of work when having labiaplasty. Plan on staying in bed for the rest of the day after your surgery. Most patients go back to work 5-7 days after their procedure, though this timeframe varies.
After a labiaplasty, you may experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort. These symptoms can be mitigated by using the painkillers your doctor prescribed.
The length of time you’ll experience these side effects varies from person to person. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness may last for several weeks. Labiaplasty patients cannot have sexual intercourse or engage in heavy, strenuous exercise for about a month after surgery. Patients should not use tampons in the 10 days immediately after surgery and may be required to wear a pad for at least a week to cope with postsurgical bleeding.
Total healing time can take up to two months. To avoid infection while healing, gently clean the area on a regular basis. You can also wear loose fitting clothes or underwear to avoid rubbing or chaffing and keep yourself more comfortable.
To ensure that your labiaplasty is as safe and successful as possible, you’ll want to be careful when choosing a surgeon. It is important that your surgery is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, board-certified gynecologist, or a board-certified urologist.
The surgeon you choose should have years of experience and have performed at least several dozen labiaplasties on other patients. You can also ask the following questions of your prospective surgeons to help you make an informed decision:
- How many labiaplasties have you performed and how often do you do them?
- Can I look at before and after pictures of patients you’ve treated?
- Can you perform other surgeries to compliment my labiaplasty and improve the appearance of my vagina?
- What are your costs and fees?
- What type of instrument and methods will you use to trim my labia?
- What happens if I don’t like the results?
If you need to reshape your labia, the team at The Centre P.C. is here to help you achieve the look you desire. Our plastic surgeons place a high value on patient education and are happy to schedule a personal consultation, where we can discuss your questions, concerns, and goals. To learn more about how our cosmetic surgeons can customize your vaginal rejuvenation, contact us today.
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Had a wonderful experience with Dr. Downs and The Centre PC! Went to them for an arm lift after major weight loss and decided to have a breast lift/augmentation done at the same time. Dr. Downs did a beautiful job on both areas and I’m so excited for summer to arrive so I can feel comfortable in short sleeves again!
The staff and Dr. Viscardi were very good about giving me a lot of information and covered everything in-depth. Dr. Viscardi was funny at times as well, which I appreciate.
Entire staff is extremely helpful, patient, and attentive. New facility is extremely nice, as well as easy in and easy out. Doctor Viscardi has a very pleasant low-key personality for a plastic surgeon, and was not trying to sell me other procedures.