Vaginal Rejuvenation is a category of procedures that address both the cosmetic appearance and function of the female vulva which includes the mons pubis, the labia minora and majora, the clittoris, the “G”spot and the introitus and vagina. Women with an enlarged or elongated labia minora (the smaller inner folds of the vagina) or those with asymmetry of the labia minora, are increasingly looking for vaginal rejuvenation, and more specifically opting for a labiaplasty.
Many assume that women opt for vaginal rejuvenation because they are embarrassed or unhappy with the appearance of their vagina, but enlarged or elongated labia minora can be functionally problematic for women. Women with enlarged or elongated labia minora, will complain of discomfort with clothing or activities, pain during intercourse and limits with physical intimacy that impacts their relationships. They are looking for a solution that improves functioning in their everyday lives.
While a labiaplasty will undoubtedly result in aesthetic improvement, the surgery allows women to ride a bike, exercise, engage in sexual activity and wear tighter clothing, like leggings, free of discomfort or distress.
As an experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Leo Lapuerta is able to offer women in Houston, Pearland, and Katy a safe and effective solution with labiaplasty surgery. Known for his approachable, down-to-earth manner, women from all over the Southeast find Dr. Lapuerta both knowledgeable and easy to talk with regarding this difficult and sensitive topic.
Labiaplasty is one of the fastest-growing types of cosmetic surgeries, resulting in a natural vaginal appearance. Labiaplasty is a type of plastic surgery that alters the labia, with the most common type of labiaplasty surgery involving the labia minora. Enlarged labia minora can have many causes that include congenital (some women are born with enlarged or elongated labia), stretching caused by childbirth, significant weight gain or loss and, in some cases, physical trauma. Women who have this condition find discomfort in wearing tight-fitting clothes, as well as when exercising and having sex.
While the majority of labiaplasty surgery focuses on the labia minora, some women have additional, associated concerns. Vaginal rejuvenation surgery can include correcting the size of the clitoral hood, the size of the labia majora, the fullness of the mons pubis (the front facing area of the vulva where most pubic hair is visualized), “G” spot augmentation and vaginoplasty. During a vaginal rejuvenation consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will identify the patient’s goals going into this surgery so that the desired surgical outcome can be achieved. Both a physical exam and understanding of the patient’s main functional and aesthetic concerns allows Dr. Lapuerta to offer options that specifically address each individual’s unique needs.
There is no defined size range for what is considered an enlarged or elongated labia, rather normal size and shape is dictated by relative proportion to the labia majora. Normally, the labia minora will be smaller and shorter in length than the outer labia majora (the outer, fuller folds which have hair growth) such that when standing, the labia minora are not visible outside of the labia majora. Therefore, the ideal labiaplasty surgery candidate is anyone unhappy with the length, size or appearance of their labia minora as well as patients who experience functional problems due to their labia minora.
Patients should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. During a consultation, Dr. Lapuerta will help determine if a patient is a good candidate for labiaplasty surgery, as well as inform them of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons began collecting data on the number of Labiaplasty surgery procedures in 2015. Since then, the number of Labiaplasty surgeries has risen each year and overall has shown a 40 percent increase.
This increase is attributed to more information being made available to women regarding this issue. Once a taboo topic, the increase in information has allowed women to recognize that they are not alone. Also, techniques in Labiaplasty surgery have improved and there are more plastic surgeons who are trained and have the experience to provide this procedure for their patients.
Labiaplasty surgery has made great strides in recent years, with surgeons finding the best possible techniques to achieve impressive results. While many techniques have been described, the most common techniques include, edge resection, laser resection, wedge resection and composite resection. Regardless of the technique, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic surgeons consistently found that patients reported a satisfaction rate greater than 90%.
As with all surgeries it is important to find an experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like Dr. Lapuerta, for vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Dr. Lapuerta understands that this cosmetic surgery is also reconstructive in nature, making plastic surgeons the most skilled choice for this procedure. Plastic surgeons’ training in both the cosmetic and functional, reconstructive aspect of surgery provides them the unique skill set to incorporate the latest reshaping techniques so that it not only reduces the size of the labia, but also preserves most of the natural contour, color and sensitivity with minimal scarring.
Labiaplasty can be performed in a few different ways. Given a patient’s anatomy and goals, Dr. Lapuerta will decide which technique will best serve the individual patient. The majority of patients will benefit most from a Wedge Resection Labiaplasty. Some patients are better candidates for Composite Reduction Labiaplasty which addresses the labia minora in conjunction with the clitoral hood. Patients in which the increased length, size or volume of the labia minora is minimal can sometimes benefit from an Edge Resection Labiaplasty.
Dr. Lapuerta uses the wedge labiaplasty technique for the vast majority of his patients. During the wedge labiaplasty, a “V” shaped wedge is removed from the central or predominant area of the labia minora in order to reduce the size and volume. The remaining edges are sewn with absorbable sutures for a natural appearance. The cosmetic benefits of this technique are the preservation of the natural contour, color and texture of the labia minora and the scar is minimal and well hidden. Functionally, it preserves the neurovascular supply while resulting in fewer complications and the need for re-operation while reporting one of the highest satisfaction rates of any of the techniques.
For patients whose concerns include a large clitoral hood in addition to long or enlarged labia minora, a Composite Labiaplasty can resolve both of these issues in one procedure. A composite labiaplasty will include the “V” shaped wedge resection of the wedge technique but will progress toward the front aspect of the labia minora where it joins or meets the clitoral hood allowing reduction of the hood and a smooth, natural appearance. This technique is associated with one of the highest satisfaction rates by patients, with 35% of patients reporting increased sexual excitement following the reduction of the clitoral hood.
Edge Resection Labiaplasty
In patients with minimal labia minora hypertrophy or “hanging”, an edge resection can be performed. This technique removes excess skin and tissue along the “hanging” edges
of the labia minora. This technique does not provide for hiding the scar as well as the wedge technique does and may not result in an appearance that is as natural in contour, color and texture. For these reasons, Dr. Lapuerta prefers the wedge resection technique even for patients with minimal labia minora complaints.
Labiaplasty can be performed under local anesthesia, local with sedation or general anesthesia. Given the sensitive nature of the procedure and the anxiety many women feel about this issue, Dr. Lapuerta has found that the majority of his patients prefer to be asleep and unaware during the procedure.
Dr. Lapuerta’s AAAASF accredited outpatient surgical facility provides patients a safe, comfortable and most of all, private environment for this procedure. This office based surgical facility allows patients the ease of familiarity with the location and staff, privacy that is unmatched in other settings and a team of operating room professionals experienced with the procedure and Dr. Lapuerta’s technique.
This procedure is considered an outpatient procedure, with the entire surgery typically taking about an hour to complete. Dr. Lapuerta always begins with injecting local anesthesia which significantly reduces any pain associated with the procedure. The incisions made during surgery are minimal, with Dr. Lapuerta strategically choosing incision points to make the scarring as undetectable as possible. Any scarring from the surgery will be well concealed and will fade with time. The sutures used during the surgery will not need to be removed and will not be felt after healing is complete at 6 weeks after surgery.
Following this surgery, patients should expect some mild bruising and swelling, which will go down fairly quickly during labiaplasty recovery. There can be some mild discomfort as well, and if for some reason the patient is in considerable discomfort, the pain can be managed with medication. Women should rest and avoid any activities that will result in additional swelling and discomfort. Patients are encouraged to stay off of their feet and keep their legs elevated for the first 24-48 hours. Patients can use cold packs intermittently to the area as well as a local anesthetic spray, like Dermaplast, to minimize discomfort. The sutures placed during the procedure will dissolve over time, meaning a follow-up visit to remove the sutures will not be needed. Patients should be able to return to work and their everyday life just a few days after labiaplasty surgery. However, vigorous exercise, vaginal intercourse, the use of tampons and douching should be avoided for 6 weeks to make sure the labia heals properly.
Labiaplasty surgery is one of the more affordable cosmetic procedures. Typically, labiaplasty surgery will cost between $4700 and $6000 depending on the type of anesthesia selected and the technique needed. However, it is difficult to make an accurate estimate for the total labiaplasty surgery cost without a consultation.
Dr. Lapuerta takes an individualized approach to every patient he sees, making sure to choose a treatment plan that is optimized for each patient’s unique needs. During a consultation, he will partner with the patient to determine the best way to achieve all of the patient’s goals. Following an evaluation and consultation, a treatment plan will be clearly discussed with the patient.
Patient’s will be provided a complete quote for surgery which will include the fees for the surgeon, the facility, supplies and the anesthesiologist. Prescription medications, any necessary lab tests, medical pre-surgical evaluations and pathology are not included in the quote as the need for these will vary from patient to patient.
For patients interested in learning more, call to request a consultation with Dr. Lapuerta today.