American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

What to expect at every stage of your labiaplasty

labiaplasty what to expect

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that can improve both cosmetic and health concerns in your vaginal area by reshaping or resizing the vaginal lips or labia. Labiaplasty can help address the size, shape or symmetry of your labia. In addition, it can help reduce discomfort from wearing tight clothing as well as discomfort during exercise or intercourse.

As more and more women explore the possibility of labiaplasty, many questions arise. Things like "what you should expect?", "are you right for labiaplasty?" and "how long is the recovery?" are just a few questions that women ask themselves. Here we will answer many of these questions in order to help you feel more at ease when making your decision.

Is labiaplasty right for you?

Even if you are in excellent physical health and do not smoke, not every woman will be a good candidate for labiaplasty. As with any surgical procedure, being in good health is essential, as is not smoking as this can interfere with recovery. But what makes a good candidate for labiaplasty? If the size or shape of your labia affects your self-confidence or interferes in your daily activities, you may be an ideal candidate for labiaplasty.

What should you expect at your initial consultation?

During an initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will conduct a thorough exam and help determine if labiaplasty is the right option for you. You need to let the surgeon know how your current labia structure impacts your daily life and what you expect from surgery. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about your surgery.

How should you prepare for labiaplasty?

Once you decide that labiaplasty is right for you, you need to begin planning for your procedure and recovery. You should plan on taking at least a week off from work. In the time leading up to the procedure, make sure you are eating healthy, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep. Establishing healthy habits before your surgery can help support a quicker recovery.

The first few days after the procedure should be devoted to rest, so talk with family and friends about helping around the house, especially if you have young children. Stock up on groceries, prescriptions and any items you may need during recovery before the procedure.

What should you expect during the procedure?

Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to go home the same day. How long your procedure takes will depend on your specific treatment plan.

There are two main forms of labiaplasty. A labia majora reduction reduces the size and shape of the outer lips of your vagina. A labia minora reduction reduces the size and shape of the inner lips.

These reductions are either made using the trim technique or the wedge technique. During the trim technique, the plastic surgeon removes excess skin around the outer edge of the labia. During the wedge technique, a v-shaped "wedge" is cut out of the labia at the widest point then the edges are stitched together.

Complimentary procedures include a clitoral hood reduction, mons pubis liposuction and Viveve, which is a nonsurgical vaginal tightening treatment. You may decide to have one or more of these procedures done during your labiaplasty procedure.

A new type of labiaplasty procedure, known as the Trim-V, incorporates a traditional labia minora reduction with a clitoral hood reduction, to create a more seamless result.

What should you expect during your recovery?

After the procedure, your plastic surgeon may prescribe medications to help manage pain and discomfort. You should receive post-surgical instructions regarding incision care and it is essential to follow them.

Recovery varies from person to person, but most women are able to return to their normal routine within 1 to 2 weeks. You will, however, need to refrain from sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks after your procedure.

When will you see results?

Every woman heals differently, and your body will need time to rest and recover from the procedure. Most women begin to see their results take shape over the weeks and months after the procedure, as swelling reduces and scars diminish.

What are your next steps?

If you think labiaplasty is right for you and you're ready to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon for a consultation, be sure to use the ASPS Plastic Surgery Connect referral service to find an ASPS member surgeon in your area.

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.


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