Some women may be concerned about the appearance or function of their genitalia for various reasons. If you’re one of them, you may want to consult with Dr. Steven Carp concerning labiaplasty, a surgery performed at his Green and Beachwood, OH clinics for patients from Canton, Akron, Cleveland, or the surrounding areas.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that improves the appearance of a woman’s genital structure, such as the inner and outer lips, as well as the clitoris. The changes to the genitalia may be done to improve appearance, comfort, and sensitivity to stimulation. The most common reasons that women choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery is that the labia minora, the inner lips of the genitalia, are longer than the labia majora, the outer lips of the genitalia. Before surgery, women with longer labia minora often feel embarrassed about their genitalia and may even experience pain during sex, frequent yeast infections, and chafing.
For most women, labiaplasty only involves the labia minora, but Dr. Carp may recommend improvements to the labia majora and clitoris.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is appropriate for women who have naturally elongated or asymmetrical genitalia. Changes such as these may also occur as the result of aging and pregnancy, so the surgery gives women an excellent option for vaginal restoration. Labiaplasty is not intended to tighten the vagina, so Dr. Carp may recommend alternative treatments for that purpose.
In addition to improving the way your genitalia looks, you may benefit from labiaplasty if you experience:
- Painful or uncomfortable sex due to the size and shape of your labia
- Discomfort, tenderness, and soreness due to friction while walking or during intercourse
- Noticeable labia in swimsuits and other tight-fitting clothing
Due to the nature of the surgery, labiaplasty cannot be performed while you are menstruating. Dr. Carp will consider your monthly menstruation schedule when scheduling your surgical appointment.
Is a Labiaplasty Part of a Mommy Makeover?
Labiaplasty is quickly becoming a popular procedure for mommy makeovers, as the labia is changed significantly as the result of hormones and pregnancy. Dr. Carp tailors every mommy makeover to meet the unique and personal desires of each mother.
Can Labiaplasty Be Done Before Pregnancy?
Adult women of any age can undergo labiaplasty surgery. The changes made during the procedure do not interfere with or complicate pregnancy and childbirth.
What Are the Different Types of Labiaplasty?
We encourage you to speak candidly with Dr. Carp during your consultation for labiaplasty. You should explain what you like and dislike about the way your genitalia looks, as well as any problems you have during sex. He will recommend the labiaplasty procedures that are right for you.
Labia Minora Reduction
Reducing the size of the labia minora, or inner lips of the female genitalia, is the most desirable cosmetic procedure amongst women who are unhappy with their genitalia. The procedure makes the labia minora smaller than the labia majora, the outer lips of your genitalia. Dr. Carp uses a scalpel to carefully remove excess tissue to reduce the size of the labia minora. He will also ensure that both sides are symmetrical. The incisions are closed with sutures.
Labia Majora Reduction
Some women also feel uncomfortable with the size and shape of the labia majora, the outer lips of the genitalia. The soft tissue of the labia majora can cause embarrassing contours when you wear fitted pants and swimsuits, a female cosmetic problem often referred to as “camel toe.” Dr. Carp may remove excess tissue from the area during the same appointment as your labia minora surgery, or you may only need changes to the labia majora.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
For some women, sexual pleasure is limited due to extra tissue of the clitoris. The clitoris is covered by tissue known as a clitoral hood that protects the clitoris. When the clitoral hood has too much tissue, women may have difficulty being stimulated. Clitoral hood reduction is recommended for these women to remove excess tissue while providing adequate protection of the clitoris. The procedure may be performed as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with other genitalia corrections.
What Really Happens During a Labiaplasty?
General anesthesia is normally required for labiaplasty due to the sensitive nature of the genital area. Local anesthesia may also be used to control bleeding and reduce post-surgical swelling. Once you are comfortably sedated, Dr. Carp carefully marks the area to indicate where he will remove tissue. When he is ready to remove the tissue, Dr. Carp uses special surgical glasses that magnify the area so that he can delicately remove the tissue and skin. He begins with the labia, then moves on to the clitoral hood. The areas are closed with very fine sutures to reduce irritation and rubbing while you heal.
An antibiotic ointment is applied to protect against infection and promote healing. The area is also covered with a special padded bandage. The surgery generally takes less than two hours. You will spend some time in the recovery room so that we can monitor your progress, and you are released the same day as the surgery.
Is Liposuction Done Together with Labiaplasty?
For many women, Dr. Carp does recommend liposuction as part of a labiaplasty. Liposuction may be used to precisely contour the labia. He may also recommend removing unwanted fat from your buttocks and inner thighs. You can also have liposuction performed on other areas of your body during the same surgical appointment, such as the back, abdomen, and any other area that you would like to improve. Tummy tucks and mommy makeovers are also popular among women who undergo labiaplasty.
What Is the Recovery After Labiaplasty?
You will be numb for the remainder of the day after your surgery, so you should exercise caution to ensure that you do not pull on the stitches. Your genital area will be tender, and you may also have some minor discomfort and swelling. Non-prescription medication should help you feel comfortable, but Dr. Carp may prescribe medication if needed. The symptoms should only last about three days.
You should not shower for 24 hours after your labiaplasty. You will apply antibiotic ointment to your genital area and wear a special panty liner for up to two weeks. You should avoid using tampons for the first one or two months after the labiaplasty.
We recommend that you stay home from work for at least two days, and you should avoid strenuous activity for about two weeks. Full recovery can take three to four weeks, but you will need to avoid sexual activity for six weeks. While you recover, you may want to keep a small pillow with you to remain comfortable while you are sitting.
After approximately six to 12 months, you will see the full results of the surgery. You will not have any visible scars because Dr. Carp places the incisions in the natural folds of the genitals.
How Do I Know Whether Labiaplasty Is Right for Me?
During your personal consultation, Dr. Carp explains the benefits of a labiaplasty as well as the specifics of your surgery. Labiaplasty is a very personal experience for a woman, and Dr. Carp understands your decision to undergo the procedure is a difficult one. He manages your case with the utmost compassion and professionalism, so you feel comfortable every step of the way. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Carp has the skill and expertise you need to feel confident and excited about your labiaplasty.
How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost?
Labiaplasty is considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make labiaplasty affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
The decision to undergo labiaplasty is a personal one that should only be made after carefully weighing your options. Dr. Steven Carp can provide answers to your questions during a consultation at his Green and Beachwood, OH clinics, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center, which also serves patients in Canton, Cleveland and Akron. Contact us today!