Labiaplasty is often thought of as a purely cosmetic procedure, but there are also many medical reasons for labiaplasty. Women who are self-conscious of the way their body looks or feels, or who have trouble with normal activities such as riding a bike or wearing their favorite pair of skinny jeans may be excellent candidates for this procedure. Learn more about what labiaplasty is and some of the top medical concerns that it can improve.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty can address cosmetic or medical concerns with both the outer and inner labia, called the labia majora and labia minora respectively. It is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess tissue in one or both of these areas and can typically be performed under a local anesthetic.
There are several surgical techniques that are commonly used to perform a labiaplasty, including the popular Trim-V method. Using this technique, your plastic surgeon will carefully create a curvilinear incision along your inner labia, incorporating a clitoral hood reduction as well. This allows for a smoother transition, more natural-looking results and, in some cases, shorter downtime than with the traditional trim or wedge techniques.
Labiaplasty for Medical Reasons and Cosmetic Concerns
Women choose to get labiaplasty for many different reasons, but very often, both medical and cosmetic concerns are involved in that decision. Whether you’re self-conscious of the way you look without clothes on or are experiencing pain or discomfort when doing certain activities, a labiaplasty could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
There are just a few of the most common reasons why many women choose to move forward with labiaplasty and why this procedure continues to become more and more popular.
1. Pain or Discomfort When Exercising
For some women, enlarged inner or outer labia create pain, discomfort or rubbing when doing certain exercises such as riding a bike or jogging. In this case, women often feel discouraged that they are unable to achieve their fitness goals or enjoy the activities they love without feeling uncomfortable.
By removing excess tissue that causes rubbing or chaffing or that even gets caught in tight-fitting clothing, labiaplasty can be an appropriate solution for this common problem.
Enlarged labia can make wearing tight-fitting clothing like yoga pants or leggings uncomfortable for some women.
2. Discomfort During Intercourse
Similarly, large labia may make your love life less satisfying or even painful or uncomfortable due to increased friction. Some women also find that feelings of self-consciousness about the appearance of this intimate area of their bodies can put a damper on their mood and make sexual intercourse less enjoyable.
Many women choose to get a labiaplasty either on its own or in combination with another procedure such as a clitoral hood reduction or mons pubis liposuction to help improve intimate relationships.
3. Rashes, Itching and Dryness
When excess tissue rubs together, especially in a moist environment, rashes, itching and dryness can occur. Not only is this an uncomfortable feeling, but it can also lead to medical problems like infection if not properly cared for.
Women should know that these symptoms are not something that they have to simply live with. In the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon specializing in labiaplasty surgery, this procedure can be highly effective and even life-changing.
4. Hygiene Concerns
In some cases, enlarged labia can make it difficult to control the flow of urine when going to the bathroom. Toilet paper can also have a tendency to become stuck on the outer vaginal lips, and some women find that it is difficult to adequately wash this area of their bodies due to excess tissue, folds and creases.
Again, this is not just a frustrating and embarrassing problem to deal with, but can also lead to infection, rashes and other medical concerns.
5. Aesthetics and Self-Confidence
Aesthetic concerns can be just as damaging as medical issues, as many women with enlarged labia feel that they lack self-confidence or feel depressed or anxious in certain situations. A customized labiaplasty procedure can address specific aesthetic concerns, such as darkly pigmented areas, protruding inner labia, deflated outer labia, bumps or skin tags or an enlarged clitoral hood.
How to Choose a Labiaplasty Plastic Surgeon
If you’ve decided that labiaplasty could be right for you, the first step is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in these types of procedures. Many women find that they feel the most comfortable working with a female plastic surgeon, but this comes down to personal preference.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to one or two top picks, schedule a consultation or two. Choose the plastic surgeon with whom you feel the most comfortable and is best able to answer your questions and create a customized procedure plan for your unique needs.
A board-certified plastic surgeon in the St. Paul/Minneapolis region, Dr. Jennifer Harrington utilizes her experience, advanced surgical training, unsurpassed technical skills and sound aesthetic judgment to help patients of all walks of life achieve their unique vision of who they are. Well-known as one of the best female plastic surgeons in the region, Dr. Harrington brings the highest standards of medical excellence to procedures of the breast, body and face.