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. Dr. Ballard routinely performs 2-5 labiaplasties every week, customizing each operation for every woman she treats.
“From the moment I called to schedule my consultation I was confident and comfortable with my choice to have Dr. Ballard to do my labiaplasty. Her staff was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions prior to the consultation which helped ease my mind with my choice. Everyone in this office is friendly and makes you feel welcome when you enter. As for Dr. Ballard, she was phenomenal, knowledgeable, caring and up to speed with her skills and practice. I would suggest her to anyone. I couldn’t have been happier with my results and the confidence I have gained since my surgery and it’s all thanks to Dr. Ballard and her staff.”
*30-year-old AAPS Patient
“Dr Ballard was truly amazing! I had labiaplasty done. I felt completely comfortable with her, being as I was dealing with an area of my body where I was so self- conscious. I am so pleased with my results and feel comfortable in my own skin. The nurse Shelly was so sweet and made me feel just as comfortable! Sara at the front desk was great! Dr. Ballard will be my go-to-girl should I need anything in the future. She is so knowledgeable and confident in what she does. Side note: I am a nurse and can be very critical of providers I see for my own health and that of my family. In all of my experiences as a patient, I’ve never felt more confident in a surgeon like I did Dr. Ballard.”
*41-year-old AAPS patient
Table of Contents
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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 benefits of having your labiaplasty performed in the office setting rather than the operating room
Why are the Labia Minora Enlarged?
Every woman’s labia minora 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 or have asymmetric labia may experience functional issues and/or have cosmetic concerns regarding their appearance.
Candidates for Labiaplasty and What to Expect During Your Consultation
Most women are accepted as candidates for labiaplasty if they are mentally and physically fit with a healthy BMI (BMI ≤30). Ideal patients have realistic expectations of surgical results and are committee to following post-operative directions to optimize their outcomes. Labiaplasty is intended to reduce the size of enlarged labia minora and improve symmetry; it does not alter or tighten the vaginal opening. Patients should refrain from any type of nicotine use for at least 2 weeks before and after their procedure to reduce the risk of wound healing complications and infection.
Prior to your consultation, a patient care coordinator will contact you to discuss the procedure and what to expect. This is a great time to ask questions and obtain basic information about labiaplasty at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery. Pricing and scheduling questions can also be addressed with your patient care coordinator prior to your consultation appointment.
During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Ballard and review your aesthetic preferences, surgery goals, and go over any concerns you may have. She will provide information about the procedure, including the risks and benefits of the surgery and what to expect post-operatively. An external examination will be performed by Dr. Ballard so she can determine the best surgical approach. No speculum examination is performed. After your exam, you will once again meet with the patient care coordinator to review your final surgical plan.
Note, at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, labiaplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore no insurance claims are submitted.
Labiaplasty and Clitoral Hood Reduction Procedures
Depending on a woman’s unique anatomy and goals, the particular surgical procedure to be utilized will be determined by the patient and Dr. Ballard during the consultation. The two most common approaches to labiaplasty include 1) an edge or trim excision, during which an incision is created along the length of the labia minora and the excess tissue is directly excised, or 2) 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.
A clitoral hood reduction may also be recommended to excise additional leaflets of tissue that may extend from the hood inferiorly toward the minora. A clitoral hood reduction is not intended to expose the clitoris, which could lead to hypersensitivity and discomfort. The purpose of a clitoral hood reduction is to maintain balance between the hood and minora once the minora are reduced and to address the excess the tissue that extends from the clitoral hood in some women.
Dr. Ballard will discuss the risks and benefits of each type of procedure and describe the expected scars and results. She will determine which labiaplasty technique (trim vs. wedge) she intends to perform as well as discuss whether you would benefit from a clitoral hood reduction after assessing your anatomy during your physical exam. While any surgery results in permanent scars, the scars along the labia minora and/or clitoral hood typically heal very well and become almost invisible.
Regardless of which procedure is chosen, Dr. Ballard 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.
Labiaplasty at the Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery Office
Dr. Ballard performs the majority of labiaplasties in the procedure room at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery with oral sedation and local anesthetic. Patients are awake during this procedure but significant care and preparation are undertaken to ensure a positive experience. Rarely, Dr. Ballard may recommend your labiaplasty be performed in the operating room if you were to need a significant procedure or are unable to tolerate medical procedures without intravenous sedation. Some women may also choose to forego relaxing medication and drive themselves to and from the procedure; this is handled on a case by case basis with Dr. Ballard.
Advantages of an in office labiaplasty include a lesser cost and the ability to go home immediately following the procedure 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! Having the procedure done in the office also ensures it is a very private, customized experience for each woman.
Recovery After Ann Arbor Labiaplasty
Pain and Swelling
The surgical site is a delicate area, and some pain and discomfort is to be expected following your labiaplasty procedure. On the first night, there is usually stinging and pulsing or throbbing in the vaginal area, which subsides over the first 24-48 hours after surgery.
Icing the area on and off around the clock for the first 3 days is crucial. Swelling typically peaks around day 4 or 5, and after that, patients begin to feel relatively good. Patients who are diligent with icing and resting as instructed experience less discomfort and recover more quickly than those who do not.
- For the first 72 hours, patients should remain at home and ice the area as much as possible. It is crucial to avoid too much activity during the first 3 days of recovery, with the exception of walking around your house a few times a day.
- Most patients can return to “in person” work at approximately 5-7 days, depending on the nature of their job and how physically demanding it is. Patients whose jobs require strenuous activity or heavy lifting may need longer to recover unless they can go back to work with activity restrictions.
- Patients must avoid any strenuous activities for a full 2 weeks’ post-procedure. This includes lifting >10 lbs, working out, and swimming. Activities like riding a bike, motorcycle, or horse may take longer given the area of impact while riding.
- Typically, patients are cleared to resume sexual intercourse and tampon use at 4 weeks post-operatively.
Detailed, tailored post-operative instructions and restrictions will be reviewed with you at your consultation.
- Full recovery and final results typically take approximately 8 weeks. You will have a post-operative visit with Dr. Ballard approximately 10-14 days following the procedure, and then again around 8 weeks to ensure you have healed as expected.
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.
Out of Town Patients
For patients who are traveling from out of town to have their labiaplasty by Dr. Ballard, we aim to streamline your consultation and procedure process as much as possible while continuing to provide a customized experience. Your patient care coordinator will guide you through this process, which often involves an initial phone consultation followed by a same day exam and procedure at a later date. You would need to be available to be seen in person for your first post-operative visit.
Ann Arbor Labiaplasty FAQs
Ideal candidates are women who have excess, bothersome labia minora tissue and are looking for a definitive solution for their concerns.
At Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, labiaplasty is considered a cosmetic surgical procedure and therefore no insurance claims are submitted.
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.
No. Dr. Ballard specializes in labiaplasty and clitoral hood reduction, which are procedures aimed to address redundant tissue of the labia minora and clitoral hood. She does not perform procedures involving the outer lips, or labia majora.
The majority of patients choose to undergo labiaplasty in the comfort of our procedure room at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery under local anesthetic. 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 scars tend to heal very well and should be nearly invisible in most cases.
There is a low risk for changes in sensation following labiaplasty, and this will be discussed with you 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, which is intended to excise redundant tissue along the clitoral hood. 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.
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 as part of your overall rejuvenation plan. Other popular procedures for women post-pregnancy include breast surgery, abdominoplasty, and liposuction.
Note that for most women, labiaplasty would be done as an entirely separate procedure in the office rather than at the same time as other major operations that occur in a surgery center, like a tummy tuck.
Many of our patients are curious about surgery costs so they can prepare and plan for their procedures. Costs may vary depending on your customized surgical plan, but our Cost Estimator 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.
You should contact Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery at 734-913-5100 to schedule a consultation and connect with a patient care coordinator.
Why Choose 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.
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Dr. Ballard understands 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.