Your reasons for deciding to undergo labia surgery are personal. However, if you feel that the size and shape of your external genital structures are causing you discomfort, irritation, embarrassment and general unhappiness, having labiaplasty may be the right decision for you to make in order to address these troubling concerns. By selecting the right surgeon, you’ll also experience more satisfaction and contentment in the outcome of your labia reduction surgery.
Medical informationEnjoy an Improved Appearance and More Satisfaction
How to improve the appearance of your genital area and increase sexual satisfaction
- Labia reduction surgery, or labiaplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that reshapes and resizes the labia.
American gynecologists and plastic surgeons conducted one of the largest studies of women who had undergone labiaplasty, labia reduction and other female genital refinement procedures known as vaginoplasty. The study, A Large Multicenter Outcome Study of Female Genital Plastic Surgery, included 258 women from various cities across the US, and of this large group who had female genital plastic surgery:
- 91.6% women were satisfied with their female genital refinement surgery (236 out of 258).
- High rates of general satisfaction were reported.
- The women reported mild to significant enhancement of sexual satisfaction.
- The medical opinion of the surgeons reported a good to excellent outcome for the outstanding majority of patients.
Most of the women who had labiaplasty surveyed for this study stated their reasons for undergoing surgery were primarily to ease the discomfort caused by such things as clothing, sexual activity and sports, to enhance their appearance and boost their self esteem. They also wanted to feel “more normal” and increase their sexual pleasure. Having stated these reasons, the study suggests that labiaplasty has a high success rate for effectively fulfilling your expectations.
Because of the expertise, professionalism and distinction of our plastic surgeons, many women have confided in us about the dissatisfaction they have regarding their genital area, and seek our surgical expertise in labia cosmetic surgery to correct their problem. They do this because they are certain that we can achieve the results they expect.
Your female genital plastic surgery procedure will be tailored to accomplish the results for which you desire.
Call (416) 256-5614 to talk to us about your labiaplasty in Toronto.
Which do you want: the “Barbie” look or a more traditional look?
We have extensive experience performing labiaplasty and have found that our patients tend to prefer one of two looks: the “Barbie” or traditional.
The Barbie is a specific type of labiaplasty that involves a total reduction of the labia minora (inner lips), allowing the labia majora (outer lips) to close together better. Because there is very little to no labia minora remaining, the look is considered minimalist and sleek. From long, protruding labia minora to a streamlined and flatter appearance that has everything “contained”, the improvement achieved can be quite dramatic!
The Barbie has been a very popular look for women in Southern California where it is believed to have been coined by a surgeon over seven years ago, and the trend has been picked up all the way up here, in Canada. Named after the doll-like appearance it achieves, the Barbie can only achieve successful results when it is performed by a surgeon who understands the complexities of the female genital area.
Please note that the Barbie is very difficult to reverse.
The traditional look
For our surgeons, the most commonly requested labiaplasty is the traditional look. the technique involves trimming the excess labia minora, but one centimetre is left intact. At this length, the labia minora is adequately protected by the outer lips so that frequent exposure and resulting irritation can be prevented. The result enhances the aesthetic of the genital area by making it look neater.
Most women find that the traditional achieves a more natural appearance because a bit of the labia minora is left, and for this reason, it is the preferred choice. However, it’s up to you to decide which you prefer for your labiaplasty.
Now people say to me: "I can't believe you're 51 and have had 4 kids!"
What is labial hypertrophy?
Labial hypertrophy is a medical condition that is characterized by the atypical enlargement of the inner vaginal lips (or labia minora). Patients who suffer from the condition present inner vaginal lips that extend beyond the typically larger outer lips (labia majora). The symptoms of hypertrophy (enlargement) include significant aesthetic or functional changes that cause interference (or outright pain depending on severity) during activities such as intercourse, cycling, playing sports and routine motions like walking or sitting. In some cases the labia protrudes enough that it is visible when wearing swimwear and some types of clothing. Proper hygiene may be difficult to maintain when hypertrophy is present. Aside from these significant physical issues, labial hypertrophy may cause sufferers embarrassment and/or diminished self-confidence.
Labial hypertrophy can develop for a number of different reasons. While some women notice the symptoms of hypertrophy during adolescence (sometimes being diagnosed with extreme labial asymmetry during the teenage years) the condition most often presents itself following hormonal changes. Pregnancy and childbirth can lead to an overly relaxed, sagging labia as well.
Labial hypertrophy can be treated with labiaplasty. The surgery removes excess genital tissue without leaving any visible scarring. Before the surgery begins, your surgeon works with you to identify treatment goals. This step typically involves discussing the desired length of the labia minora. Most women are advised to seek a level of correction that brings the minora roughly level with the labia majora. The most commonly expressed goal of labiaplasty is to resolve asymmetry by balancing the labia to within at least one centimetre in length.
Are you a candidate?
Labiaplasty is designed for women who want to reduce the size of their labia minora, improve their shape or correct asymmetry. You should be healthy, physically and psychologically, as well as have realistic expectations.
Labial reduction, like all forms of surgery, involves certain risks and may not always be able to provide an optimal outcome. A patient’s potential for experiencing complications depends on her general health, the technique employed by the surgeon and certain physiological factors. The following risks occur in less than 1% of labial reduction surgeries. This rate is lowered even further when the procedure is performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon like one of our other board certified plastic surgeons.
Infection: Patients are given antibiotics before the surgery begins, but even with this precaution in place, the incisions can become infected during recovery. This problem is rarely severe and can usually be treated through a course of oral antibiotics. Serious infections may require patients to receive intravenous antibiotics and, in some cases, undergo additional surgery.
Bleeding: Bleeding is uncommon, but may occur. Patients who prematurely resume engaging in strenuous activities or sexual activity are at greater risk of bleeding. If severe bleeding occurs, it should be addressed immediately with medical treatment.
Scarring: Scarring, while typically invisible, varies in severity from patient to patient. Problematic scars (like overly wide or raised tissue) may require surgery to correct.
Pain: Problems that occur during the healing process can result in pain. Complications, such as a nerve being caught in scar tissue, can cause extreme discomfort and may require surgical attention.
Loss of sensation: We are extremely careful when performing a labial reduction, but it is possible for sensory nerves of the genital area to be disrupted. Though extremely rare, if this issue occurs it may need to be treated through further surgery.
Edelstein Cosmetic consistently provides its patients with safe labial reduction. In the vast majority of cases, women who have undergone labiaplasty are extremely satisfied with their results, reporting improved self-confidence and the resolution of discomfort from which they previously suffered.
Your surgeon will discuss your aesthetic concerns and examine your medical history before determining the most suitable treatment. You will also find out more about the procedure and the risks associated with it.
The first step in ensuring a speedy labia reduction recovery is following all pre-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. Patients should cease alcohol consumption and smoking for at least two weeks prior to surgery. They are also advised to stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and blood thinners. Any drug or supplement that can increase the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery (vitamin E, ginkgo biloba and omega-3 fatty acids) must also be avoided.
Our surgeons are skilled in a wide range of surgical techniques. By carefully assessing you before the procedure and leveraging their medical expertise, our surgeons are able to provide the best form of labia minora surgery for any woman. Labiaplasty itself is a relatively short procedure, usually taking less than an hour to complete. Most women are able to receive the treatment on an outpatient basis.
The most common form of labiaplasty is the Trim Technique. This involves surgically removing the longitudinal section of excess labial tissue. The trimming procedure is the simplest form of labiaplasty, providing lessened complication risks and a straightforward recovery process. For these reasons, it’s the preferred treatment course for most patients.
The Wedge technique preserves the natural tissue border of the inner labia and was developed in order to minimize patient scarring. Only women with appropriately shaped labia, where the excess tissue to be removed is composed of a small portion of the inner labia, are candidates for the Wedge Technique.
Z-plasty Labiaplasty is much like the Wedge Technique, however it results in a scar that’s even less apparent.
The De-Epithelialisation technique was developed to avoid the requirement of deep, surgical incisions and to maintain the natural appearance of the labia edge. Despite its benefits, this technique has very limited applications and therefore isn’t performed very often.
After the labiaplasty surgery is finished, you will be asked to stay at Edelstein Cosmetic for several hours to recover before going home.
Following your surgery
Once you have left they should plan to rest in bed for the first two to three days. Patients should place a pillow under their buttocks to help reduce swelling and sleep flat on their back for the first week. A friend or family member should be available to help around the house for the first 24 hours.
It is extremely important to take all prescribed medications exactly as directed. We will provide patients with a three day course of antibiotics as well as pain and nausea medication that should be taken on an as needed basis. Since it is possible to develop a yeast infection as a side effect of the prescribed antibiotics, Diflucan will be provided. It should be taken if a yeast infection develops during recovery.
It may be a good idea to record the date and time when medication was taken in order to avoid missing a dose or accidentally taking more than is recommended.
Some pain and discomfort should be expected during the labiaplasty recovery. Pain will last for at least one week, and itching may persist for several weeks. Many patients experience constipation as a result of surgical anaesthetic and pain medication. Laxative medications can begin to be used two to three days after the procedure with your surgeon’s advice.
Hygiene and incision care
Patients may resume showering (using mild soap) after three to four days, but must otherwise keep the surgical area clean and dry. Shower water will likely appear tinted from dried blood during recovery. During the first two weeks, apply a light layer of Polysporin and a small gauze, worn in the underwear, after showering. After going to the bathroom, the surgical area must only be gently patted, not wiped.
Caring for the surgical site will help decrease complication risks while also promoting healing and comfort. Patients should begin to apply anaesthetic spray during the first two days of recovery, take at least one sitz bath per day and apply ice to the operating area for three to seven days in order to minimize bruising/swelling. A thin pad should be placed between the incision site and the ice to avoid direct contact.
The surgical site should not be exposed to the sun (this includes tanning) until completely healed. Scar creams and other ointments can be used only with your surgeon’s advice. Until the incisions are fully healed (usually six weeks), contact with pool and ocean water is not allowed.
The sutures used in surgery will dissolve over time but may reach the surface of the skin during recovery.
Resuming your regular activities
Patients may return to work a few days after surgery as long as their job doesn’t involve physical labour. They must not drive for a period of three days to two weeks (until the use of narcotic pain medication has ceased). Tampons cannot be used for six to eight weeks.
Physical activity must be limited for a period of four weeks (the labia often heals within two weeks, but requires four weeks to return to normal).
Strenuous activities (like dancing, swimming, running and most sports) cannot be engaged in for six to eight weeks after surgery. Patients must not have sexual intercourse for the first six to eight weeks as well.
For the first six weeks the genital area will appear bumpy, swollen and irregular while healing.
Edelstein Cosmetic urges patients to contact the clinic if they have any questions or concerns regarding their labia reduction, particularly if rashes, incision line tenderness/redness or allergic reactions to medication develop. Follow-up appointments are scheduled so that your surgeon can monitor your recovery.
The results of a labiaplasty procedure can take time to develop, and it’s important not to get discouraged during this time. Tissue swelling will hide results for the first few weeks following surgery. Incision lines will fade and treatment benefits will become apparent within a year. Once healed, labiaplasty leaves women with a contoured, younger-looking and more comfortable genital area.
Suggested Reading About This Topic
- Answers to your frequently asked questions about labiaplastyLabiaplasty FAQ
- A rounder, fuller butt that will enhance your curvesButt Lift
- Reduce the size of your areolae for a more balanced breast contourAreola
- Enlarge your breasts for a curvier body contourLarger Breasts
- Get your pre-baby body back, or even betterMom Makeover