In cosmetics, we often think of natural aging as a process that affects the face and other highly visible parts of the body. However, growing older and moving through various stages of life can impact the function and appearance of more intimate areas as well. For women, the aesthetics and comfort of the vagina and labia are a common concern, particularly among women who have had children. The labia are prone to stretching and sagging — the labia minora or “inner lips” may extend significantly past the labia majora or “outer lips.” This can cause women to feel embarrassed about or unhappy with the appearance of their vulva, and can also cause discomfort during daily life or intimacy.

Labiaplasty is by far one of the most efficient methods for improving the health and appearance of the vulva. This surgical option trims away excess skin on the labia minora, tucking the remaining tissue back within the labia majora to improve appearance and comfort. It is a delicate and detail-oriented procedure that is best performed by an expert, board-certified plastic surgeon. In the Jacksonville, Florida area, Drs. Mark and Loren Clayman offer labiaplasty surgeries with exceptional results that can improve the quality of patients’ lives. Learn more about labiaplasty at Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa below, or call us to schedule your consultation at 904-388-6110.

Should You Consider Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty can be a difficult topic to discuss or think about. Women are often told to feel empowered by their femininity and to love their body the way it is. As the core of the biologically female physique, the vagina is one of the areas that many women feel very conflicted about changing cosmetically. They may know that they are unhappy with the appearance of their labia, but they may also be confused about why they want to change it. They may question whether it is really necessary to alter a part of the body that is so private.

The truth is that every vagina and vulva is unique. There is no normal or standard way that the labia should look. Unfortunately, though, the few beauty standards that relate to the vagina often picture the labia as petite and “closed,” with the labia minora entirely hidden within the labia majora. This causes many women to feel as though their vulva looks abnormal or unsightly, when in reality their labia are perfectly functional and beautiful the way they are. As a result, not every woman whose inner labia extend beyond the outer labia will be a candidate for labiaplasty.

That being said, many women will benefit from labiaplasty to improve their self-esteem and their ability to feel comfortable in their body. In these cases, the labia are often positioned in a way that causes chafing: the inner lips extend beyond the outer lips and rub against one another or against clothing. Simple tasks like putting on tightly fitting pants or riding a bicycle can be painful, as can more intimate occasions like sex or the insertion of a tampon.

It’s these physical conditions and the resulting psychological distress that will make labiaplasty a good choice. When you are unable to wear certain clothing, participate in your favorite activities or feel comfortable during intercourse due to your vulva, you should not feel like a labiaplasty is an unnecessary or purely cosmetic procedure. There is no reason to continue feeling self-conscious about your body and limiting your lifestyle as a result.

Is Labiaplasty Right for You?

Labiaplasty is most commonly pursued by women whose labia minora have become stretched or torn due to aging, pregnancy or other trauma. They may have felt comfortable about their vulva in their earlier years, but are now experiencing embarrassment or pain as a result of the changes in their body. Other women may pursue labiaplasty if their natural labia are causing similar issues. Genetics may be a factor in this, with some women simply having more skin around their vulva than others even at a younger age or before having children.

We welcome you to schedule a consultation at our comfortable, private offices in Jacksonville. The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for labiaplasty is to meet with Dr. Clayman for a physical examination and a discussion of your concerns. While we may find that labiaplasty is not right for you at this time, we will never make you feel uncomfortable about your body or your decision to pursue cosmetic surgery. Please contact us at {BUSINESS_NUMBER} with questions or to schedule your appointment.

What to Expect from a Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is accomplished using surgical incisions that remove stretched, loose or excess skin to make the inner labia smaller. The technique will vary depending on the extent of the skin laxity you exhibit and on your aesthetic priorities. There are two main approaches to labiaplasty, called the trim technique and the wedge technique.

Trim Labiaplasty

The traditional labiaplasty approach is known as the trim technique. In this type of labiaplasty, the surgeon trims away the outer edge of the labia minora that is extending past the labia majora. The edges are then closed with sutures. It is a simple and straightforward approach to labiaplasty that works for patients with a broad range of concerns. It may also be more widely available as more plastic surgeons have been well-trained in this technique.

The trim technique often offers a more completely tucked-away result, with the labia minora hidden entirely within the labia majora. It also tends to have fewer complications as there is less tension on the sutures, and no incisions are made near the vaginal opening. However, it does remove the textured outer edge of the labia, which some patients feel leaves a less natural look.

Wedge Labiaplasty

The wedge technique is a more recently developed approach to labiaplasty. It removes a triangular “wedge” segment from the widest part of the labia minora, with the point of the triangle against the root of the labia and the base of the triangle at the outer edge of the labia. When the sides of the triangle are sutured together, the remaining skin creates a smaller, tighter “lip.”

While this technique does leave the outer edge of the labia intact for a more natural texture and appearance, it is a more involved procedure that requires an expert hand. It may also leave some parts of the labia minora extended beyond the labia majora due to the natural texture of the labia’s edge. Additionally, it tends to have a longer or more uncomfortable recovery due to the proximity of the incisions to the vagina and the tension on the sutures.

Dr. Clayman is trained to perform both types of labiaplasty, and will thoroughly discuss the risks and benefits of both procedures with you during your consultation. He will recommend the approach that will better suit your needs, and will then create a custom surgical plan based on your physique, concerns, priorities and safety. No matter which type of labiaplasty is right for you, you can feel confident that your results will accomplish your aesthetic goals and help you feel beautiful and comfortable again.

Labiaplasty procedures at Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa are performed under IV sedation. All incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures to reduce any need for suture removal during your recovery. The surgery can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of your case and your particular surgical plan. Labiaplasty may also be performed at the same time as other cosmetic procedures, particularly when included in a Mommy Makeover for women seeking full-body rejuvenation after childbirth. Your surgical plan, time and recovery will vary if you choose a combination of labiaplasty and other procedures.

After a Labiaplasty

Dr. Clayman will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions that include how to care for the treatment area as it heals. Due to the delicate nature of the labia and the surrounding tissues, it is essential that you follow your aftercare instructions as closely as possible to avoid discomfort, complications or problems with your results. You will also have a few follow-up appointments with Dr. Clayman so he can evaluate the progress of your recovery and advise you on when you may resume daily activities as well as more strenuous activities like exercise or sex.

Most patients can return to work, including sedentary jobs, within 10 to 14 days. But typically, the full recovery from labiaplasty takes approximately eight weeks. We recommend avoiding strenuous exercise for the first four weeks post-op, and avoiding vaginal sexual activity or inserting tampons for six to eight weeks. You may experience swelling, redness, pain (manageable with pain medications we provide), vaginal discharge or changes in labia sensation that will gradually diminish over time. We will be available at any point during your recovery should you have concerns, and we encourage you to reach out no matter how small you think your questions may be.

Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center and Miracle Spa is pleased to offer labiaplasty and other cosmetic services in the Jacksonville area. We are ready to welcome you to our practice and help you find out more about your options for getting back your confidence and comfort in your body. To learn more about labiaplasty and to find out whether the procedure is right for you, contact us at 904-388-6110. Our helpful staff can answer your initial questions and schedule a consultation at your convenience.