Labiaplasty in Ann Arbor
Labial hypertrophy, or redundant skin of the labia minora, is a condition where the inner skin folds (labia minora) of the vulva are longer than the outer folds (labia majora). This can be problematic for both functional and cosmetic reasons. The redundant tissue may cause pain during tampon or menstrual cup use, sexual intercourse, or workouts. Physical activity can lead to skin irritation and chafing, regardless of a woman’s undergarments or clothing. Even when the labia do not cause functional issues, some women have cosmetic concerns and choose to pursue surgery to alter the appearance of their labia minora. During a labiaplasty surgery, the labia minora are surgically trimmed of excess tissue to reduce the size of the labia, improve symmetry, and reduce physical discomfort.
Dr. Ballard at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery specializes in labiaplasty surgery, with the goal of creating a natural looking and balanced vulva and vagina, with no labia minora tissue protruding beyond the outer labia.
Labiaplasty: Insider Tips from the Surgeons at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery
- Discuss your particular concerns and goals for your procedure with your surgeon to ensure your expectations are met
- Ask your surgeon about suturing techniques and postoperative care
- Explore the option to perform labiaplasty in the office rather than the operating room.
Why are the Labia Minora Enlarged?
Every woman’s labia have a unique appearance. Women may have large, irregularly-shaped, or asymmetric labia minora for a number of reasons. Some are born with extra skin of the labia minora, while others experience enlargement at the time of puberty as the inner labia grow to adult size. In addition, changes may occur during childbirth and menopause to the labia minora and female genitalia. Women whose inner labia protrude beyond the outer labia may experience functional issues and/or have cosmetic concerns regarding their appearance.
Candidates for Labiaplasty
Most women are accepted as candidates for labiaplasty if they are mentally and physically fit with realistic expectations of surgical results. Labiaplasty is intended to reduce the size of enlarged labia minora; it does not alter the vaginal opening. During the first office visit, an external examination is performed so that the surgeon and patient can determine the best surgical approach. No speculum examination is performed. Patients have the opportunity to explain their aesthetic preferences, ask any questions, and go over concerns they may have. The surgeon will provide information on the procedure, including benefits and risks of the surgery.
The Labiaplasty Procedure
The two most common approaches to labiaplasty include an edge trim, during which an incision is created along the length of the labia minora and the excess tissue is directly excised, or a wedge resection, which involves removing a central wedge of the labia minora in a V-shaped pattern, preserving the natural border of the inner labia.
Depending on a woman’s unique anatomy and goals, the particular surgical procedure to be utilized will be determined by the patient and her surgeon during your consultation. Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of each type of procedure and describe the expected scars and results. He or she will also discuss whether any treatment is indicated for the clitoral hood. Regardless of which procedure is chosen, your surgeon will employ delicate techniques to carefully reduce and reshape the inner labia to create a thin contour with minimal scarring and to preserve sensation throughout.
Schedule A Consultation
Our Michigan plastic surgery specialists understand that the difference is in the details when it comes to achieving your desired results. Visit Dr. Malhotra and Dr. Ballard at our Ann Arbor or Jackson locations to learn more.
Labiaplasty at the Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery Office
Select patients have the option to have their labiaplasty surgery performed in the clinic at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery under oral sedation and local anesthetic. Whether or not you are a candidate to have the surgery in the office will depend on the extent of resection that needs to be performed and your tolerance of medical procedures without intravenous sedation. Advantages of in office labiaplasty include a lesser cost and the ability to go home immediately following the procedure with a driver without the need to recover from anesthesia. We aim to make the experience as comfortable as possible, and patients can even watch TV during the procedure!
Post-Operative Care Package
Our goal at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery is to provide exceptional care for our labiaplasty patients, including making their post-operative experience as straightforward and convenient as possible. Therefore, we provide a post-operative care package to all labiaplasty patients that includes everything they will need at home to take care of their surgical site, including ice packs, pads, and ointment.
At Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, labiaplasty is considered a cosmetic surgical procedure and therefore no insurance claims are submitted.
The surgical site is a delicate area, and some pain and discomfort post-operatively is to be expected. On the first night, there is usually stinging and pulsing or throbbing in the vaginal area, which subsides over the first 48 hours after surgery. Icing the area on and off around the clock is crucial to keep swelling and discomfort to a minimum.
For the first 48-72 hours, you should plan to remain at home and ice the area (30 minutes on, 30 minutes off) as much as possible. While you should walk around your house a few times each day, you should rest and avoid any strenuous activities or chores. Most patients can return to work at 5-7 days. Typically, patients are cleared to resume sexual intercourse and tampon use at 6 weeks post-operatively. Detailed postoperative instructions and restrictions will be reviewed with you at your consultation.
Clitoral hood reduction may be performed during a labiaplasty if a redundant clitoral hood is present. Your surgeon will discuss whether you would benefit from the addition of this procedure and the expected results at your consultation following your physical examination.
During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Ballard and review your concerns and surgery goals. She will discuss the procedure, risks and benefits, and recovery. She will perform an external examination and then solidify the surgical plan. After that, you will meet with a patient care coordinator.
Typically, a patient care coordinator will discuss the procedure and what to expect prior to your actual consultation. On the day of the consultation, you should bring any questions you may have.
We will provide specific pre-procedure instructions for you. You will need to arrange a driver, plan to be at the office for a few hours, and then return home to rest and ice.
Ideal candidates are women who have excess, bothersome labia minora tissue and are looking for a definitive solution for their concerns.
Patients should plan to ice and rest for 3 days following the procedure and refrain from any strenuous activities for 2 weeks. Patients who are diligent with their recovery and icing experience less discomfort and recover more quickly than those who do not.
Most patients can return to work at 7-10 days after labiaplasty. Patients whose jobs require strenuous activity or heavy lifting may need 2-3 weeks to recover unless they can go back to work with activity restrictions.
Any surgery will result in permanent scars. However, fortunately, the scars along the labia minora typically heal very well and become almost invisible.
Labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation involve different procedures. Labiaplasty typically refers to labia minora procedures that reduce excess tissue. Vaginal rejuvenation usually involves vaginal tightening or pelvic floor work. At Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, we focus on labiaplasty and do not perform vaginal tightening.
The majority of patients choose to undergo labiaplasty in the comfort of our procedure room at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery and take a combination of an oral anti-anxiety medication, a pain medication, and Benadryl prior to their procedure. The area is numbed with topical numbing cream. Once this takes effect, then Dr. Ballard will inject local anesthetic along the surgical site. Most patients tolerate this very well. A small number of patients prefer IV sedation in the operating room.
Your partner may be able to tell that there is less excess labia minora tissue that is visible. Sexual function should not be altered or compromised.
There is a low risk for changes in sensation following labiaplasty, and this will be discussed with your during your consultation. Dr. Ballard has significant experience performing this procedure and knows the relevant anatomy to prevent this from happening, but the risk can never be zero.
Labiaplasty alone only addresses the labia minora. Not every patient needs a clitoral hood reduction or the skin at the superior aspect altered. Dr. Ballard will discuss whether this is indicated during your physical examination. The end goal is to create a balanced clitoral hood and labia minora that looks natural.
Most patients can resume working out 2-3 weeks after labiaplasty.
Generally, patients are seen for a separate consultation before the day of surgery. In select circumstances, patients will send their photos for review and have a phone consultation with Dr. Ballard, then plan to have a second in-person consultation and exam the same day of the procedure.
You should contact Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery at 734-913-5100 to schedule a consultation and connect with a patient care coordinator.
Dr. Ballard is an exceptionally well-trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Not only is labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction one of the most common procedures she performs, she has chosen to specialize in this procedure. Furthermore, as a female surgeon, she has a unique understanding of her patients’ concerns and makes her patients feel extremely comfortable and confident in their choice to undergo the procedure.
Labiaplasty Patient Reviews
Dr. Ballard at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery
As one of the only female cosmetic plastic surgeons in the Ann Arbor area, Dr. Ballard is pleased to offer the women of southeast Michigan and beyond labiaplasty surgery to help restore their confidence and improve both their appearance and function.