Labiaplasty is one of the fastest growing cosmetic plastic surgeries in America, and as awareness of this surgery procedure grows, more women are finding themselves wondering if labiaplasty may be a good option for them. Like all surgeries, deciding to undergo labiaplasty is a big decision. One of the first things women considering labiaplasty or any other cosmetic plastic surgery should do is consider the risks and benefits of the procedure. This blog post will briefly explain labiaplasty and break down some of the potential risks and benefits to help women begin thinking about if this procedure may be a good option for them.
Prior to labiaplasty, the plastic surgeon will meet with each patient one-on-one to discuss the procedure and answer any questions she might have. During this appointment, the surgeon will review the patient’s medical and surgical history, as well as perform a detailed physical examination that includes measurements of the labia majora and labia minora (the tissue that frames the vaginal opening). On the day of surgery, the patient is given medicine to help her relax, and local anesthesia is used to numb the area. The patient will feel relaxed and comfortable, but will be able to breathe on her own and follow simple instructions. During the procedure, Dr. Temmen may remove excess tissue from the labia minora and/or labia majora depending on the patient’s anatomy and complaints. Dr. Temmen is meticulous in her technique, and takes care to orient the incision away from the vaginal opening so it is discreet and so that friction due to clothing, tampon use, or intercourse does not irritate the area. This whole process typically only takes about 90 minutes, and the patient is able to return home shortly after. During recovery, the patient is instructed to wear compressive underwear and a light pad for a couple of weeks. Most patients are able to return to work the next day, drive when they are no longer taking narcotic pain medications, resume light exercise in about three weeks and resume sexual activity in about six weeks.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of labiaplasty, let’s discuss some of the potential risks. First, there are risks that are inherent to surgery of any kind, including bleeding and infection. Because labiaplasty is a fairly simple and quick outpatient procedure performed on the superficial tissue, these risks are small. However, board certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Traci Temmen are fully trained not just in how to perform plastic surgeries like labiaplasty, but also in how to promptly recognize and manage any potential complications that arise. Other common effects from surgery of any kind are swelling and bruising of the area, which typically resolves on its own after a few weeks. Another common problem associated with labiaplasty is problems with wound healing. A small degree of wound breakdown or dehiscence is fairly common after this surgery due to the increased movement and friction in this area. These wounds almost always heal without difficulty, further scarring, or the need for additional procedures. Another potential risk of this procedure is asymmetry. Often times, women seeking labiaplasty already have some degree of asymmetry. While this can often be improved during surgery, perfect symmetry may not be a reasonable expectation. Another risk of surgery is abnormal scarring, which is most common in women who have a history of abnormal scarring such as keloids or hypertrophic scars. Women with this history should discuss this with their surgeon and consider the risks and benefits of surgery. A final risk of labiaplasty many patients worry about is altered sensation affecting sexual function. Fortunately, sexual sensation and function is largely supplied by nerves that lie deep in the pelvis and send tiny branches up to the external genitalia. A labiaplasty only operates on the most superficial tissues so it is extremely unlikely that these deep nerves would be injured during surgery. Typically, if a woman does experience some changes in sensation after surgery, these changes are temporary and resolve during with healing process.
Now that we’ve covered the risks of labiaplasty, let’s discuss the fun part – the benefits! Many women considering labiaplasty do so for a few reasons. One common reason is that the inner labia minora have become enlarged so that they extend beyond the protective outer labia majora, resulting in painful rubbing during exercise, sex, and everyday life. Labiaplasty can resolve this issue by removing excess tissue from the labia minora so it no longer protrudes, increasing comfort during these activities. In addition, women with enlarged labia majora may feel embarrassed wearing tight clothing such as yoga pants, swim suits, and athletic wear. During labiaplasty the labia majora can be reduced so there is no longer any fear of showing through tight clothing, allowing women to feel confident and comfortable no matter what they’re wearing. Another potential benefit of labiaplasty is increased sexual satisfaction due to several reasons. Firstly, decreased pain during intercourse allows women to experience greater enjoyment. In addition, it is not uncommon for women with enlarged labia to have developed a loss of interest in sex due to pain and discomfort. After labiaplasty, women may start to enjoy sex again and rebuild a healthy relationship with their sexual identity. In addition, women who feel embarrassed by their appearance often find renewed confidence in the bedroom after labiaplasty. However, it is important to note that no woman should ever pursue labiaplasty due to the preferences of a partner – this is a personal decision, and it should be hers alone.
Labiaplasty is a simple but life-changing procedure for women who are plagued by pain, discomfort, or embarrassment over disproportional or enlarged labia. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen has helped countless women find comfort and confidence through labiaplasty, and patients love her kind demeanor and gentle approach. If you have been wondering if this procedure might be right for you, don’t wait any longer! Call 813-771-6393 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Traci Temmen, MD today.