Labiaplasty Procedure Questions and Answers
1. Do you use a special no scar technique for Labiaplasty? Some surgeons will just remove the excess tissue and the scars will run down the length of the labia. Will this leave unnatural scarring? Will it be obvious?
The so-called “scar-less” technique is an absolute fallacy. In this widely talked about technique, what's typically performed is that an inverted triangle is cut on the backside of the labia, roughly in the middle, and the tissue is then retracted, or pulled back, to make the labia smaller. This is usually a twenty-minute procedure and it is called “scar-less” because no one typically is going to see the inside, hidden areas of the labia.
In surgery, when a doctor wants to make something tighter, it's common knowledge that the area is opened horizontally . . . and then closed vertically. In this method of labiaplasty, the point of the triangle cut is near the widest part of the labia—then the tissue is pulled in. The problem with this technique is that it fails to address the three most important issues, or complaints facing patients seeking labiaplasty. They are; 1) dark tissue pigmentation (dark color of the tissue in the problematic area); 2) the thickness of the tissue in the labia, and; 3) the “rugated” (ruffled), uneven edges of the labia. Unfortunately, this technique allows for simply drawing inward the tissue in question, leaving it still visibly (anatomically) present after the surgery. Usually the patient ends up with smaller labia—but with the same dark, thick, ruffled tissue— now amassed in a concentrated area, often making the results appear worse than before.
Absolutely. If large labia bother you either physically, or emotionally . . . then it simply doesn't make any sense to live with these physical or emotional pains. Why would you wait? After labiaplasty, your self-esteem and anatomical form will be corrected.
The surgery can be done with local anesthesia, level two IV sedation, or level three general anesthesia's (anesthesia). Most surgeons prefer IV sedation, or what is commonly known as “twilight sleep”, as it makes postoperative recovery immediate and usually results in none of the discomfort from general anesthesia—typically, post op drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and endotrachial post-surgical effects.
Over 90% of cases are from outside the region. Our skilled staff can help facilitate ease of travel and planning. In recognizing the difficulty of travel today, due to increased security, only one trip is ever required. Patients may come in for a post-op exam if they wish, and are encouraged to do so (4-6 weeks after surgery), but it’s not always possible when traveling from out of the area. In those instances, some patients can simply send a photograph of the surgical area for the doctor’s review post-operatively. All routine pre-op tests and blood work are performed by 4PM the day before surgery.
In almost every case, it’s better to have labiaplasty done when it’s needed. If large labia bother you either physically, or emotionally . . . then it simply doesn't make any sense to live with these physical or emotional pains.
Only five years ago, few patients knew of labiaplasty surgery to correct problematic areas. Today, with a heightened awareness of the problem by both young girls and parents, many are now turning to the surgical methods available to correct these problems. The reasons are that young women today are more physically active and armed with the knowledge that there is a simple, one-hour surgery to correct the problem—thus many women are moving forward with labiaplasty while still young. As far as any medical reason for delaying a labiaplasty, there simply isn't one. Whether or not a young woman decides to have the minimal procedure performed, or not, is up to how she feels about herself. In those cases, women and young girls who have an actual physical problem with their labia—such as large, or asymmetric labia—having labiaplasty performed early can result in an anatomical correction that results in greater patient self-esteem as they mature.
Our surgical technique creates a natural appearing and feeling edge with no loss of sensation.
Feeling a change after a labiaplasty largely depends on the degree of labia abnormality to begin with. Simply said, if there is enough labia tissue present before a labiaplasty is performed that interferes with sexual activity, then usually the sexual partner will feel a difference after labiaplasty, because the excess tissue won’t interfere with any sexual act as it might have before.
As well, it will be very apparent to your sexual partner that the external structure of the labia will have been altered visually—namely, they’ll be smaller and better aligned. Your sexual partner will clearly notice this change for the better.
There is no physiological association for sensory pleasure with the labia—that function is served by the clitoris. The only sensation elicited from labia is pain upon tearing or stretching. Labiaplasty can’t cause a loss of sensitivity when done correctly.
In most instances, no. However, in those cases where women have excessively large labia, the skin around the clitoris is reduced due to the retraction of tissue during the labiaplasty procedure. In some instances, this adjunct tissue removal can result in an increase in clitoral sensation during normal sexual activity.
Clitoral unhooding (also known as Hoodectomy) is analogous to circumcision in men. It involves reducing the tissue that forms a hood or covering that shields the clitoris. Some surgeons won’t perform this delicate operation because of the innervation (neuron cell density) of the clitoral node is many times more concentrated than in any of the surrounding tissue areas—thus if not done correctly, clitoral unhooding can result in heightened sensation of the node by normal movements, in some cases creating considerable discomfort. However, for surgeons who perform the procedure regularly, clitoral unhooding can result in increased stimulus of the clitoral node and many patients have reported increased sexual climaxes (orgasms). Surgeons who do clitoral unhooding usually have a method of determining the extent of sensitivity of the clitoris before proceeding by testing the area with cold and warm swabs. Patients SHOULD ONLY have this procedure performed by a surgeon who has extensive experience in this area and has performed many clitoral unhoodings.
11. I have a 15-year-old daughter with enlarged labia minora and it’s become an issue with her emotionally as she gets older. She is asking about surgery to make her look more normal. My gynecologist says that it can be done in his office. What is the difference in having this procedure done in his office instead of going to someone who specializes in this procedure?
Many young women and their parents don’t realize how important it is to seek the surgical advice and experience of a physician who has performed hundreds of labiaplasty procedures . . . until it is too late. Simply loping off tissue, without regard to symmetry, or latent-tissue retraction after healing, can result in disastrous results. Simply remember, ONCE TISSUE IS REMOVED, IT RARELY CAN BE REPLACED . . . IF EVER. While the family gynecologist is trained in gynecological anatomy and physiology; procedures in labiaplasty or vaginoplasty are specialty areas not usually taught during medical training. It is ALWAYS advisable to only proceed with a surgeon skilled in performing numerous labiaplasty or vaginoplasty procedures.
First, it’s important to understand that people develop fairly anatomically symmetrical. This can be said for eyes, ears, limbs, and of course, labia. So, when one side of the labia develops somewhat asymmetrical (something that commonly occurs) it would be very hard to match the irregular side, to the side that is preferred, because of differences in color, labia thickness, and what is termed “rugation” (the ruffled uneven edges of the labia) that occurs at the labia lip. As far as a cost savings, it’s much more important to have a labiaplasty procedure that results in asymmetrical labia, then save the small amount of money and be unhappy with the end result. If cost is an issue, there are a number of financing options available that we offer, which will allow a good result without compromising patient satisfaction.
Absolutely not! If a women has enlarged, or asymmetrical labia, it is the result of being born with them and it has nothing to do with vibrators. More importantly, one must understand that a vibrator is used for sexual stimulation of the clitoris—to aid in sexual pleasure, while the labia have no means of providing pleasurable stimulation. The labia minora are not involved in the process of sexual excitement.
No!! This is a common fallacy and it is completely wrong. The media, which at times misinterprets accurate medical information, commonly helps propagates this rumor as a means of creating controversy or sensationalism. It is well known MEDICAL FACT that the labia have sensory nerve fibers that ONLY transmit pain sensation, when stretched or torn. There is NO SEXUAL STIMULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE LABIA MINORA.
Free fat transfer, or FFT is indeed possible, and some surgeons report success with this technique. Unfortunately, transplanted fat acts in varying ways in different patients and it’s largely a matter of technique to achieve good success. Because of this, there is a large amount of evidence that in the majority of cases, fat can be reabsorbed over a period of time and leave the area as it was before.
The size of the clitoral node (clitoris) cannot be increased
and is homologous (the same as the penis). Thus size is unrelated to increased
Dissolvable sutures are used exclusively in labiaplasty. Depending on the specific type of suture (there are a few different types), and the location of the suture, they typically dissolve at 7 – 21 days (some dissolve in 7-10 days), allowing tissues to heal in the most natural way.
18. A fatty mound of tissue bulges out from my pubic region, giving me a more manly appearance in underwear and form-fitting clothes. I’I'm told it’s my mons pubis. Is there a way to liposuction this area?
As women age, this area, the Mons Pubis, tends to gain body mass (fat). Liposuction is possible, but the results are often undesirable and vary too greatly from patient to patient. Much of this is because there is an excess amount of fatty tissue in the general area of the lower abdomen, not just in the Mons Pubis region, and this can lead to additional complications.
Depending on the extent of surgery, and how rigorous the riding sessions are, it’s recommended that you refrain from riding for at least three weeks.
Most women fly in the day before surgery. At that time, a complete history is taken, including a physical; fluids are drawn for lab analysis; and they’ll be a full review of consent forms and other pre-surgery documents. Also at that time, digital photos will be taken for use in a collaborative session to custom design the “look” that the patient desires.
Typically, patients stay overnight in one of several hotels with which we have working agreements. The surgery is scheduled for the following morning.
Your surgeon will see you the next morning before you depart on your return trip to make sure everything is as it should be. After labiaplasty you can return to work or normal activity in about 3 - 4 days. If you have both labiaplasty and vaginoplasty performed (combo surgery) it’s usually recommended that you don’t return to normal activity for at least 6 - 7 days. We recommend a 6-week postoperative visit, but in many instances this isn't possible. In those instances (90 % of patients are from out of state), a digital photo and follow up phone consult is the norm. The patient shouldn't use Tampex, wear constricting undergarments such as thongs, and refrain from sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks so the area can heal normally. As with any surgery, complete healing is usually 3 months.
Typically a 72-hour notice to schedule surgery to come in for the pre-surgical consult (see question above concerning visits and pre op procedures). Or, patients may simply schedule their surgery in advance, up to one month away.
Your surgeon consults with each patient on this topic. Depending on a number of factors including age and extent of surgery, normal sexual relations can usually be resumed in 6 to 8 weeks.
“Normal” labia size is whatever you choose, based on your own self-esteem. If you’re happy with your existing labia, whether symmetrical, or asymmetrical, and you have no problems with the way they look, then, in your case, “normal” labia is whatever you choose, or accept. The point to remember is that with labiaplasty, you can literally pick and choose the size or shape of your labia, and elect to have they anatomically reformed, if you wish.
Combination Labiaplasty (reduction & beautification) & Vaginoplasty (rejuvenation & tightening) can be performed at the same time, and the cost is markedly less than the single combined price of having each done separately.
Because 90 % of patients come from out of state (often out of the country), your surgeon will have extensive phone and e-mail consultations with you prior to booking a procedure. Part of this process sometimes involves the viewing of a patient’s photos prior to them coming in for a face-to-face consult.
Depending on the individual surgeon’s preference, some use lasers and others use scalpels. Others use Iris Scissors for labiaplasty (the same instrument typically used for eye surgery (Blepharoplasty), and face-lifts (Rhytidectomy). While the laser is fine for long straight incisions it doesn't leave the natural edge that an Iris Scissor does, which makes the labia look normal when the surgery is finished. When working on the labia, and making the correct incisions, in the right areas, there is rarely any apparent visible scarring.
What labiaplasty surgery is all about is creating or recreating small, beautiful, comfortable labia minora. The bottom line is the outcome . . . the destination, not the journey. First, if a laser was so much better, than why isn't it used for other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, eyes, ears, breast augmentation, and most other aesthetic procedures. The answer is simple; creating the most naturally appearing end result comes with cosmetic iris scissors. Yes, lasers make nice straight incisions. The problem is, there are few, if any straight lines on the human body. There is no difference in recuperation time. Back to work or school in 3 days. Your surgery generally looks good at 4 weeks and you feel good at 6 weeks. In most cases, the reason a laser is used for labiaplasty is because it’s far quicker a procedure, and easier for the surgeon.
Written by our Staff and Reviewed by TriAxial Board of Advisors
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