Cosmetic genital surgery is increasing in popularity: Labiaplasty or Labia Reduction Surgery is one of the more common procedures today. Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and offers Labiaplasty in combination with other Cosmetic surgeries.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, Labioplasty, or Labia Reduction Surgery is a cosmetic genital procedure that aims at the reduction of Labia Minora or the inner lips of the vagina.
You may develop longer, darker, or seemingly swollen or misshapen labia minora due to several factors. Generally, pregnancy, excessive weight loss, and changes in puberty may cause the labia minora to appear larger than is usual. In Labia Reduction, the extra length of the inner vaginal lips is surgically removed.
Am I a Candidate for Labiaplasty?
You may be a good candidate if you are:
- Concerned with the appearance of your labia minora
- Have unwanted darkening of the inner lips
- Experience pain or unpleasant sensations during intercourse
- Experience pain or discomfort during physical activity, such as cycling or running
- Avoid certain activities because of the appearance of your vagina
If you have answered any of these questions with a ‘Yes’, then you may be a candidate for a Labiaplasty procedure. Consult with Dr Doyle to see which procedure suits you the best, what the recovery times are, and how to best prepare for one.
What are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
What is the purpose of a Labiaplasty? The reasons you may opt for a procedure of Labiaplasty are different and varied and so are the potential benefits of a procedure like this.
If you experience any kind of discomfort when wearing certain types of clothes (pants, runner’s shorts, underwear that is too tight or too loose), or when participating in certain kinds of activities (running, jogging, cycling, exercising, etc.) labia reduction procedure may be the right procedure for you. After the recovery, women generally report less strain on the tissue down there, less soreness, and more comfort in their daily activities.
On the other hand, you may choose to undergo a labia minora reduction for cosmetic reasons. The procedure can restore any hanging tissues that may have appeared during puberty or as a result of aging.
In some cases, you may choose to couple a labiaplasty procedure with some other plastic surgery. Labiaplasty is commonly coupled with Post Pregnancy Procedures (after one or more pregnancies) when the tissues have been stretched for longer periods of time.
In cases where labiaplasty is a procedure following an excessive weight-loss programme, labiaplasty is usually accompanied by Body Lifting and Contouring Surgery for Massive Weight Loss Patients. Again, consult with your surgeon, Dr Mark Doyle on any doubts you may have. Dr Doyle will lead you through the entire process – from determining which exact procedures are the best in your case to the recovery period.
About the Labiaplasty Surgery – What can I Expect in a Surgical Theatre?
Any Labiaplasty surgery should be carried out in a Surgical Theatre. Beware of any suspiciously low prices and discounts: sometimes a slightly higher price means a big increase in the quality of the conditions that the surgery is performed in. It also means a more experienced or qualified surgeon.
The exact procedure of inner vaginal lips reduction is done under general anaesthesia. The procedure itself lasts some 2 hours after which, the patient is can go home. Techniques include:
1.Trim or Strip Method
The trim method of labiaplasty is sometimes referred to as the strip method. It is the most common kind of labiaplasty. This procedure involves surgical removal of any excess or hanging skin along the edge of the labia minora.
Since the incision is relatively shallow and in an easy to access place, the whole procedure is short and the patient is released the same day. During the closing of the incision, a kind of dissolvable stitches are used. During the normal post-op recovery, some swelling, minor bleeding, discomfort, and pain may appear. The stitches may present another source of discomfort for the first 7-10 days after the surgery or until they dissolve.
2. The Wedge Method
Although less common, the Wedge Method of Genital Reconstructive Surgery still gives very good results. Unlike the Trim Method, the Wedge Method does not cut along the length of the inner vaginal lips. The surgeon will rather cut out a wedge-shaped piece of the inner lips and use the same dissolvable stitches to reattach the incision. Some may say that this method gives more natural results since the edge of the labia minora is preserved in its natural shape. The recovery time and post-op procedure are similar to the Trim Method.
Both of the procedures are carried out under general anaesthesia. Make sure to speak with your surgeon beforehand and understand any details which may be of concern to you.
Labiaplasty Recovery Timeline
Labia reduction is a surgical procedure just like any other. Some downtime is expected of you. This does not imply that the post-op recovery is going to be long and difficult, but it simply means that your body needs some downtime to heal properly. Make sure to fully understand what is expected of you during the labiaplasty recovery period and if any details are not clear, clarify them with your surgeon before the procedure takes place.
Firstly, you should expect some minor pain, swelling, and discomfort in the first few days after the procedure. Luckily, the area of labia minora heals very quickly, so that the discomfort will be reducing day after day. After the procedure, you are released on the same day. The discomfort is expected to last for the first two or three days after which it gradually deteriorates.
During the first 10 days, the discomfort continues with reduced intensity. During this time, you should avoid any strenuous physical activity, lifting or bending over. Try to spend as much time as you can in bed, in a flat position. Some women report slight alleviation of discomfort if they keep their hips slightly elevated during this time. Make sure to regularly move around your house: a walk around the living room once or twice a day will give your legs a stretch and will improve your blood flow resulting in faster recovery times.
After this period, you may engage in slow-paced walks around the neighbourhood. Make sure you avoid any kind of running, jogging, lifting, and bending over during this period as well. Some women say that around this period they can return to their normal daily routine, such as driving, sitting, going to work (for as long as the workplace does not imply standing for prolonged periods, walking long distances or any kind of lifting). After some 8-10 weeks, all normal duties can be resumed, including getting intimate with your partner. If any discomfort should return, give yourself more time or speak with your surgeon about a post-op check-up.
Minimising Scarring Post Labiaplasty
Depending on the type of labiaplasty performed on you, you may notice slight scarring at the site of the incision. Although the Wedge Method of may give more natural-looking results, including the preserved natural edge of the labia minora, you may be able to notice a very slim scar remaining at the site of the incision. On the other hand, with the Trim Method of Labioplasty, the outer edge of the inner lips of the vulva is removed, but the scar itself will form a new edge and will be less noticeable, if noticeable at all.
After the initial recovery period has passed, you may speak with your surgeon about any locally applied silicone-based ointments which may help with scarring reduction. Remember that this has to be done under the surgeon’s strict supervision and that no ointments, creams, or any other substances are to be applied to the area before you get clearance.
In very rare cases, some dissatisfaction may be possible. If you find that the post-op looks of your private parts are not what you expected them to be, you may speak with your surgeon about additional, or touch-up procedures that may be available to you. These can be surgical and non-surgical and which one is the best in your particular case is to be determined by your, your needs and your plastic surgeon’s advice.
Long-Term Results of a Labiaplasty
Since Labiaplasty involves the removal of any excess inner labia skin, the results are permanent. In some cases, such as after excessive weight loss, or if you decide to undergo vaginal surgery due to ageing or child-bearing, your surgeon may advise you to undergo additional procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to fully restore the look and feel to your most intimate parts.
After surgery, you may be able to enjoy riding a bicycle, running, jogging and other physical activities that you may have been avoiding due to your condition. Labia Reduction does not, in any way, reduce your fertility, sexual desire, abilities of childbearing, or delivery outcomes. It simply focuses on the looks and the functionality of your vagina.
Labiaplasty Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to have extra skin down there?
Yes. Some women have extra inner labia skin ‘hanging’ or ‘protruding’ beyond their outer labia. This is a normal occurrence. Childbirth, pubertal changes and ageing are normal contributing factors that may change the length, texture, colour or folding of the inner labia. If you feel any discomfort, embarrassment or are in any way intimidated by the looks of your inner labia, consult an experienced plastic surgeon.
Why would someone get a labiaplasty?
If you feel any discomfort while performing physical exercises or activities while wearing certain types of clothes that are too tight or too loose, or for cosmetic reasons, you may consider having a Labia Reduction Procedure performed.
What does labiaplasty surgery consist of?
Scheduling a preliminary appointment with Dr Doyle, the checkup, negotiating the best procedure for you and the procedure itself are all a part of the labiaplasty. During the procedure itself (10+ days later), Dr Doyle will remove any excess skin from the inner labia and you will be free to return home the same day. During the post-op recovery, one or more checkups may be scheduled with your surgeon. You may expect to go back to your normal daily activities some 10 days after the labiaplasty. After some 8-10 weeks, you may resume exercise and having intercourse with your partner.
How common is labiaplasty surgery?
Labiaplasty surgery is very common among Cosmetic Genital Surgery. In the US alone, labiaplasty surgery saw an increase of 49% between the years of 2018-2019.
Will I lose feeling if I have a labiaplasty?
During recovery time you may experience either hypersensitivity or mild numbness at the site of the incision. You will stop experiencing this after the recovery period is over.
What are the risks?
Understanding the potential risks and complications of labiaplasty surgery is important when considering the procedure. Here are some potential risks associated with labiaplasty surgery:
- Infection at the surgical site
- Bleeding during or after the procedure
- Noticeable or asymmetrical scarring
- Changes in sensation
By closely following Dr Doyle’s guidance and being attentive to your recovery process, you can reduce these risks and increase the likelihood of a smoother healing journey and outcome.
Can you be awake during labiaplasty?
Dr Doyle does not perform labiaplasty under local anaesthesia.
How painful is labiaplasty recovery?
Different women report different levels of pain. You can expect some pain, swelling, numbness, or hypersensitivity to be present during the recovery time. The pain intensity will not interfere with your daily activities.
Will Medicare and health insurance cover a labiaplasty? – MAYBE if you meet the criteria
Maybe. Labiaplasty Medicare Rebate is available if you meet the specific criteria. In this case, your Medicare may cover a portion of the costs. Please refer to a more detailed explanation of cases covered by Medicare with Medicare codes. Labiaplasty surgery prices on the Gold Coast vary greatly, so make sure to check out our guide to plastic surgery pricing. This detailed guide will present you with all the variables needed to be taken into consideration to better understand the final pricing of your procedure.
Can you walk after a labiaplasty?
Yes, you can walk after a Labiaplasty. Your surgeon will suggest resting as much as possible, especially during the first two to three days after the Labia Minora Reduction procedure, although they may also suggest some minor form of light physical exercise, such as walking for a few minutes a day in the days immediately after the procedure.
Book a Consultation
If you would like to consult with Dr Doyle about Labiaplasty surgery, please get in touch with Dr Doyle about booking your initial consultation.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.
As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
Do Your Research
What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
- Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
- Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation
Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
- Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
- Pay your $285 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.
Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
- Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS
*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.