Vaginal Rejuvenation (Labiaplasty)
Changes due to age and a variety of other factors are something that we notice quickly, as they affect our face and aspects of our outward appearance, but it’s easy to forget that they also impact parts of a woman’s anatomy that some women may be reluctant to talk about. With age comes changes in the elasticity and texture of our skin – all of it. Sagging or drooping areas of your face or reduced function due to excess skin are common topics of conversation, but it’s important to remember that if the visible areas of your body are changing, so are the less visible areas, including your genitals.
If you are experiencing increased laxity in the skin of your labial and vaginal areas, as well as in the muscles of your vagina, you’re not alone. In 2016, nearly 12,000 women underwent a vaginal rejuvenation procedure – a nearly 40 percent increase over the year before. At Umansky Medical Center for Plastic Surgery, we understand that talking about female sexual health can be a sensitive topic, but rest assured that we are here to address your concerns about not only the aesthetic appearance of your vagina, but the reduced function you may be experiencing.
What Is a Labiaplasty?
The term “vaginal rejuvenation” refers to a number of different procedures designed to address concerns around the female genitalia. The most common vaginal rejuvenation procedure is a labiaplasty, which is a treatment to reduce the length of either your labia minora, labia majora, or both.
The size and shape of the labia varies from woman to woman, and though it is incredibly elastic, there are two main factors that can cause your labia to start to get longer or sag – childbirth and age. Multiple births can fatigue the vaginal muscles, as can age, so that the labia no longer snaps back into the shape it once was. This can cause physical discomfort, or a decrease in intimacy due to embarrassment about the appearance of your vagina.
A labiaplasty will shorten the labia surgically, relieving any pain or discomfort, as well as restoring your confidence in the appearance of your vagina.
How is a Labiaplasty Procedure Performed?
There are a number of different ways to perform a labiaplasty, but the two most common include:
- Edge Resection (Trim Method) – This is the procedure used most often to reduce the length of the labia. It involves trimming the excess skin along the length of the labia, and stitching it up using small sutures. It is a relatively simple outpatient procedure with minimal risk of complications, and it provides excellent results.
- Wedge Method – This procedure addresses excess bulk in the labia minora. It involves the removal of a wedge-shaped piece of the labia minora, but doesn’t correct the outer appearance of the labia. This is also an outpatient procedure.
Labiaplasty typically takes up to two hours, and is performed using either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation.
Recovery and Healing from Labiaplasty
While recovery from a labiaplasty is not extensive, there are still restrictions. You may experience pain and swelling during the first week, which can be alleviated with ice and over-the-counter pain medications. Elevating the area can also help. Drs. William & Jeffrey Umansky may recommend taking a few days off of work, and will provide you with post-operative care instructions, which will include follow-up visits.
Most patients can resume their exercise program, as well as have sexual intercourse about four to six weeks following the surgery. Most of the swelling will have diminshed after six weeks, though it may take longer for all of the residual swelling to dissipate.
What are the Risks and Possible Complications?
Labiaplasty surgery doesn’t typically involve any more risks or complications than any other surgical procedure. Most symptoms are temporary, including swelling, light bleeding or bruising. Complications may include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during intercourse
- Loss of sensation
- Asymmetrical results
Keep in mind that these are not common occurrences, and at Umansky Medical Center for Plastic Surgery, you will be in the hands of a skilled, experienced, and board-certified plastic surgeon.
If you are experiencing pain, discomfort or embarrassment because of changes to your labia, a labiaplasty might be the solution for you. Call Umansky Medical Center for Plastic Surgery today at 858-281-4560 and schedule a consultation.