Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure which focuses on removing excess tissue from the inner or outer labia – the lips surrounding the structures of the vulva. The operation is performed either on medical grounds (tissue inflicted by a disease) or for aesthetic reasons since many women are not pleased by the appearance of their labia (which may seem unusually extended or unevenly shaped and can sometimes bring about discomfort). The procedure can sometimes be performed along with vaginoplasty, as part of a broader, reconstructive operation called “vaginal rejuvenation.”
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How Does Labiaplasty Work?
Labiaplasty is typically performed under local anesthesia. It can be either more “conventional” (i.e. invasive, thus sometimes calling for full sedation) or utilizing lasers. Generally speaking, Labiaplasty methods are:
Central Wedge Resection, which includes making a resection on the part of the tissue lying on the center of the labia and drawing the rest of the tissue in so as to deliver a more elegant appearance, leaving the natural labia edge almost intact.
Edge Resection: This technique engages the use of a clamp which serves as a blood flow regulator at the edge of the labia. It is followed by the removal of the excessive tissue and completed by stitching up the wound, resulting in a slightly differentiated edge (however, this method can sometimes result in the labia edge looking odd).
Laser Straight Edge is a more advanced procedure since it employs lasers to enable the removal of the epithelial layers along the labia, diminishing the lips without entailing the relocation of a big mass of the connective tissue.
A fact that must be pointed out here is that electing the appropriate method is not an outright process; in fact, it’s up to each clinician to come up with a proper combination of the patient’s needs and the initial extent of the problem with his / her expertise to decide on a specific Labiaplasty approach. Irrespective of the technique employed, the operation is unlikely to last more than more than 2 hours (actually, it often necessitates about 60 minutes).
Following the operation, pain medication is given and the woman can return home just after 24 hours. Thanks to dissolvable stitches now being commonly used, there is usually no need to undergo the procedure of having them removed. The patient should refrain from sexual intercourse for 1 ½ to 2 months, and the same applies to engaging in strenuous activities like running, biking or lifting heavy objects. Nevertheless, normal activities can be resumed in 7-10 days after the surgery.
The most notable of the Labiaplasty benefits are:
- Neat and elegant look
- Elimination of asymmetries between the vaginal lips
- Increased sexual confidence due to the more appealing vagina look
- Revitalized appearance, resembling that of younger women
- Enhanced arousing sensation and satisfaction
That particular aspect of Labiaplasty has been relatively debatable. Although many experts and actual reviewers have heaped praise upon the procedure and its results, other gynecologists maintain that surgical operations on the vagina for purely aesthetic reasons submit that delicate area to unnecessary risks. Correspondingly, the most severe Labiaplasty side effects include:
- Soreness and discomfort, depending on the applied technique
- Bleeding and infection (which is normally controlled by using antibiotics before, during and after the procedure as well as abstaining from anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Temporary numbness
- Swelling and bruising
- Irritation and itchiness
- Post-operative swelling and discomfort
- Loss of sensitivity due to partial removal of connective tissue
- Wound separation (rare)
- Epidermal cysts (when lasers are used)
- Nerve damage (rare)
- Scarring (when an invasive technique is applied) or permanent labia impairment (rare)
In order to alleviate some of these symptoms, over-the-counter pain medications may be prescribed, while the risk of an infection is usually forestalled with the aid of antibiotics.
Areas To Be Treated
Moving on to the cost factor, the greater part of the expenditure lies on the surgeon’s fee, which can amount to $2,000-$2,500. Added to the anesthesia cost as well as supplementary charges, and hinging on elements like the size of the treated area and the complexity of the problem, the cost can total between $3,000 and $4,500. Indicatively, the average cost displayed on Realself.com is $3,975.
Despite the mixed opinions regarding its safety, Labiaplasty reviews are actually almost overwhelmingly encouraging, since the procedure currently holds a 90% of positive assessment on Realself.com. Moreover, the amount of patient’s testimonials is substantial so as to ensure reliable evaluation of the procedure and its healing process.
On the negative side, patients seem to complain about the harassment of wearing pads for 7-10 after the operation as well as about swelling, itchiness and discomfort. In any case, the majority of the patients pinpoint the importance of having the operation performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon. For detailed reviews click here!
On the whole, selecting to undergo Labiaplasty can be considered as an effective way of “polishing” large or unusually shaped labia, which can be embarrassingly noticeable when dressed in tight clothes – or even get pulled by them. Good candidates for this procedure are generally healthy adult women who owe that abnormal shape of their labia to successive childbirths or to aging, or those who experience issues like irritation, itching or discomfort. In cases like these, a Labiaplasty operation can effectively tackle those issues; do take into consideration, however, that prominent skin folds around the vagina are perfectly natural, so before you resort to that method, it is imperative that you thoroughly discuss the issue with a trusted physician (for board certified physicians performing labiaplasty click here).