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For women who feel self-conscious or physically uncomfortable due to the appearance of their labia, labiaplasty can help.

Dr. Otto J. Placik is a genital rejuvenation specialist who has performed hundreds of labiaplasty procedures for women in the Chicago and Arlington Heights areas. Below are responses to some of the most common questions and concerns about labiaplasty. If you have a question that is not addressed here, or are interested in learning more about what labiaplasty can do for you, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon and 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.

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Labiaplasty FAQ

What Is Labiaplasty?

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.

Am I a Labiaplasty Candidate?

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.

Will Labiaplasty Improve My Sex Life?

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.

Which Is Better: Trim or Wedge Labiaplasty?

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.

Does Insurance Cover Labiaplasty?

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.

What Can I Expect During My Procedure?

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.

What Should I Expect During Recovery?

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.