Do you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about your most intimate area, due to unusually shaped labia? Perhaps you suffer pain and discomfort due to elongated labia that rub against tight-fitting clothing or certain types of exercise machines. Whether elongated or oddly shaped labia are causing you physical or emotional discomfort, Chicago cosmetic surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat can help. The female plastic surgeon performs labiaplasty to reduce the size of overly enlarged labia or provide a sense of symmetry to unusually shaped labia, to help restore her patients’ sense of femininity and self-confidence.
Appropriate Labiaplasty Candidates
To establish candidacy for labiaplasty, it is best to visit Dr. Mussat for a consultation. That way, she can listen to your aesthetic and physical concerns and examine the treatment area before recommending a treatment protocol that will satisfy your anatomical needs and help you reach your goals for the procedure. Nonetheless, appropriate labiaplasty candidates generally include women who:
- Feel self-conscious about excessively large, elongated or unusually shaped labia
- Perhaps suffer physical discomfort or pain when wearing tight-fitting clothing or performing certain activities, such as riding a bicycle
- Are in good overall health
- Understand both the possible risks and rewards of surgery, and feel the advantages outweigh the potential drawbacks
- Are pursuing labiaplasty of their own volition
About the Labiaplasty Procedure
Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, performed under general anesthesia. The duration of surgery is about an hour, depending on the extent of the patient’s surgical needs.
To perform labiaplasty, Dr. Mussat excises the excess labial tissue. There are two main techniques used to accomplish this: the trim and wedge methods. With the trim method, Dr. Mussat simply excises excess labial skin from the outer edge and closes the incision with sutures. The main benefit of this method is that the labia may appear more pink after surgery, as the often-darker outer edge of each labium is removed, which is the preferred aesthetic outcome for some patients. However, there may be a greater chance of decrease or loss of labia sensitivity with this technique.
With the wedge method, the plastic surgeon removes a v-shaped wedge from the labia, preserving the outer edges of the labia. She then uses sutures to bring the edges of the resulting open space together and hold them in place. This technique helps preserve the natural shape of the outer edges of the labia. Nevertheless, there may be an increased chance of wound separation during the recovery period.
Again, during consultation, Dr. Mussat will help you decide which method is appropriate to satisfy your unique anatomical needs and aesthetic goals.
When Revision Labiaplasty Is Needed
The goal of primary labiaplasty is to remove excess labia tissue and provide a symmetrical look throughout the treatment area. Sometimes, surgeons who are less experienced than Dr. Mussat can provide undesirable results. In some cases the labia are not symmetrical after surgery. In others, not enough labia tissue is removed. And some patients may experience surgical complications, such as infection.
Whatever reason for having revision labiaplasty may be, Dr. Mussat can perform the secondary procedure to improve undesirable results from a previous labiaplasty procedure. However, patients who are considering revision labiaplasty should wait until any residual swelling from the primary procedure has resolved, to get a true idea of the final outcome of the first surgery.
The Labiaplasty Recovery Period
Recovering from labiaplasty is relatively quick. The initial recovery phase takes about four or five days, during which time patients will need to use a feminine pad to protect against any fluid present. Patients should also wear loose-fitting clothing to protect the treatment area, including the incision.
After surgery, women may experience minor discomfort, but there should not be any severe pain. Usually, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or mild prescription pain reliever helps alleviate any discomfort. In addition, applying an ice pack to the treatment area may also help relieve discomfort and reduce swelling.
Patients should abstain from vigorous activity, including exercise, for about four weeks and should refrain from sexual activity for about four to six weeks.
Although some of the aesthetic benefits of the procedure will be visible as the initial swelling subsides (in about a week after surgery), the final results are not visible for about six weeks, as this is how long it takes for the tissues to heal completely and for any residual swelling to subside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is labiaplasty painful?
No, labiaplasty should not be excessively painful. The procedure itself is performed under general anesthesia, so you will not feel anything during surgery. The recovery period is also relatively easy, and patients should only experience minor discomfort that can be relieved with mild pain medication.
How long do I have to abstain from sex following labiaplasty surgery?
Again, Dr. Mussat suggests waiting four to six weeks after surgery before having sex or engaging in sexual activity. During one your postoperative follow-up appointments, Dr. Mussat will let you know when it is safe to resume your normal activities, including exercise and sexual intercourse.
Can I use tampons after labiaplasty?
You should wait about four to six weeks after labiaplasty before resuming tampon use. During one of the postsurgical follow-up appointments, Dr. Mussat will tell patients when it is safe to use tampons again.
Are there other vaginal rejuvenation procedures that might complement my labiaplasty procedure?
Some women pursue clitoral hoodectomy or clitoral hood reduction to remove or reduce the amount of tissue covering the clitoris, as a means of increasing clitoral sensation.
Others might pursue vaginoplasty to tighten the vaginal tissues after childbirth.
If you are interested in learning more about either procedure, please discuss this with Dr. Mussat during consultation.
Embrace Your Femininity
Women should never have to feel embarrassed or suffer physical discomfort due to unusually shaped or enlarged labia. With labiaplasty, female plastic surgeon Dr. Mussat can shape your labia and provide a symmetrical look to reduce your discomfort — and allow you to embrace your femininity.
To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Mussat and learn more about the aesthetic and physical benefits of labiaplasty, contact her office by calling (312) 751-9000 today.