Surgical Labiaplasty Vaginal Rejuvenation
Vaginal rejuvenation has become more popular in the last several years. The most skilled physicians to perform this surgery are plastic surgeons, or cosmetic gynecologists or urologists who have a true interest in the overall aesthetic well-being of female patients.
The increased interest in vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty has occurred naturally as women have come to realize that this area of concern is not off-limits in terms of its validity, and also due to the active lifestyle many women are now enjoying. In addition, easy access to images of attractive female genitalia on the internet, the ubiquity of Brazilian waxing (whereby more visibility of the female genitalia is allowed), and the increased media attention to procedures such as labiaplasty have certainly contributed to our ever-changing aesthetic of the attractive female genitalia.
All of these entities have brought this area of cosmetic surgery to the forefront of what is one of the most intimate areas of the female patient's sense of self-improvement. Many patients who experience normal aging and hormonal change, or changes after pregnancy and weight loss frequently experience the common symptoms of excessive labial tissues, and the age range of patients requesting these procedures is quite broad, ranging from teenagers to septuagenarians. Younger patients may be more concerned with protrusion and asymmetry, whereas the older patient (who may have had children) may have healed labial tears and laxity issues of the labia and vaginal canal, and this excessive or hypertrophied tissue may cause extreme self-consciousness or even interfere with sexual intercourse. Athletes may seek labiaplasty due to rubbing during sports activities like cycling, running or horseback riding, or due to bulkiness in revealing clothing such as lingerie, bathing suits or athletic clothing. An additional subset of patients may have been affected by derogatory comments from peers or sexual partners. For many women, these symptoms may create a loss of self-esteem or be a source of embarrassment, and labial reduction can greatly improve the aesthetic appearance of the abnormally enlarged labia. Many factors can contribute to one's overall sense of self-confidence, sexuality, femininity, and overall good health and hygiene - none of these is more personal and private than a woman's genitalia.
The normal anatomy of the external female genitalia can vary significantly. Like breast sizes, the desired appearance will vary according to individual preferences. Dr. Samuels and her staff carefully and sensitively explore these issues with all new patients inquiring about labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation. Where possible, both surgical and non-surgical options of improvement will be explained to the patient. Although the majority of patients elect to have labiaplasty surgery to reduce discomfort, it is considered a "cosmetic" procedure by insurance companies, which do not cover any of the costs of the surgery. The results are permanent, and as with any surgery, there are risks of unsatisfactory results or complications, and while true complications or untoward results are rare, it is therefore very important to choose a board-certified surgeon to perform this type of surgery.
The most common forms of vaginal rejuvenation surgery are: labia minora reduction, labia majora reduction, clitoral hood reduction, labia majora augmentation, and vaginal tightening or reconstruction for excessive vaginal vault enlargement or prolapse. The most popularly requested procedure is that of labia minora reduction, which consists of reducing the protrusion of the labia minora, or "inner lip" of the tissue just outside the vagina. Reduction of the labia majora may also be performed if the tissue referred to as the "outer lip" is enlarged as well. Frequently however, the labia majora may become deflated or lax with age, pregnancy or weight loss, such that the labia minora appear proportionally enlarged. Patients who exhibit these findings might actually benefit from labia minora reduction with labia majora enhancement utilizing injections of fat (frequently harvested from the anterior abdomen or mons pubis), or alternatively, substances such as hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane) or Sculptra may be injected. Lastly, non-surgical skin tightening treatments may be recommended using radiofrequency, ultrasound or laser devices.
Clitoral hood reduction refers to the procedure in which the excess tissue overlying the clitoris is resected. This is typically indicated for patients who describe a feeling of fullness or bulkiness interfering with sexual activities, and many patients describe this condition as the feeling of having a penis.
All of the above procedures are performed after a thorough, private examination performed by Dr. Samuels herself in the privacy of our state-of-the-art office and outpatient surgery center. Cases are individualized, but the choice of an in-office procedure under local anesthesia with oral sedation or an outpatient procedure at Baptist Eastpoint Surgery Center (which Dr. Samuels is an owner of) under intravenous sedation technique, are offered. When the procedure is performed in the office, Dr. Samuels is very sensitive to each patient and uses a topical numbing cream prior to injection of the numbing local anesthetic. The procedures usually require 45 minutes to 2 hours to perform, depending upon the techniques being utilized, and patients are able to drive themselves home. Dr. Samuels recommends a period of 2 to 3 days of being off your feet prior to resuming normal daily activities to reduce overall swelling and bruising, 2 to 3 weeks before resuming aerobic exercise, and 6 weeks before resuming running, biking and sexual activity.
Common concerns with labiaplasty procedures involve location of incisions, sensation in the operated areas, future childbirth issues, and whether sexual satisfaction is affected adversely. The incisions are well-concealed within the natural folds and boundaries of the labial tissues, all sutures are dissolvable without the need for removal, and within several weeks, the incisions themselves are hardly discernible. In cases where excess clitoral or labial tissue is removed, sexual satisfaction is often improved due to less discomfort in the area with intercourse or due to improved access to the clitoris. Labiaplasty does not affect future childbirth or delivery.
Labial surgery is a big decision and we understand you may have many questions. To find out if you are a candidate for cosmetic labiaplasty, request a personal complimentary consultation with Dr. Samuels by using our online consultation request service or by calling our office at (502) 897-9411.