Labiaplasty, (labioplasty), also known as labia reduction, vaginal lip reduction, or labia and vulvar rejuvenation, is a procedure to decrease the size and improve the appearance of enlarged, hypertrophic or asymmetrical labia minora. As a leading surgeon in labiaplasty, Dr. Rajagopal has been performing vaginoplasy and vaginal rejuvenation surgeries since 1999.
The enlarged labia may cause some women to experience discomfort with pinching or pulling during certain activities, or with some clothing. Sometimes childbirth may cause the labia to become stretched and enlarged, and reconstruction after childbirth may become necessary. Labiaplasty can reduce this discomfort and enlargement with a simple out-patient procedure to create a smaller, thinner, more comfortable, size and shape.
Hello, I am Sharon Coleman. Welcome to Body Beautiful. With us today we have plastic surgeon Dr. Usha Rajagopal. We are talking about a couple of different topics today. Do remember that any advice we give today, you will want to consult with your own physician as well.
Sharon: So, Dr. the next topic we are discussing is labiaplasty. And I am not familiar with this. So tell me what is this procedure?
Dr. Rajagopal: So, labiaplasty is a procedure that we change the appearance of women’s labia minora or majora. Most of the time, it is due to combination of factors. It is either a functional issue for the patient. That means it either pinches, tugs, chafes or she is concerned with the appearance. For most women, it is a combination of both that causes them to have them come in for a consultation.
Sharon: Ok. Who would be a good candidate? Or is there an age range or anything like that?
Dr. Rajagopal: It is interesting that it is not age related, in a sense that the shape of woman’s labia is genetically determined just like how tall or short she is going to be. So, I have women come in their young twenties all the way up to their sixties. I certainly have young women who are students, moms middle-aged, and I have women who are older and professionally can be all professions. All the way from moms, like I said students, I have had lawyers, I have had pilots, I had teachers, and I mean like everyone.
Sharon: It is a broad spectrum!
Dr. Rajagopal: It is a broad spectrum.
Sharon: So, walk me through the process. Let’s say that I come into your office and I am interested in having the procedure done. Or I am not quite sure what can be done it probably is the case sometimes that they come in.
Dr. Rajagopal: Yes. The reason people come to me is because they know that I do a lot of labiaplasty. I have been doing them since 1999 and I have done over a thousand in this amount of period. They come to me because of two primary concerns. Either they are not happy with the appearance and they are very self-conscious and they don’t have the self confidence. And equally or not more important is issues with functional issues. That means the size of the labia causes chaffing with clothing – they cannot wear tight jeans, they get irritated. Sometimes because of the amount of tissue sometimes they are more prone to yeast infections. Or it could be a hygiene issue. So these are some of the reasons they come in. And when I see them in consultation, I do a thorough examination. First I talk to them and go over the medical history to see what their concerns are. When we do an examination where I am really quite open; they have a mirror and I am talking to them going over their anatomy, going over their concerns. Then we talk about whether they are a good candidate or not. And then if they are a good patient we go to the next step. We talk about surgery and what we will be doing during the surgery and what kind of surgery it is. With labiaplasty, it surprisingly is a office procedure. That means it is done in the office under a light anesthesia.
Dr. Rajagopal: That means the woman is not asleep. She is awake but she is relaxed. We give her some to relax her like Valium by mouth and when we are doing the surgery there is absolutely no pain at all. So during the surgery she can either be talking to me or she may be dozing off from the Valium and that’s about it. We recommend her to have a friend or someone to take her home. Time off is usually about a week.
Sharon: What is the recovery time? How much down time do you have? And what does that look like?
Dr. Rajagopal: So generally, initially I have her take three days minimum of complete lying in bed, bed rest. And then after that I say that they can go back to work or light activities. So if you work in an office that is fine. And then about a week to actually feel quite good and then they can little more activities. But to swim or play tennis it is about a month.
Sharon: What are the concerns that they need to be focusing on during that time that they do not want to interfere with?
Dr. Rajagopal: Initially, after the surgery the area tend to swell up a lot and it can tend to bleed, because it is a highly vascular area. So, usually, when we recommend staying in bed for those three days, I want them in bed. Then we usually give antibiotics around and want to follow instructions, take those antibiotics, and keep the area clean.
Sharon: Great! What is satisfaction rate?
Dr. Rajagopal: I actually end up doing a survey in 2007 and 2008 before we collected survey for a whole year. The survey rate was over 90% satisfaction, in a sense that 100% women who got it done would repeat the surgery and 100% women who got it done recommended it to a friend of theirs.
Sharon: That is fantastic. Thank you, Dr. It is great to hear about this. Now, if you would like more information about Dr. Rajagopal you can call 415-392-3333.
Rejuvenating the vulvar area can include a labia minora reduction, labia majora reduction, labia majora enhancement, and a reduction or lifting of the pubic area. Asymmetrical labia minora and majora can also be treated with this vulvar rejuvenation procedure. Vulvar rejuvenation surgery can greatly enhance genital aesthetics and is often done by Dr. Rajagopal when performing a mommy makeover procedure.
Labiaplasty Procedure: What You Need to Know
Today I am going to talk about labiaplasty surgery – the surgery that’s becoming very popular in my practice. I do about two or three of these a week. The women who come to see me are quite emotionally distressed. They have been having a concern about this for many years. They really don’t know where to turn to. They have gone to the internet and that’s how they’ve gotten information about this. So they have somehow knowledgeable but do not have all the knowledge about it.
The most issues are either with the appearance of it being either too large or uncomfortable with the appearance of it or it could be functional. It could be that the hypertrophic labia that causes discomfort with clothing or certain activities like riding a bike or horseback riding. Occasionally, it could be issues of having – because of increased size of labia – more moisture in those areas and so issues with having chronic yeast infections. In fact, I have had a few gynecologists who send me their patients with these issues because of the chronic vaginitis. Occasionally, reducing the labia will also resolve those issues as it decreases the amount of moisture in that area.
The women I do labiaplasties are it really run the gamut of age all the way from very young women, I have had women as young as fourteen coming with their mothers who have been recommended to me by their pediatricians, all the way to women who are in their sixties. And certainly all walks of lives like housewives, students, lawyers, pilots, judges and I mean every woman that this could be an issue with.
Labiaplasty surgery is a straightforward surgery. During the initial consultation I go over, in detail with the woman, first of course if she is a candidate or not and if she is then exactly what I am going to be doing in surgery. Of course we go over her anatomy and how that might be different from another woman’s anatomy. Also, what I will be doing during the surgery and how much I will be removing and what I will be leaving behind and so forth. At that point it is pretty open to have women ask me questions. And certainly in our office we do so many of these that everyone in the office are very familiar with the procedures. So even after the consultation if they have any questions they can easily email or call us. Sometimes we do get consultations from away from the Bay Area and we get pictures and emails regarding their questions.
The surgery itself is done as an outpatient procedure and it is done under a very light anesthesia but the patient is completely comfortable. She will not feel anything with actual surgery going on. The surgery itself takes about an hour or so and the patient is in the office about approximately two and half hours to about three hours. She will need to have someone to take her home. Generally, recovery is quite fast. Initially, we will have her take about three days of complete bed rest with icing in the area. Then she can get back to work and do some light activities. Full recovery is approximately about three weeks or so when the sutures are all completely fallen off. If you have any other questions feel free to give office a call or email me and I will be happy to answer your questions.
ButterCupSF3- San Francisco, CA
I finally worked up the nerve to go through with a labiaplasty in 2011. It was the best thing I’ve done in a long time. The procedure takes about 40 minutes plus about 20 minutes for prep (just topical numbing) and another 10 minutes post-op recovery time.
I actually chatted with my surgeon the entire time which was super wierd, but kinda of comforting as well. The first and half after the surgery is uncomfortable to be sure. However, after about 5 weeks, I was almost completely healed. It turns out that there are lots of women who have had this procedure done – it appears to be quite common.
My biggest regret is that I wish I had done it sooner. If I had realized how simple the procedure is and the amazing benefits, I would have done it in high school!
The labia reduction surgery is performed in our state of the art office under very light anesthesia, and usually takes less than two hours, with little discomfort or pain to the patient. Dr. Rajagopal strives to preserve the natural contour, pigmentation, and sensation of the labia minora and majora with minimal scars. Small incisions are made to remove any excess tissue and to even out the edges of the labia minora. Sutures will be placed where the incisions were made and these sutures should dissolve within a few weeks. At the end of the procedure Dr. Rajagopal injects an innovative long-acting anesthetic called Exparel that dramatically reduces post-op pain.
Another procedure that is now gaining popularity is improving tone and texture off the vulvar area. Dr. Rajagopal generally treats this area with a fractionated laser to improve the creation of collagen stimulation which will improve the color tone and texture of the skin.
After Your Labia Reduction Surgery
After labiaplasty, patients are able to return back to work within a few days (usually 3-4 days). Patients have minimal or no bruising, can shower the next day, have no stitches to remove and can have intercourse within 3-4 weeks. In most cases the labia reduction is virtually undectable after complete healing with patients in follow-up being extremely pleased with the results.
Conversations about Labiaplasty: will it increase sexual sensitivity?
From Dr. Rajagopal’s plastic surgery blog
I’ve always wondered about labiaplasty, so I went to the foremost expert in the San Francisco Bay Area to find out more about the procedure. I sat down with Dr. Usha Rajagopal to get my questions answered.
Okay Dr. Rajagopal, let’s start with the basics, what is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is the reduction of the labia majora (outer lips of the vulva) or labia minora (inner lips of the vulva). The process involves reduction of elongated labia or the modification of asymmetrical labia. When labia and vagina are created where there are none, the procedure is called vaginoplasty. Hoodectemy is another type of surgery in which the clitoral hood is reduced or removed in order to increase sexual function in women who have trouble having orgasms.
Why do women get labiaplasty?
Women get labiaplasty for different reasons. In my experience, the number one reason for a labiaplasty is the desire to reduce pain or discomfort experienced while wearing tight clothing (such as jeans or yoga pants) or playing sports (especially bike riding or horseback riding) or engaging in other physical activities. The second most common reason for labiaplasty is shame or embarrassment about the way their genitals look and the desire to change their appearance. Other times, women want to increase sexual function– a reduction of the labia or clitoral hood can provide greater exposure of the clitoris, allowing for increased stimulation. Occasionally, a woman’s labia are damaged during childbirth, and the procedure is restorative.
How did you get involved in labiaplasty surgery?
As a women, I know that perhaps no part of our bodies is so closely tied to our self esteem. Elongated labia can cause shame or embarrassment with sexual partners and sometimes cause pain or discomfort. I appreciate the opportunity to help women overcome these problems in their lives. It can make a huge difference in a woman’s life to feel better about the way her body looks. There also aren’t many female plastic surgeons and given that many women feel more comfortable having this procedure performed by a woman, so I felt it was important that I offer this procedure in my practice.
I’m going to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind– will labiaplasty reduce sexual sensitivity?
If tissue around the clitoris is reduced, it may improve access to the clitoris and sexual senstitivity. Keep in mind that surgical technique is critical for the tissues around the clitoral area to heal correctly. The American College of Gynecology states that in cases in which the procedure has not been performed correctly, the tissue around the clitoris appeared disfigured.
How should I choose a qualified surgeon?
Make sure to check their credentials, before and after photos, as well as how many times they have performed the procedure.
How many times have you performed the procedure?
Over the past 18 years, several hundred times. At least 1000 times.
How risky is this the labiaplasty procedure?
Well, whenever you’re going to have any type of surgery, of course you want to choose your doctor very carefully! In the hundreds of surgeries I’ve performed, I’ve never had any problems in my practice. Nation wide statistics report very low percentages of women who experience any complications with the procedure. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis– women can go home after their surgery.
How much does labiaplasty surgery cost?
A. Learn about financing options, discounts and cost of labiaplasty on our costs & financing page.
Dr Rajagopal, thank you so much for answering my questions today.
No problem, I’m happy to help. Women who have more questions about the procedure are welcome to schedule a free consultation with me.
Labiaplasty procedure before and after photos
This image gallery contains medical photos that some viewers may find disturbing.
Labiaplasty Surgery: San Francisco Plastic Surgery (Kron 4: Body Beautiful)
This patient is here for labia majora and minora reduction. This is labia majora that have been marked off for reduction. This is labia minora that will be reduced. If you will look at the labia minora, you can see that the length of the labia comes outside the majora. This is what bothers her – get in the way and [causes] discomfort with clothing. She has some mild asymmetry. If you will follow the labia minora, there is a clitoral hood and above the clitoral hood, here are labia – extension of the labia. It is little more full on her right side, but on the left side she doesn’t have that. So there is a little bit of asymmetry. So today with the reduction, we will reduce the labia minora – starting approximately here – making sure that we stay away from the clitoris that is in there. A good centimeter away, most of the pigmented area will be reduced coming all the way down. Similarly on this side, the reduction will go starting from here to all the way down. Her clitoral hood seems to be in good shape, so we are not going to reduce it. We are also going to go ahead and reduce this are. The labia majora, the final incisions are going to be here and this is the amount of reduction we are going to do on both sides.
I trimmed the labia minora laterally like I had initially recommended and now I am getting some hemostasis for electrocautery. We have completed the labia minora reduction and now we are actually going to start the labia majora reduction. That is going to be her final resting incision line.
How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost ?
The cost would be in between $3,200 and $5,500, If you have any questions regarding Labiaplasty or vaginal lip reduction or wish to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Rajagopal in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Laser Center at 415-392-3333.