Labiaplasty (vaginal lip reduction)

By Dr. Scott W. Mosser

Most modern women show little reluctance when it comes to comparing their faces, noses, breasts, hips, or most other portions of their bodies to their friends’ bodies, to their movie idols, or to what they see in fashion magazines.

The new openness in women’s issues, such as health, social status, and self image have made the subject of corrective and cosmetic plastic surgery options common subjects for discussion whenever women get together. The no longer strict censorship of nudity and sex in film, TV, and the print media have made what were once unseen and unmentioned subjects now commonplace.

In addition, the empowerment of women in the business world and the increase in their disposable income has put the choice of having plastic surgery within reach of many more women than ever before.

A Very Private Matter

In anatomy books portraying female genitalia, the outer labia are larger than the inner labia, which is generally the usual configuration. But – as in all other human anatomical parts – there is great variation.

Many women suffer from an oversized or asymmetrical inner labia (labia minora), the folds of skin or inner lips surrounding the entrance to the vagina. Elongated inner labia, which extends past the outer vaginal lips (labia majora) are often a source of sexual embarrassment as well as a source of discomfort when wearing bathing suits or other revealing or tight fitting clothing.

When labiaplasty surgery is being performed it is usually done under general anesthesia, and generally takes about thirty minutes. There is some pain, swelling and discomfort during recovery but the patient can usually return to work within two or three days, and return to regular sexual activity after six weeks.

No use of tampons, restrictive clothing or strenuous sports for the first six weeks after labiaplasty is also recommended.As in all surgical procedures, there will be some bleeding and scarring, and some risk of infection, with this being a sensitive, infection-prone area of the body.

A Doctor-Patient Covenant

While all plastic surgery procedures are personal, and are a private matter between the patient and her doctor, discussing surgery on the genitalia is perhaps where the utmost understanding is required of the surgeon. It is vital to find a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who is experienced in this less-common procedure, and one with whom you feel comfortable enough to openly discuss the labiaplasty options you have available in San Francisco.

It is very important for any woman contemplating labiaplasty to understand what she can reasonably expect from the results. While labiaplasty may regain a woman’s previously lost shape and contour, or correct a previous perceived fault, it is not a guarantee of enhanced sexual pleasure where prior sexual dysfunction may be a factor.

On the other hand, the renewed self-confidence and comfort labiaplasty brings makes it a plastic surgery procedure with a high satisfaction rate. A labiaplasty is different from a vaginoplasty (a procedure to surgically tighten the vagina). Dr. Mosser does perform labiaplasty, but not the vaginoplasty procedure.

When patients come to Dr. Mosser for a consultation and information regarding labiaplasty, he will make a special point of asking enough questions to dispel any preconceived misinformation they may have gained from well meaning friends or photos in men’s magazines, which are often retouched or airbrushed and may be misleading. Clear and candid discussion of the labiaplasty procedures and goals can dispel fears, and a well-informed patient is always a happier one.

As in most corrective surgical procedures, follow up care after labiaplasty is important. Dr. Mosser encourages patients to return for periodic checkups in his San Francisco office even after post-operative recuperation is complete. Bodily changes from weight loss or gain, or changes in life style, may raise questions. And Dr. Mosser makes it a point to welcome patients’ questions at any time.

Copyright © 2006 by Dr. Scott W. Mosser. This article may not be copied or reproduced in any form without the written permission of Dr. Scott Mosser. Internet links to the sub-page containing this article are permitted.