Female genital plastic surgery is not new but has become a topic of growing interest over the last few years. In 2016 there were 12,000 Labiaplasty procedures in this country, and this was up 39% from the previous year. Why the increase and why now?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the labia minora. In the past, this was done to correct problems women had with chaffing or rubbing irritation when wearing tight fitting clothes, participating in sporting events or having sexual intercourse. Now, in addition to these concerns, women are having Labiaplasty to improve the appearance of the vaginal area. With new grooming techniques such as waxing and laser hair removal, women are more familiar with the appearance of their genital region. Even though there is a large variation in what might be considered “normal” in the appearance of female genitalia, social media and access to more information has given rise to a new “ideal.” The procedure is designed to improve symmetry and to reduce the labia minora so that they don't hang below the hair-bearing part of the labia majora. The average cost of this procedure is $2,750.00, according to 2016 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The risks of labiaplasty include those of most surgical procedures including bleeding, hematoma and infection. Over resection can result in complications as well. Most patients take a week off from work and avoid having sex for about four weeks.
It is very important for any woman considering this procedure do their homework before choosing a surgeon. Consulting with The American Society of Plastic Surgeons https://www.plasticsurgery.org/) will ensure they choose a well-trained board-certified plastic surgeon.
In addition to Labiaplasty, there are additional different procedures that can be classified as “female genital plastic surgery." Monsplasty is a procedure often used to reduce the fullness in the soft tissue mound above the vagina. Clitoral hood reduction is a procedure to remove some of the redundant skin or folds surrounding the clitoris, often performed at the same time as a labiaplasty. Labia Majoroplasty is a procedure in often used to reduce the size of the labia majora. Fat grafting can also be used to plump up atrophic labia majora. Vaginoplasty is a procedure designed to tighten the vagina. There is a new non-invasive vaginal tightening procedure which works by heating tissues with laser (DIVA). Some patients with significant laxity may not experience a significant benefit from this treatments and may be better candidates for surgical tightening.