Labiaplasty Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have large, protruding or asymmetrical labia minora? The labia minora are the folds of skin or “inner lips” surrounding the opening to the vagina.
Do you have discomfort or feel embarrassed during sexual intercourse because of large vaginal lips?
Do the protruding vaginal lips or labia cause discomfort with daily activities or exercise? Do they create a bulge in tight clothing or swimwear?
Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your labia due to length, pigmentation, size, or asymmetry?
Do your labia interfere with activities like intercourse, cycling, horseback riding or tampon placement?
Do the clothes you want to wear make you uncomfortable, or do you find yourself constantly needing to “re-adjust” your labia?
Do you notice a bulge or “camel toe” in certain clothes such as bathing suits or jeans?
Do your labia interfere with urine flow, make satisfactory hygiene difficult or sometimes cause a foul odor?
Then the labiaplasty with Dr Erhard is your answer. It is a simple procedure, performed under local anesthesia, that will reduce the size of the labia and make them more symmetric. Labiaplasty can reduce and reshape your labia minora or majora (the inner and outter vaginal lips) to your liking.
What is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is an out-patient procedure performed to sculpt the skin surrounding the vaginal opening called the labia. When elongated, the labia minora (inner labia) may interfere with exercise or intercourse and limits clothing options due to the appearance of a bulge or discomfort. Most patients who undergo labiaplasty do not want the labia minora to protrude beyond the labia majora (outer labia).
Is labiaplasty right for me?
If you are unhappy or uncomfortable with the shape and/or size of your vaginal lips or labia minora or majora, then labiaplasty is the perfect procedure for you. Most women have enlarged or asymmetric labia minora from birth. Others may have developed enlarged labia after pregnancy or as they age. The enlarged labia can make daily activities and exercise uncomfortable, interfere with or make you embarrassed during sexual intercourse, or create a bulge in tight clothing. Labiaplasty can reduce the labia so that they do not protrude and are more symmetric. The results are very satisfying to our patients.
You are a candidate for labiaplasty if you feel you have
Protruding or asymmetrical labia minora or majora
Thickened labia minora or majora
Labia or vaginal lips that you would like reshaped
What symptoms are typical among women who elect to have labiaplasty?
Common complaints include labial pain and irritation from rubbing against clothing (especially jeans and workout clothes), as well as interference with activities including intercourse, tampon placement, urination, cycling or horseback riding and the appearance of a bulge when wearing certain clothes. For some women elongated or asymmetrical labia may cause embarrassment or interfere with a sexual relationship. A significant percentage of our patients simply do not like the appearance of their labia and request subtle sculpting.
How is labiaplasty surgery performed? Are there any risks?
During our initial consultation, Dr. Erhard will take a complete medical history and examine the areas of concern. She will evaluate the labia to assess the degree and type of enlargement and check for asymmetry. Dr. Erhard will discuss your options with you to determine what changes you would like. Then, we will design the labiaplasty procedure that will give you the result that you are looking for.
The labiaplasty procedure is performed in slightly different ways depending on the exact anatomy of the labia. In all cases, the procedure is very low risk with a quick recovery.
How long does labiaplasty take?
Individual procedures typically take between 1 and 2 hours. Combination procedures take longer depending on the surgeries requested by the patient.
Will it cost less if I have only one labia that is enlarged?
While many women have asymmetric labia minora, in order to get the best symmetry, it is usually a good idea to perform labiaplasty on both sides. This allows both sides to go through the same healing process and gives them a more symmetric appearance. Obviously, less tissue would be removed from the smaller side.
Where is the surgery performed?
Labiaplasty surgeries are performed in our private surgical suite at our Wayzata office, Vaginal Rejuvenation surgerybis performed at a outpatient durgical center. Our all-female surgical staff specializes in cosmetic vaginal surgery emphasizing patient safety, comfort, and peace of mind. Most of our patients tell us this is preferable to a hospital setting or a large surgery center as patient privacy is more fully protected and a patient is never exposed to hospital based germ cross-contamination. Dr Erhard and her surgical team have thousands of hours of experience in this state of the art facility.
What are the surgical risks of labiaplasty?
Risks of surgery are extremely rare and seen in less than 1% of cases. Complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring and nerve injury – the risks involved with pregnancy and delivery are significantly higher than any risks associated with labiaplasty with an experienced surgeon.
What is recovery like after labiaplasty?
Recovery after labiaplasty with Dr. Erhard is relatively mild. Most patients are up and about the afternoon of their surgery day. The first three days are spent relaxing. Cold compresses or ice packs will help keep the swelling to a minimum. You will have some bruising and swelling that will resolve over the next week or two. Routine tasks are encouraged as long as there is no irritation or pressure at the incision sites. Loose clothing and cotton underwear “granny panties” are mandatory. By 72 hours you may resume regular activities, making sure there is minimal friction to the labia. Patients may drive at any time as long as they are not taking narcotics. Patients may return to work within 2-3 days as long as rigorous physical activity is avoided. During the 6 week recovery, patients are on pelvic rest (no intercourse or tampons) and should avoid bath tubs/hot tubs or swimming in the lake or ocean. Rigorous exercise, cycling, horseback riding, jet skis, motorcycles and four wheelers should be avoided during the recovery period.
What kind of pain can I expect after labiaplasty?
Pain overall is minimal due to nerve blocks and local anesthetic injected at the conclusion of the case. You should expect limited pain for the first 18-24 hours. After this, most patients report mild to moderate discomfort and swelling for a few days which can be easily controlled by analgesics and cold compresses. You are likely to have some continued soreness for a few weeks after surgery usually requiring only anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen.
How soon may I have sex after surgery?
We ask that you abstain from sexual intercourse and masturbation for 6 weeks to ensure the best aesthetic results and reduce the risk of infection.
When can I return to work after labiaplasty?
While healing time varies, most return to work 2-3 days after labiaplasty. We advise patients to avoid any pressure to the labia for six weeks. This would include wearing tight clothes such as thongs or using tampons or having sexual intercourse. Excessive movement such as jogging can also slow the healing process and should be avoided. We will closely follow your progress to ensure that you are ready to resume normal activities.
How will I look after labiaplasty?
Depending on what you discussed with Dr. Erhard, your labia will be more symmetric and will be less protuberant. Any incision on the body will leave some form of scar. Labial scarring, however, tends to be minimal as the incisions are small, the tissue is thin with a good blood supply and labia naturally have a slightly “wrinkled” appearance prior to surgery already. This should make you more comfortable in tight clothing and while exercising and should give you more confidence during sexual intercourse. Final optimal results are typically appreciated 4-6 months after surgery. By the 6 week clearance appointment, most of the bruising and swelling will have resolved
Will labiaplasty affect my sexual satisfaction?
For some women, enhanced self confidence and reduced labial tissue can actually improve sexual experience and sensation. A patient’s ability to achieve stimulation and clitoral orgasms should not be diminished as Dr. Erhard takes paramount care to spare the clitoris any injury during surgery protecting this very sensitive organ at all times. .
Can labiaplasty be combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures?
Yes. Many times patients choose to combine vaginal rejuvenation or vaginal tightenting with labiaplasty for a full vaginal make over. In addition, Dr. Erhard works with a number of plastic surgeons to combine elective procedures such as breast augmentation, face lifts, or tummy tucks. With this option your surgery will be conducted in a single surgical session, thereby minimizing the risk, inconvenience and cost of multiple surgeries.
What about financing?
Minnesota gynecology and Aesthetics has made arrangements with Care Credit to offer financing plans including six months/no interest. We accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.
Is labiaplasty covered by my insurance?
No, Labiaplasty is categorized as an elective procedure such as breast augmentation, liposuction or abdominoplasty.
Should I have my labiaplasty performed by a plastic surgeon or by an OB/GYN?
The answer is neither. Plastic surgeons tend to focus the majority of their practice and time on the most common elective procedures, including breast augmentation and face lifts. Vaginal rejuvenation, if performed at all, is a secondary procedure they rarely have the opportunity to perform with limited expertise. General OB/GYN’s, while examining hundreds of women monthly for pap smears or yeast infections, have minimal if any training or experience performing a state of the art vaginal rejuvenation for premium aesthetic and functional results. Cosmetic gynecologic surgery is ideally performed by a surgeon who specializes in the field of aesthetic vaginal surgery, such as Dr Erhard. Dr Erhard is a board certified OB/GYN and cosmetic surgeon. Labiaplasty is one of the many procedures we offer to revitalize your appearance and sexual health. Please ask us about other procedures such as vaginal tightening, vaginal rejuvenation, and liposuction to refresh and renew your natural beauty.
How many labiaplasties has Dr. Erhard performed?
Dr. Erhard has performed hundreds of labiaplasties since she became the first cosmetic vaginal surgery specialist in Minnesota. She has been performing vaginal surgeries for over 20 years as a board certified OB/GYN. Dr Erhard is also a member of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America.
Why should I choose Dr Erhard over other cosmetic surgeons?
As a specialist in cosmetic vaginal surgery Dr. Erhard has over 20 years of experience performing vaginal surgeries and performs this surgery several times a week . Many surgeons in the area do perform labiaplasties, but only a few cases each year and they are secondary procedures behind face lifts and breast augmentation. Dr. Erhard has years of training as a vaginal surgeon and has studied with both Dr. David Matlock and Dr. Red Alinsod, both widely recognized pioneers in the field of cosmetic vaginal surgery. Patients are typically thrilled with their aesthetic results, and they consider Dr Erhard not only a surgeon but a friend. Nuermerous before and after photos available for review in our office during the consultation, attest to the various extremes of anatomy that Dr. Erhard has transformed.
Moreover, as a female, Dr. Erhard fully comprehends the sensitive nature of the subject and is able to communicate with empathy and understanding. Our entire office staff is female including all of the business office, management, and nurses. Many patients say they feel more comfortable, respected, and protected being sur- rounded by other women during a vaginal surgery.
I am from out of town. How long before I can travel back home after my surgery?
Many of our patients travel nationally and internationally to undergo labiaplasty with Dr. Erhard. Most prefer a long distance initial consultation which may be scheduled by calling our office to schedule a telephone consultation after Dr Erhard has reviewed your medical history. If a patient wishes to pursue labiaplasty she arrives the evening before surgery and should remain in the Minneapolis or Wayzata area for 24 hours after surgery. We will have you come into the office the morning of surgery for a preoperative appointment, your surgery will be completed that day and you will return to our iffice the following day for a postoperative visit.
Does Dr. Erhard perform laser labiaplasty?
Dr. Erhard is proficient with many surgical instruments including the laser, electric knife, iris scissors and the scalpel. The instrument best suited for your particular surgery will be discussed during your initial consultation and the advantages and disadvantages of each instrument may be reviewed in detail.
What do “normal” labia look like?
There is no such thing as “normal” labia, just as “normal” breast size is impossible to define. Every woman displays her own individualized anatomy – labia are thick or thin, dark or pink, and labia come in every variable size and shape. A woman’s labia are never considered abnormal. When women request labiaplasty of the labia minora (inner lips) they usually request that the labia not protrude beyond the labia majora (outer lips). The bottom line is if they bother you it’s time to explore your options.