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Statistics on labiaplasty have been collected since 2015 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The 2016 ASPS statistics report showed that labiaplasty is more popular than ever, with over 12,000 procedures performed by ASPS members last year (a 39% increase).
Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure sought for cosmetic and functional reasons. A labiaplasty usually trims excess labia minora tissue that can be troublesome for women. While having long or multiple folds of labia minora is normal and natural, some women can feel self-conscious about their labia peeking out through thong underwear or a bathing suit. Women may feel physical discomfort when wearing yoga pants, during sexual intercourse or sitting on a bicycle seat. Removal of excess labia tissue allows the inner lips of the vagina (known as the "labia minora") to sit tucked up neatly within the outer lips (the "labia majora").
Although this part of the female body is indeed sensitive and delicate, labiaplasty recovery is actually fairly straightforward. Pain medication is usually required for a few days. A week off work is recommended to allow for quiet healing at home. Loose, comfortable pants are suggested, and an absorbent mini-pad can be worn to absorb minor spotting for a few days. Sanitary napkins/mini-pads are recommended instead of tampons for the first menstrual cycle after surgery. Bruising and swelling resolves over days to weeks, and a return to most physical activities can occur before a month passes.
Not usually! Some patients interested in labiaplasty are young women in their early teens who have physical discomfort during sports. Labia tissue can get stuck to their legs when running and cause pain or tearing. Other women wish to feel more comfortable in a bathing suit or yoga pants with the current "athleisure" clothing trend. They are not looking for a "perfect vagina". In contrast, they just want to feel more comfortable in intimate situations, in the locker room of their health club and in form-fitting lower body garments.
No. Labiaplasty results persist over time. Surgery does not need to be redone with age, time, gravity, child-bearing, vaginal or C-section deliveries, or menopause. Surgery will not change a woman's ability to become sexually aroused or achieve orgasm. The quality of the scars is very forgiving due to the quality of labia tissue, known as "mucosa". Labiaplasty results are natural, and women benefit from increased comfort in addition to an improved aesthetic appearance after surgery. This is one reason why women are so happy with their results, and the popularity of labiaplasty is increasing.
To learn more about labiaplasty, be sure to visit a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is also an ASPS member. #DoYourHomework!
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.