Labiaplasty or “trimming the curtains” as one of my aestheticians likes to call it.
Why doesn’t anyone talk about labiaplasty?
It’s a simple cosmetic surgery that can be done for aesthetic or functional reasons. The procedure removes a portion of the labia minora or inner “lips” of the vulva if they feel too long or asymmetric. Sometimes a clitoral hood reduction can be performed simultaneously if there is excess skin around the clitoris.
Labiaplasty does not involve the vagina or any inner tissue. Since this procedure only involves external tissue, it can be done with local anesthesia and minimal risk. Unlike a plastic surgeon, as an OB/GYN I am intimately familiar with the anatomy and am comfortable performing this procedure in the office setting. This allows you to avoid the risks and expense of general anesthesia.
Who is a good candidate?
Actually, a woman at any age who feels the need can get a labiaplasty. There are a number reasons women seek treatment:
- Pain and irritation from excess tissue rubbing
- Pulling or tugging with daily activities like biking or running
- Protruding labia causing discomfort in clothing like bathing suits or workout gear
- Pain or discomfort with intercourse
- Asymmetry or feeling self-conscious about appearance
You’re probably wondering what to expect with labiaplasty. It is an outpatient procedure that gives results you might never have thought possible.
Prior to the procedure, a combination of topical and local anesthesia is applied to make you comfortable. Occasionally someone might require an anti-anxiety medication which we provide. The procedure typically takes between 90 and 180 minutes. Swelling and bruising are common; ice and elevation help relieve symptoms. Pain may require medication for the first day to two after the procedure but then quickly resolves. Some patients even go back to work after the first or second day. You should avoid strenuous activities like biking or running for about four weeks and avoid intercourse for up to six weeks depending on your healing process.
Is labiaplasty permanent?
Absolutely. The excess tissue of the labia, which at times can be darkly pigmented, is trimmed and does not grow back. The results of a labiaplasty are subtle and natural. This area of the body heals very well, and the suture lines are placed in folds of skin making them barely visible. The area may be numb for a time after the procedure while the nerves grow back but typically orgasm is improved by removing the extra “drapery” around the clitoris and labia. In all my years practicing as an OB/GYN, labiaplasty is one of the most life-changing procedures for my patients not only aesthetically but also functionally.
If labiaplasty is something you have been wondering about or maybe haven’t even heard of, talk to you friends and your physician about it to let them know that it is an option.
For questions or a consultation with Dr. Rastegar, please call 303-444-0664.