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Common Misconceptions About Labiaplasty: Part 2

Welcome to part two of my blog series on labiaplasty misbeliefs. Below, I will reveal the truth about popular misunderstandings regarding this highly rewarding procedure for women who are seeking labiaplasty.

If you are just tuning in, feel free to check out the common labiaplasty misconceptions I discussed in labiaplasty misconceptions part 1 to get caught up!

“Having a labiaplasty could ruin my ability to have orgasms.”

This is completely false. A labiaplasty only trims excess labia minora tissue in most instances.  Sometimes the labia majora is also de-fatted and trimmed via hidden incisions to become less bulky.   Even if a clitoral hood reduction is done (trimming some of the extra folds of skin in the front, over the clitoral hood region), there is no chance of injuring the clitoris, which is a deep constellation of nerves that provides sexual stimulation to women as well as orgasm.

Although there are very soft scars that result from labiaplasty surgery, the quality of the scars is excellent. Think about when you have bitten the inside of your lip or the mucosa of your cheek. Even if there is a deep cut, it heals very quickly and a scar cannot be seen after several days to weeks.

Healing after a labiaplasty takes a little longer than healing inside your mouth (probably due to the lower area on the body and more extensive surgery and tissue rearrangement), but the process of healing is very similar.

“Having a labiaplasty will cause me to no longer be a virgin.”

This is not true. A labiaplasty only trims low-hanging, darkly pigmented, and extra labia minora tissue. Before a woman has sexual intercourse for the first time, there is a tight band of tissue at the vaginal opening called the “hymen” that often tears during the initial time she has sex.

Labiaplasty does not address this area, and since it does not go deep into the vagina, a young woman will still be a virgin after having labiaplasty surgery.

“My results will be obvious; future sexual partners might know I’ve had a labiaplasty.”

The results of labiaplasty are subtle and natural. Labiaplasty changes the appearance of extra folds of tissue and extra “drapery” of clitoral hood folds into a normal, natural-looking appearance. The outcome is not obvious, and scars are usually imperceptible.

In fact, I encourage my patients who have had a labiaplasty to specifically tell their OB-GYN in the future when they are having a pap smear or pelvic exam that they have had a labiaplasty, for the education of their other doctor!

These physicians should learn more about labiaplasty and see good, natural-looking, subtle results so that they become enlightened about this great Plastic Surgery procedure.

“Because I’m experiencing pain and I have really good insurance, surgery should be covered by my insurance.”

Unfortunately, even if you are having physical discomfort from excess labia minora tissue and you have the most premier health insurance plan in the world, labiaplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure. The overall cost of surgery generally ranges from $6,000 to $8,000, including surgical fees, operating room time, and anesthesia fees. At my practice, this is a one-time fee that covers preoperative teaching a week or two before surgery and all follow-up visits in the future.

“I should wait until AFTER having children to have a labiaplasty, since it will get all stretched out again.”

Following removal of excess labia minora tissue, the results are permanent! It will NOT need to be redone in the future, even if a patient has ten children all ‘naturally’ through vaginal deliveries! The best time for surgery in a woman’s life depends on her personal situation: How much is the extra tissue bothering her? Is she able and willing to take a week off work or school for recovery? Is she emotionally mature enough to have this procedure, which is in a sensitive and delicate area of the body?

There are no age limits for labiaplasty.  As long as a woman is fully educated about the risks and benefits of labiaplasty, the potential complications, the possible alternatives, and the expected outcomes of surgery, it is reasonable to proceed with labiaplasty years before a women decides to start her family.

Have Any More Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns about labiaplasty—or if I did not address something in particular that you have heard about this procedure—please don’t hesitate to reach out to my practice for more information. I will be more than happy to meet with you in person to answer all your questions and discuss the labiaplasty procedure in great detail.

To schedule a consultation, please contact my practice online or call 415-923-3067 today!

– Karen Horton, MD

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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA