No two bodies are exactly alike. Variations in shape, size and symmetry are perfectly normal, but some variations make us feel self-conscious or cause physical discomfort that gets in the way of our ability to enjoy an active life. As medical techniques evolve and cultural acceptance grows, an increasing number of patients are embracing cosmetic surgery as a way to take control of their bodies and improve their quality of life.
Many women are unsatisfied with the appearance of their labia. For some women, enlarged or asymmetric labia can also be a hygiene issue, a source of irritation during sexual activity, a limitation on clothing options or the cause of painful chafing with exercise. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure performed to address these concerns by altering the size and shape of the labia minora (inner labia) and the labia majora (outer labia). Whether you were born with atypical labia or your labia has changed following childbirth, weight loss or menopause, labiaplasty with Dr. Andrews may be an ideal solution for you.
Below are five things every woman should know if she is considering this procedure. Please call us at 319-800-6877 to schedule a consultation. Our experienced staff members are available to answer any additional questions you have about labiaplasty or our practice.
The reasons to consider labiaplasty are as varied and diverse as the women who undergo the procedure. Some women are interested in labiaplasty for psychological reasons, some for physical reasons and some for a combination of factors.
How you perceive your body has an immense impact on your self-confidence. Feeling insecure about a part of your body — particularly one as intimate as this — can be a heavy weight on your emotional well-being. The aesthetic benefits of labiaplasty can alleviate distress caused by the outward appearance of your anatomy. The most common version of the procedure shortens the length or changes the shape of the labia minora so they are more symmetrical or more proportionate with the labia majora. Alternatively, you may be interested in rejuvenation of your labia majora if they are enlarged or if they have taken on a “deflated” appearance due to aging or weight loss.
Women also seek out labiaplasty for health reasons. Enlarged labia can make it physically uncomfortable to wear certain types of clothing, such as swimsuits or form-fitting fitness leggings, or to engage in activities like cycling or horseback riding. During sex, large labia can decrease pleasurable sensation and result in pain or inflammation. Some women with large labia struggle to use tampons or maintain optimal hygiene. When the function, not just the look, of a woman’s labia is negatively impacting her life, a labiaplasty may be recommended for medical purposes.
Labiaplasty can be done in our office under local anesthesia and often takes less than one hour. Dr. Andrews customizes each procedure according to the patient’s anatomy and goals. The technique selected for your labiaplasty will depend on your desired outcome and whether surgery is performed on one or both sides. The two techniques Dr. Andrews uses most often are the edge trim and the wedge excision. In an edge trim, excess skin is removed from the outer edge of the labia in a linear fashion. When the wedge technique is used, excess tissue is taken from the labia’s widest point in a V-shaped “wedge” and the remaining edges are stitched together. You will be able to return home on the same day to recover in familiar surroundings.
Dr. Andrews will explain the typical labiaplasty recovery timeline, as well as what you can expect at each stage of the healing process, during your initial consultation. The postoperative period is a critical time for any surgical procedure. Fortunately, recovery after labiaplasty is relatively quick. Patients can typically return to work after just two to three days and can resume their normal exercise routine in two to three weeks. Dr. Andrews recommends avoiding tampon use and sexual intercourse for six weeks to give your body ample time to heal. Expect to return for follow-up visits at two weeks and two months so Dr. Andrews can monitor your progress. Following your aftercare instructions is vital to ensure a smooth, comfortable recovery and the best possible result.
Labiaplasty surgery cost depends on what exactly is involved in the procedure. Because Dr. Andrews designs a unique approach for each patient, a consultation is necessary to determine what the total investment for your procedure will be and what financing options are available. Many patients want to know if they will be able to get their labiaplasty cost covered by insurance. In most cases, health insurance companies do not cover labiaplasty because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Only occasionally is labiaplasty medically necessary and eligible for insurance coverage. We offer flexible payment and financing options to help patients afford the treatments they need and want.
Just as there are many reasons to consider labiaplasty, there are many reasons why it might not be appropriate for you. It’s essential to remember that there is no one “right” way your body should look and no single notion of what is beautiful or feminine. You should not undergo surgery because you feel pressure to do so from a partner or from society. Labiaplasty is a deeply personal procedure that should be done for yourself, not for someone else.
It’s also important to make sure you are a good candidate for surgery. You are most likely a candidate if you are in good overall health, out of puberty and prepared to follow the recovery guidelines. The best way to determine whether labiaplasty is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrews. During this initial meeting, Dr. Andrews will evaluate your concerns, listen to your goals, explain what the procedure entails and answer your questions.
We know this is an emotional subject and that you may feel nervous about discussing your most intimate concerns. Rest assured, Dr. Andrews and his staff maintain the utmost levels of discretion and sensitivity. Your well-being is our top priority and we will do everything we can to ensure you feel safe, confident and comfortable when making your decision. We want every aspect of your experience with us to be as rewarding as your final results.
If you’re ready to discuss your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon, call 319-800-6877 today to book a consultation. You deserve to love your body — all of it — and we are honored to be part of that journey.