Eliminating Pain and Self-consciousness through Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure experiencing a growth in popularity, as women seek to relieve genital pain and ease concerns about the appearance of their vagina. The purpose of surgery is to shape and trim the vagina's labia minora (inner lips) and/or labia majora (outer lips). In some cases, women may experience asymmetry or elongation of the labia due to genetics, childbirth, sexual intercourse or the natural aging process.
Procedure and Recovery
Labiaplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthetic. During the procedure, the surgeon shortens or cuts uneven or larger inner vaginal lips using a laser, scalpel or specialized scissors. The incision location depends on specific factors, including the labia's size, configuration and texture. The labia majora--located on the body's exterior--may also be reduced with liposuction or surgery if desired. Additionally, a hoodectomy, which may help to enhance sexual stimulation by exposing the clitoris, can be performed while the patient is under anesthesia. Once surgery is completed, the surgeon will suture the incision using dissolvable stitches. Patients aren't able to have intercourse for about one month after surgery; and their genitals may be swollen and feel tender for several weeks.
Labiaplasty is appropriate for women with enlarged outer and/or inner vaginal lips that cause self-consciousness or pain. A long labia can lead to pain during exercise, sexual intercourse or even while wearing tight clothing. Though the surgery can decrease or eliminate discomfort, it is not intended to increase sexual satisfaction and is appropriate only for young and adult women in good physical condition.
How much does the procedure cost?
The total cost of surgery includes surgeon fees, facility fees and local anesthesia fees. Patients may have a labia minora reduction, labia majora reduction or both to reach a satisfactory outcome; however, each procedure may be performed during the same session, which can reduce overall cost, because patients won't need to pay facility and anesthesia fees a second time.
The fees for labia majora or minora reduction can range from about $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the surgeon and specific patient needs. If you're seeking treatment because your labia's size causes pain during exercise or sex, your medical insurance may provide coverage. If you are seeking treatment for cosmetic purposes, you will have to pay out of pocket; however, many patients are able to secure financing options that make payment easier.