Let’s Talk Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation
Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation can be an uncomfortable topic for some of my patients. But, my goal is to make the whole process as comfortable for you. First, what exactly is vaginal rejuvenation?
The term vaginal rejuvenation is a broad term that can be used to encompass several procedures with the overall goal of improving the appearance of the vaginal area.
It is no secret that for a lot of women, our vaginas experience changes due to childbirth, hormones, or the natural course of aging. Vaginal Rejuvenation has become a trending topic over the past ten years or so as grooming habits have changed. With the majority of women trimming pubic hair, lasering their bikini area, and many women removing all pubic hair, women have become more aware of the appearance of their vaginal area.
What are the different types of vaginal rejuvenation?
The most common method for vaginal rejuvenation is trimming the labia minora, also known as a labiaplasty. The labia minora, which are the inner lips of the vagina, sometimes hangs lower than the vagina and can be uncomfortable.
The second method is fat grafting to the labia majora, which are the outer lips of the vagina, to add volume to the area and improve the deflated appearance that women can have after having children or weight loss.
Benefits of a Labiaplasty
Labia come in all shapes and sizes. Many women are born with large or darkly pigmented labia and some find that they experience unwanted changes in the appearance of their labia after childbirth. Labiaplasty is both a functional and a cosmetic procedure that reduces the size of the labia. Redundant or excess labia tissue, also known as labial hypertrophy, can cause physical discomfort and self-consciousness in some women. The discomfort can be experienced during exercise, daily activities, pain during sex, or a pinching feeling in certain types of lacey underwear. Some other common complaints are the inability to wear certain clothing and bathing suits, multidirectional urine stream, odor, hygiene issues, and more. The goal of a labiaplasty surgery is to reduce the size of the inner labia so they do not extend beyond the outer labia. This limits the amount of tissue that’s visible when standing. After labiaplasty, patients can feel more confident and comfortable in intimate settings. Skinny jeans and other clothes fit better without pinching the labia.
Related Article: Labiaplasty Before & After Photos
Common Labiaplasty Techniques
Labiaplasty involves removal of excess tissue of the labia minora, clitoral hood, and/or labia majora and may also include fat grafting of the labia majora. There are two common techniques called “wedge resection” and “edge trim”. When possible, I prefer to use the wedge resection technique to hide the scar and prevent “scalloping” of the labia, which is a firm wavy scar along the edge. The best technique, however, depends on the patient’s individual anatomy. Removing this extra tissue makes the labia appear neat and tidy without labia minora tissue hanging down below the labia majora. It can also reduce darkly pigmented tissue or improve asymmetrical labia. Many older women have atrophic deflated labia majora that have a saggy appearance and can sometimes make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Fat grafting of the labia majora restores volume and turns back the clock, making the labia majora appear more plump and youthful.
I perform most labiaplasty procedures under local anesthetic in our outpatient facility. Most patients are eager to return to driving and other daily activities immediately after surgery, although some prefer sedation for their procedure and require a driver afterwards. The procedure is usually about an hour. I use dissolvable stitches, so no uncomfortable suture removal is necessary. Most patients are very comfortable after surgery and only take Tylenol for pain control. I ask patients to limit exercise and physical activity during the initial phases of healing, but most patients are able to return to their normal routine quickly.
There is no “standard” labia. It is important to emphasize that labia come in all shapes and sizes. However, for some, overly large or protruding labia are both uncomfortable, embarrassing, and just “gets in the way”. You can regain confidence and comfort (in or out of clothes) with a labiaplasty procedure. During a discreet consultation, we can discuss your individualized plan based on your unique anatomy and goals.
Dr. Alexandra Schmidt is a fellowship trained, board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Raleigh, NC. Dr. Schmidt has been described as the Best Female Plastic Surgeon in North Carolina in many patient reviews. Dr. Schmidt performs aesthetic surgery of the face and body with a special emphasis on very natural looking results with a comfortable and rapid recovery. Patient safety and privacy are Dr. Schmidt’s highest priorities.