What is labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure used to reshape and reduce the size of the labia minora, which are the inner ‘lips’ of the vulva. It is sometimes referred to as vagina rejuvenation, and is the most common form of female genital cosmetic surgery.
People who opt for labiaplasty surgery usually do so because they dislike the appearance of their labia, which can affect their self-esteem. Other reasons include experiencing pain or discomfort during sex or certain physical activities, such as cycling.
How is a labiaplasty performed?
Depending on the goals of your surgery, a labiaplasty can either be done with local or general anesthetic. Even if you receive local anesthetic, you will still be sedated and won’t feel anything while the procedure is happening.
During the labiaplasty, a surgeon will remove part of the labia, or vaginal lips, using a scalpel or laser. They will then stitch the wound using very small, dissolvable stitches.
The procedure usually lasts 1–2 hours and you will likely be able to go home on the same day. If you have received general anesthetic, it is very important for a loved one to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
Types of labiaplasty
Depending on the shape of the labia and the goal of the surgery, the doctor will either use one of the following techniques:
- Trim technique: where they will remove excess skin along the outer edge of the labia
- Wedge technique: where they will remove a V-shaped wedge at the widest point of the labia before delicately stitching the edges together
Do I need a labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty can help you feel more comfortable if you are bothered by the appearance of your labia or vulva. Many people who get a labiaplasty have been thinking about the procedure for several years before they make the decision to contact a clinic.
A labiaplasty surgery can ensure that the labia minora do not hang below the labia majora (the larger, outer ‘lips’) or tug or fall out of tight underwear or bathing suits. It can also correct asymmetry if one side is longer than the other.
It is important to consider whether cosmetic surgery is right for you. For many people it is normal to have large, uneven, or noticeable labia, but some people opt for surgery as a quick fix to increase their confidence and wellbeing.
Labiaplasty is not usually performed on anyone under the age of 18 since the labia continues to grow into adulthood.
Is labiaplasty painful?
You will receive general or local anesthetic for the procedure, so you won’t feel any pain. You may have some discomfort during the recovery period, but this is usually minor and can be treated with prescription or over-the-counter painkillers.
You may also have some swelling, bruising and soreness in the initial weeks after the surgery, which can make urinating or sitting down uncomfortable. A ‘donut pillow’ can help you sit comfortably during your recovery.
Avoid wearing tight clothes or applying pressure to the area (such as by sitting on a bicycle) until the area has fully healed.
A labiaplasty costs anywhere between £2,000 and £4,000 in the UK, not including costs of consultations, complications or follow-up appointments. The cost of your individual labiaplasty will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as your goal and overall health.
The consultant will discuss the overall cost with you during your consultation to ensure you have all the right information to make your decision.
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure, so is not usually available on the NHS. However, if you are considering treatment but you are unsure about the most suitable payment option, then you might be interested in our payment plans that are available to cover your treatment. Get in touch to find out more.