The labia are the most visible portion of a woman’s sexual anatomy, so it’s only natural to feel sensitive about their appearance. Labiaplasty is the enhancement or reduction of the inner and/or outer labia (vaginal lips) to create more aesthetic contours that can help you feel more confident in your intimate relationships.
While cosmetic appearance is one of the primary reasons why women seek this procedure (some women may refer to the “camel toe” appearance), other concerns such as visibility or irritation from clothing, interference with sexual intercourse, discomfort with sexual activity, repeated infections, redundant tissues and hygiene issues, and/or diversion of the urinary stream are a few of the other complaints women report.
Dr. Otto Placik is a Chicago labiaplasty specialist and board-certified plastic surgeon serving Chicago and its suburbs who has helped thousands of women like you to feel better about the appearance of their labia. He has likely the greatest experience in the Midwest and has participated in and conducted numerous research studies, performed presentations, written book chapters and attended conferences on this subject. In addition to labiaplasty, Dr. Placik offers a number of other vaginal rejuvenation procedures that can help improve the appearance of your vaginal area as well enhance sexual sensation.
Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on labiaplasty, including prices.
Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.
More than just cosmetic concern, labia that are asymmetrical or too large can cause discomfort during daily activities like exercising or sexual intercourse. Emotionally, worries over looking “normal” can undermine your self-confidence, especially with regards to sexual relationships. Dr. Placik performs one of the best surgical labiaplasty Chicago has to offer and can improve symmetry and create more discreet contours that are more in line with your cosmetic goals.
Dr. Placik considers the size and shape of the inner and outer labia in relation to each other and the surrounding area to determine the best surgical approach. For example, the outer labia (labia majora) may benefit from fat transfer to add fullness, creating a more proportionate look relative to the inner labia (labia minora). Alternatively, large or redundant labia majora which occur frequently in combination with a prominent mons pubis may create an undesirable fullness or visibility in clothing and may be treated with reduction and/or liposuction. Most commonly, the inner labia are reduced to improve any existing discomfort, or to remove the darkened edges that can become more prominent after pregnancy or with age. It’s very common to include additional genital rejuvenation procedures with a labiaplasty, such as vaginoplasty, clitoral hood reduction and G-spot enhancement.
Labiaplasty is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia or local anesthesia with oral sedation. In some cases, usually if labiaplasty is performed as part of a more extensive procedure such as a mommy makeover, Dr. Placik may recommend general anesthesia. Most women who undergo a labiaplasty alone or in combination with other genital rejuvenation procedures can return home the same day.
Actual Patient Not a Model
Immediately after surgery, you can expect to see some bruising and swelling, both of which should dissipate over the next few weeks. You should be able to resume your normal routine within a few days, and active exercise at 3 weeks, although Dr. Placik recommends waiting at least 6 weeks before engaging in sexual activity.
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic gynecology procedure that can improve the appearance of the inner labia (labia minora, or inner vaginal lips) and/or outer labia (labia majora, or outer vaginal lips) by creating a more proportionate look. While labiaplasty is often used to describe the reduction of elongated inner labia, the procedure can also include enlarging or reducing the outer labia, although this is less common. This is often confused with vaginal rejuvenation which refers to tightening of the vaginal canal.
If you feel self-conscious about the size, shape or appearance of your labia, or notice discomfort during sexual activity or while wearing slim-fitting clothing, you may be a good candidate for labiaplasty. Labiaplasty can help you feel more confident about your appearance by reshaping the contours of your labia for greater comfort and symmetry. The best candidates for labiaplasty are old enough to have fully mature labia, and should be in good mental and physical health overall. Similar to breast reduction surgery, labia reduction may be considered at any time if causing significant discomfort or interference with daily activities.
The best candidates for labiaplasty want to change the size, shape or contours of their external vaginal area. This is often due to physical reasons, like feeling that labia get in the way during normal daily activities like exercise or sexual intercourse. Labiaplasty can also be performed for emotional reasons, such as feeling that the inner labia look overly prominent or the outer labia appear deflated. Concern over a visible “camel toe” is another reason women may consider labiaplasty. Since the labia often change in appearance following pregnancy and childbirth, many women include labiaplasty as part of a mommy makeover.
Most women can return home the same day as their surgery, after which they can expect to rest for the first few days. When privacy is a concern, procedures can be performed under straight local and patients may then drive themselves to and from surgery. However, most women prefer some oral sedation, in which case a driver is required to safely transport patients home. Swelling is normal the first few days, sometimes accompanied by bruising and bleeding. Ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications can help you feel more comfortable. After the first week, you can return to work and regular daily routine, although exercise and sexual intercourse should wait at least 6 weeks.
After surgery, you can expect your genital region to look swollen and feel sore for the first few days. Discomfort can often be alleviated using ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications, although Dr. Placik may prescribe a pain reliever as well. Although you should refrain from vigorous exercise or sexual activity for the first 6 weeks after surgery, you should be able to return to work and your normal routine in about a week.
The costs of your labiaplasty will vary depending on the approach Dr. Placik needs to take during surgery, whether there will be other procedures performed at the same time and a number of other factors. In some cases, insurance may cover all or a portion of the surgery. The total fees include not just Dr. Placik’s surgical fees, but also the cost for the surgical facility and anesthesiologist. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.
There are two approaches that can be taken during labiaplasty: the “trim” method or the “wedge” method. Dr. Placik is experienced in both techniques. The trim method is fairly straightforward, and involves a simple trimming away of excess tissue to shorten the labia minora. The wedge method removes a triangular segment of tissue from the middle third of the inner labia instead. There are pros and cons to each technique, so Dr. Placik will go into more detail on your options during your consultation to help you decide which is best for you.
The subject of trim vs. wedge labiaplasty is hotly debated among cosmetic gynecological surgeons.
Trim labiaplasty is a relatively simple procedure that removes the outer edge of the labia by trimming the excess away.
During the more complex wedge labiaplasty, a V-shaped section of tissue is removed from the middle third of the labia, and then the edges are sutured together.
Although many surgeons currently advocate for wedge labiaplasty, this approach does not address one of the most common cosmetic concerns for many women: the darker labial edge. By fully removing this portion of the labia, trim labiaplasty creates a more uniformly pink edge for a discreet final result.
Both approaches allow for safe, effective reduction of the inner labia in a way that should still preserve sensation. The decision of which surgical technique is best for you often comes down to your anatomy, your personal goals and the recommendation of your surgeon.
Although it’s impossible to perform any surgery without incisions, labiaplasty scars are typically minimal. The initial incisions should heal completely by about the two-week mark, although the scars may appear red or pink for several months. The trim method of labia reduction will leave longer scars than the wedge method but can remove more of the darkened edge. In either case, scars from either surgical approach should fade to nearly invisible with time.
Dr. Placik performs labiaplasty revisions for “botched” labiaplasty procedures or situations where patients are not happy with the results they have achieved from other surgeons. These procedures are highly customized to the unique situation of the patient, and Dr. Placik will work closely with you so that you can feel confident about your result. Watch our video on labiaplasty revision for more information.
Dr. Placik will cover the possible labiaplasty risks, side effects and potential complications during your initial consultation at our office in Chicago or Arlington Heights to ensure that you completely understand the procedure. Although serious side effects are rare, they are possible, and include concerns such as scarring, infection, changes in sensation and asymmetry.
Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about labiaplasty, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.
Because female sexual satisfaction is a complex issue that includes many different factors, labiaplasty can play an important role in improving your sex life, especially when performed with additional genital rejuvenation procedures.
For women who feel frustrated about their labia size detracting from their sexual experience, labiaplasty can correct physical issues to help make intercourse more physically comfortable. Additionally, women who may have previously felt inhibited during sex due to the cosmetic appearance of their labia can find that sex becomes more emotionally enjoyable after surgery.
Frequently, larger inner labia can also mean excess clitoral hood tissue, which can interfere with clitoral stimulation during intercourse. Dr. Placik can combine clitoral hood reduction with labiaplasty to improve sexual sensation.
Typically, insurance companies view labiaplasty as cosmetic and therefore elective, a category that is not covered under most insurance plans. Exceptions may be made in some cases, such as if the surgery is being performed to repair a torn labia or other form of injury or trauma, although this is not common. However, since labiaplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia, the total costs can be kept low. You can also look into cosmetic surgery financing to help make your labiaplasty even more affordable.
Labiaplasty is normally performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia to help you stay comfortable during surgery, which can last an hour or two. The surgery most often includes reducing the size of the inner labia using either the wedge or trim technique. Labiaplasty can also enhance the size of the outer labia using fat transfer (following the same principles as those used in fat transfer breast augmentation). The goal is to improve symmetry and balance for a flattering final result.
To meet with Dr. Placik, you can request a consultation online or call our Arlington Heights office at 847-398-1660 or our Chicago office at 312-787-5313 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you look your very best.
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