The appearance and function of the female genitalia is not a subject that comes up in conversation frequently, but it’s suspected that there are many women who are very unhappy with their vaginal anatomy with regards to physical comfort and appearance. Most people are unaware that surgery can significantly improve symptoms in this anatomical area. At Scottsdale Center for Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons offer labiaplasty, also called labial reduction, to help Phoenix-area women feel more comfortable and confident.

What Causes Oversized Labia Minora?

Due to time, pregnancies, genetic predisposition, or other issues, some women develop significantly elongated or oversized labia minora (inner vaginal lips). Women we see for this type of surgery generally have a few areas of complaint, which include:

  • Chafing and discomfort when they wear tight jeans, bikinis, or other form-fitting clothes.
  • Soreness with activities such as riding a horse or a bicycle.
  • Self-conscious regarding their appearance, which often impacts their sexual relationships.

What Is Labiaplasty?

Fortunately, excess labial tissue can be corrected with a relatively straightforward procedure called a labiaplasty, or labial reduction. As with all surgeries, the technique our surgeons use for each person is specifically customized to address their unique issues. In general, we perform a modification of the wedge resection technique developed by Dr. Gary Alter of Beverly Hills, CA. This technique offers the following benefits:

  • Reducing the risk of sensation loss
  • Minimizing scarring along the labial edge
  • Maintaining a natural and aesthetic appearance

Your Labiaplasty Surgery

Surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting at our Scottsdale medical center under either local anesthesia with sedation, or under general anesthesia depending on the patient’s wishes. Improvement in the labial size and appearance can be seen immediately after surgery.

Recovery After Labiaplasty

After labiaplasty, recovery generally progresses along the following timeline (experiences vary):

  • Day after surgery: Expect to be sore and swollen. Begin gentle walking multiple times a day.
  • 1 week: Patients are typically ready to return to school, work, and nonstrenuous activities.
  • 1 to 2 weeks: Swelling and discomfort subside.
  • 4 to 6 weeks: Resume normal workouts, sexual intercourse, and impact activities such as bicycling, running, and horseback riding.
  • 3 to 4 months: Final results are achieved as swelling completely fades.

Carefully following your doctor’s post-op instructions will minimize the risk of complications and avoid compromising your results. We encourage you to read our Post-Op FAQ for more information.

Commonly Combined Procedures

While many women have labiaplasty on its own, others include it in a mommy makeover with a combination of the following other procedures:

The benefits of combining procedures include having a single surgery and recovery period.

Labiaplasty FAQ

Does labiaplasty tighten the vagina?

No, labiaplasty reduces the size of the labia outside of the vagina. Vaginoplasty is a procedure that tightens the vagina.

How painful is labiaplasty surgery?

Patients typically experience discomfort for the first week that can be managed with prescription or over-the-counter medication, sitz baths, and cool compresses as directed. For the quickest recovery, follow your doctor’s post-op instructions and give your body time to heal without overdoing it.

How do I know if I need one?

Labiaplasty can alleviate physical discomfort during sex and exercise and when wearing fitted clothing. It also helps patients feel more confident in intimate situations.

Is there anything I should avoid following surgery?

After surgery, avoid any activity or clothing that puts pressure on the surgical area. Follow your post-op instructions to avoid any setbacks.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen or Dr. Sigalove, board-certified plastic surgeons, please call (480) 423-1973. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about labia reduction procedures. Dr. Cohen and Dr. Sigalove welcome patients from all over Arizona, as well as other states and countries. Our facility is conveniently located in the region of Scottsdale, Phoenix and Paradise Valley. Receive a cosmetic consultation.

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