Labiaplasty is a form of cosmetic vaginal surgery which involves making the labia (or vaginal lips) smaller in size. Cosmetic vaginal surgery has seen a huge increase in recent years, particularly in the US and the UK with operations on the rise in both countries. Although labiaplasty is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, it is sometimes performed for health reasons too, for example if the size of the labia causes discomfort.
The Labiaplasty Procedure
The labiaplasty procedure involves reducing the size of the vulva (the inner lips) so that they are smaller than the labia majora (outer lips). Before any of this will take place, a consultation will occur with a plastic surgeon who should check your history and make sure that you are aware of the risks that come with the surgery. You will be advised to stop taking certain medications for a set period beforehand and the day before the surgery you will be asked to shave your pubic hair.
The labiaplasty procedure itself will be performed under a general anaesthetic and is usually performed by amputation whereby the surgeon cuts and removes part of the vulva using a scalpel or laser. Other vaginal surgery options are available too and which one you choose will depend on your reasons for undergoing a labiaplasty. It can take up to one year to see the final results.
The main labiaplasty advantages are an increased level of self confidence and an increased level of self esteem following the operation. Depending on the reason for the vaginal surgery, some women may also report a decrease in discomfort both due to clothes and sexual intercourse. Sometimes a labiaplasty is also performed to increase the chances of a woman reaching orgasm during intercourse, and again when successful this is clearly an advantage.
Initially one of the main labiaplasty disadvantages are the labiaplasty costs. Some women are able to have the operation performed on the NHS but only if they are based in the UK and can prove that the operation is for health reasons and not cosmetic. If not it can cost anything from $3000 upwards depending on your individual needs. Of course there are also some labiaplasty health risks which include an infection following surgery, a painful or uncomfortable labia following surgery, numbness where there was none before and painful urination. Whilst some of these problems can be overcome, some may also be permanent.
Whether you think labiaplasty or indeed any cosmetic vaginal surgery is worth it will purely be an individual decision but it is important to remember that unless your health is suffering, you are likely to be normal “down there”. Every woman is different and you should not be forced into feeling like you need cosmetic vaginal surgery; instead it should be a purely individual decision and one that should be discussed thoroughly with your doctor beforehand.