We wear nice clothes, we exercise, and we present our best selves to the world. When intimate, in our own private world, we endeavor to feel that same degree of confidence. A labiaplasty is a freeing and empowering procedure for many women, providing confidence, alleviating self-consciousness, and aiding in body positivity.
Each vagina is different, and therefore, each labiaplasty is different. Just like there is no “normal penis,” there’s a wide range of normal appearing vaginas. Some labia are long and narrow. Some labia have one side enlarged and one side short. Some labia are very rough and dark, while some are thin and smooth. Just like a fingerprint or a snowflake, no two labia are alike, even on the same person.
A Labiaplasty Reduces the Labia Minora
In simplest terms, a labiaplasty is a procedure for reduction of the inner labia, the labia minora. Of course, expert plastic surgery is never simple. There are an amazing number of nuances involved in making the labia minora reduced in the most aesthetic–and safest–way possible. Much like an upper eyelid surgery isn’t just removing eyelid skin, there are nerves, vessels, lymphatics and many other critical structures that are involved with performing expert labiaplasty surgery. Large labia minora can also be symptomatic, in that they can get in the way of activities, clothing, and sexual intercourse. A labiaplasty reduces the labia minora to alleviate these symptoms.
Before and after labiaplasty with hood reduction
The Clitoral Hood or Prepuce should also be reduced at the same time.
The clitoral hood, or prepuce, should always be addressed at the time of a labiaplasty. In fact, a labiaplasty is incomplete in most cases unless a clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy) is also performed. Naturally, sensation is completely preserved with hood reduction, because only the most superficial skin is removed, about the thickness of a skin graft.
If the clitoral hood is not reduced, the upper part of the vagina can stick out or be more prominent. Some women have described this to me as a “small penis“. Needless to say, that is not the goal. A labiaplasty should have a balanced look of the top, middle and bottom portions of the vulva (the outward appearing vagina). In the ideal, no single area of the vagina protrudes more than the other. In some cases, a perineoplasty is also performed at the time of a labiaplasty and hood reduction. The perineum is the space between the anus and vagina. In some women, this tissue can also be prominent and protrude. To get a balanced look tissue may also need to be removed from this area.