There is no “normal size” for labia minora. Every labia of every size is considered normal, and no one can dictate what a normal sized labia should be. But, women who complain of pain, discomfort or irritation during physical activity, sexual intercourse, or wearing certain types of clothing might have large or uneven labia minora. This condition can also cause recurrent infections, problems with urination or feminine hygiene.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Labiaplasty?
Also known as labia reduction, Dr. Phillip Chang performs labiaplasty, a surgical procedure that reduces or reshapes the labia minora, or inner vaginal lips. The labia minora are the inner labia or “lips” surrounding the vagina. Quickly becoming one of the most popular female rejuvenation procedures, labiaplasty has a satisfaction rate of more than 90 percent.
You can view our Labiaplasty Surgical Video Here
Candidates for Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty is often considered medically necessary when large or uneven labia minora cause recurrent infections or problems with urination or feminine hygiene. Some women are born with enlarged labia. Others have had their labia stretched during childbirth and from the hormonal changes related to pregnancy. Other symptoms which may make you a candidate for labiaplasty:
- Painful sex and embarrassment in intimate relationships
- Persistent moisture, chafing, irritation and recurrent infections
- Embarrassment and discomfort when wearing a bathing suit or tight-fitting jeans
How is a Labiaplasty performed
Dr. Chang performs the labiaplasty procedure that he adapted from a technique first described by Dr. Gary Alter, the nationally acclaimed Beverly Hills plastic surgeon known from the television show “Dr. 90210.” In this procedure, a vertical wedge of the labia minora is removed. This results in a nearly invisible scar, instead of the linear scar performed by many other surgeons. A labiaplasty can be performed alone or with other procedures. Surgery can be performed on the labia major, which is the larger outer vaginal lips, or on the labia minor, which are the smaller, inner vaginal lips. The recovery period includes two to three days of bed rest followed by modified activities for two to three weeks.
What to Expect
Though no surgeon can make a guarantee of 100 percent satisfaction, we will do everything possible to give you your desired results. It’s important to remember that women’s genitals naturally have a wide range of normal appearances that are anatomically correct. There’s no standard look for a vagina and labia. Talk to Dr. Chang to be sure your expectations for surgery are realistic.
What is labiaplasty
Labiaplasty is an out-patient procedure performed to sculpt the skin surrounding the vaginal opening called the labia. When elongated, the labia minora (inner labia) may interfere with exercise or intercourse and can limit clothing options due to the appearance of a bulge or discomfort. The labia majora may also sag, protrude or cause issues with intercourse and/or hygiene. Most patients who undergo a labiaplasty do not want the labia minora to protrude beyond the labia majora (outer labia) or want to avoid the appearance of a “camel toe”.
How long does a labiaplasty take?
A labiaplasty procedure can take between one and two hours depending on whether other procedures are added. Common procedures for women to add include a clitoroplasty, a Diva Laser Vaginoplasty, labia majoroplasty, and or a mons lift.
Can I finance my labiaplasty?
We partner with Care Credit for financing.
Does insurance pay for labiaplasty?
Insurance does not cover labiaplasty as it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure. There is no medical reason per your insurance company to pay for the procedure.
What kind of surgeon performs a labiaplasty?
Only board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons should perform your labiaplasty procedure. The labia or inner lips are a sensual part of the female anatomy that deserves special attention. Although gynecologists can also perform the procedure, their concentration has mostly been about delivering healthy babies. The example I most often tell my own patients in consultations is who would you rather be closing your abdomen after a c-section… plastic surgeon or a gynecologists. My guess is that you would rather have a plastic surgeon give you the best looking abdomen and scar possible. The labia shouldn’t be any different. A second reason is that most gynecologists are trained to perform a straight excision. The more advanced techniques use wedge excisions to decrease the length and sensitivity of the scar and a more pleasing aesthetic to your female parts. Plastic surgeons also have more advanced techniques to perform a clitoroplasty to decrease the length of an over-long clitoral hood or a labia majoroplasty with fat transfers to improve the appearance of the outer lips.
What symptoms or complaints are typical for women who elect to have a labiaplasty?
Women do not only come in for a labiaplasty for cosmetic reasons. Very my like breast reduction procedures, the high satisfaction rate for labiaplasty procedures comes from the fact that there are many functional and psychosocial reasons to have the procedure. These include:
- Pain and irritation from rubbing against clothing (especially jeans and workout clothes)
- Interference with activities including intercourse, tampon placement, urination, cycling or horseback riding
- The appearance of a bulge when wearing certain clothes.
- For some women elongated or asymmetrical labia may cause embarrassment or interfere with a sexual relationships.
- A significant percentage of our patients simply do not like the appearance of their labia and request subtle sculpting.
What are the surgical risks of labiaplasty?
Risks of surgery are extremely rare and seen in less than 1% of cases. Like any surgery, complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring and nerve injury. The risks involved with pregnancy and delivery are significantly higher than any risks associated with labiaplasty with an experienced surgeon.
What is the recovery like after a labiaplasty?
The recovery from a labiaplasty are in many ways similar to that for an episeotomy
First 2 days: patients should place ice packs or frozen peas on their incisions to minimize swelling and bruising. Sitz baths 3 times a day and after ever visit to the bathroom. Routine tasks are encouraged as long as there is no irritation or pressure at the incision sites. Loose clothing and cotton underwear “granny panties” are mandatory.
After 3 days: you may resume regular activities, making sure there is minimal friction to the labia. Patients may drive the next day, as long as they are not taking prescription pain medications or muscle relaxers. Patients may return to work to a desk job. Physical jobs may need 5-7 days off of work
After 7 days: Sutures are checked. In general, sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed.
First 4 weeks: Avoid intercourse, tampons, hot tubs, lakes, and oceans.