Labiaplasty is a procedure that aims to reduce the size of, or modify the appearance of, the labia minora (inner lips) and, less commonly, the labia majora (outer lips). It is one of the fastest growing surgical procedures in the U.S – rising sharply from 2,124 performed in 2011 to more than 11,000 performed in 2019 according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Its popularity has grown lockstep as brazilian waxes and laser hair removal moved into the mainstream and many women (as a result) caught unobstructed views of our genitalia for the first time.
For the record, no two labias are the same and there is a lot of “normal” variance from woman to woman. Some labias are longer, some are shorter, some are fuller, some are symmetrical, others are not. Furthermore, hormonal changes and childbirth can change the size and shape of our labias over time. Our differences are beautiful and should be revered. Take a peek at Laura Dodsworth’s portraits of vulvas belonging to 100 women and gender non-confirming people for an empowering display of these differences.
That being said, many women opt to get labiaplasties for a variety of medical, comfort and aesthetic reasons. Some patients experience twisting, tugging, chafing or pain during walking, running, biking or sex. This can result in painful tears in the vulvar skin. Other patients simply feel self-conscious when wearing bathing suits and tight clothing, or during intimacy with a partner.
According to multiple studies, over 90 percent of patients are satisfied after labiaplasty procedures. Most patients who experienced symptoms from twisting and tugging of their labia generally find relief after surgery. While labiaplasties are performed by plastic surgeons and gynecologists, if you are considering the procedure, your first stop should be your gynecologist. Your gynecologist will be better-suited to talk to you about whether or not your labia is “normal” and discuss all of your options to improve everyday comfort, sexual pleasure, hygiene and self-esteem.
One alternative to traditional labiaplasty is the Aviva from InMode, a new technology available at HERmd. The Aviva is minimally invasive and non-excisional. This innovative procedure can be done under local anesthesia, in an office setting, in less than 40 minutes, and without excising or cutting excess skin. The Aviva achieves the same functional and aesthetic results of a traditional labiaplasty while offering meaningful benefits: reduced downtime, scarring, risks associated with surgical incisions and long-term complications. If you are interested in learning more about the Aviva procedure, please call our office at 513-404-4166, or complete a online request form, to schedule a consultation.
|Traditional Labiaplasty||Aviva by InMode|
|Description||Surgical procedure to trim or remove excess tissue from the labia.
Incisions are sutured, often with dissolvable stitches that disappear after 3-4 weeks.
Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used, depending on the treatment plan discussed with your surgeon.
|Uses a combination of directional radiofrequency and microneedling to remodel the labia minora and majora, as well as the vulva
The procedure is non-excisional and is performed under local anesthesia.
|Procedure Time||Procedure: can be performed within an hour
Post-Procedure: 45 minutes, if general anesthesia is used
|Procedure: 40 minutes
|Cost||$3,000 – $8,000 for the procedure alone (on average $7,500 all-in after factoring in fees for anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses)||$4,950 all-in|
|Recovery Time||Most patients take 3-7 days off work due to post-procedure swelling and pain.
Patients can resume wearing tampons, physical activity or having intercourse after 4-6 weeks.
While the most distorting swelling is gone by 6 weeks, residual swelling may take six months to disappear.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
|Requires only 1 day off work on the day of the procedure.
Minimal swelling and discomfort for a few days after the procedure.
Patients can resume wearing tampons, physical activity or having intercourse after 2 weeks.
No antibiotics are needed.
|Side Effects / Risks||Risks associated with labiaplasty include those of most surgical procedures, including:
Swelling / Redness
The most common complication is over-resection, which can result in:
Pain with intercourse
Increased vaginal infections
Vulvar nerve injury
|Risks associated with Aviva are rare and expected to be transient, but may include:
Mild redness and / or swelling
Change to natural skin texture
Change of pigmentation
Reduced risk of vulvar nerve injury