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. She is a top Michigan labiaplasty surgeon, bringing our patients world-class service right here in Ann Arbor, MI.
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 or tighten 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 any 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 the 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. Ballard at our Ann Arbor location to learn more.
Labiaplasty at the Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery Office
The majority of patients have the option to have their labiaplasty surgery performed in the clinic at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery with 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!
Recovery After Ann Arbor Labiaplasty
With appropriate rest and icing, the swelling and discomfort following labiaplasty can be minimized. Swelling typically peaks around day 4 or 5, and after that patients begin to feel relatively good. Full recovery and final results typically take 6-8 weeks. Patients can return to full physical activity and exercise in about 2-4 weeks. Patients can resume sexual activity and tampon use around 4 weeks if cleared by Dr. Ballard.
We’ll provide complete recovery instructions at the time of your surgery along with the supplies you’ll need to care for your incisions while you heal. You will have a post-operative visit with Dr. Ballard approximately 1 week following the procedure, and then again around 6-8 weeks.
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.
Ann Arbor Labiaplasty FAQs
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.
Labiaplasty is a popular procedure after pregnancy and childbirth. It can restore the appearance of the labia and increase comfort significantly for many women. If you’re having a mommy makeover, you may want to include labiaplasty. Other popular procedures for women post-pregnancy include breast surgery, abdominoplasty, and liposuction. We’ll work with you to create a customized plan that targets your areas of concern.
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.
Ideally patients are seen for a separate consultation prior to the day of surgery. This ensures patients are appropriate candidates for the procedure and gives them time to prepare for their surgery and have their questions answered. 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.
Many of our patients are curious about surgery costs so they can prepare and plan for their procedures. Costs can vary significantly, but our Cost Estimator tool is a helpful tool to get a basic idea of what to expect. You’ll receive a detailed estimate of your costs during your consultation as well as information about our financing and payment options.
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.
Dr. Ballard at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery
As one of the only female Board Certified cosmetic plastic surgeons in the Ann Arbor area and an experienced labiaplasty surgeon in Michigan, 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. Not only is labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction one of the most common procedures she performs, but she has chosen to specialize in this procedure. Further, 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.
Ready to get started? Request a consultation online, or call our Ann Arbor office at (734) 913-5100 to schedule your appointment.