Many women don’t like the appearance of the inner lips on their vagina, clinically known as the labia minora. The labia minora may appear uneven, thick, overly large, or can extend beyond the labia majora, the outer genital lips. At times, this can interfere with activities such as cycling or running. Sex can be painful. And the appearance can make the woman self-conscious.
Labiaplasty with Dr. Altamira can address these issues, reducing the labia minora and majora.
What is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that changes the appearance of a woman’s external genitalia. The most common issue is with the labia minora when they overhang the outer lips. This can make the genitalia appear bulky or thick, they can create rubbing during intercourse, and they can even be visible when wearing certain clothing such as yoga pants.
Who is a good candidate for labiaplasty?
The desire for having this surgery is completely individual. Some women seek aesthetic changes. Others are tired of the labia interfering with intimacy or certain sports and activities. If you have pain when running or during intercourse, there’s no reason to have to live with that discomfort. And everyone should like how they look.
Is there an age range with labiaplasty?
With today’s teenagers, there is an increased interest in surgery to improve what they perceive as less-than-appealing labia. Dr. Altamira does not perform this surgery on teenagers for a few reasons. First, adolescents are still developing physically and emotionally. Many women do not reach full maturity until their early 20s. “Improving” the appearance or shape of normal tissues that are changing is not something to be done. Second, surgery when a patient is still undergoing puberty can alter the natural growth of these tissues. This could create a future of loss of sensation in the vaginal tissues, discomfort wearing form-fitting clothing, or painful intercourse.
Obviously, none of this is worth it or even sensible. Labiaplasty is not a procedure for anyone in their teens or even the very early 20s. There is no upper age range limitation.
The Labiaplasty Procedure
The methods Dr. Altamira uses for labiaplasty are tailored specifically to the individual patient and her goals for the procedure. The most common need is to reduce the labia minora, which are situated inside the labia majora. To reduce these tissues, Dr. Altamira uses two methods. In a “wedge” incision, a vertical wedge of labia minor tissue is removed. In an “edge” excision, he removes tissue along the edge of the lips. In many cases, extra folds of the clitoral hood are also reduced at the same time.
In cases where the labia majora are too large and uncomfortable, Dr. Altamira will remove an elliptical-pattern piece of tissue through a small, hidden incision.
Recovery After Labiaplasty
Because of the sensitivity of the tissue and nerves in the area, labiaplasty recovery needs to be taken one day at a time. You will have pain and swelling immediately following your surgery with Dr. Altamira. You can mitigate this by to a degree by icing for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off for the first day or two. You’ll need to restrict your activity to low-key options for the first five days after surgery. Exercise will have to wait for two to three weeks, in most cases. Sexual intercourse needs to wait for at least six weeks. This is important, as engaging in sex too soon after labiaplasty risks tearing the incisions. Likewise, tampons must be avoided for six weeks. If minor trimming was performed, your recovery may be faster and not as involved.
What are the risks involved with labiaplasty?
Thanks to the highly vascular nature of the vaginal area, risks with this surgery are low. The risks are for potential chronic dryness, possible pain during intercourse, and loss of sensation. Loss of sensation is a higher risk the more tissue that is removed, but the risks are still quite low.
How will it take to see results?
The results of your labiaplasty are immediate, but you will have some swelling. In one or two weeks this should fully resolve and you’ll be able to see your final results.
How soon can I go back to work?
Because labiaplasty isn’t as invasive as many procedures, most patients are able to return to work within 2-4 days after their surgery. But you will have some pain, so many patients plan on taking a week off of work, and maybe more.
When can I get back to exercising after labiaplasty?
This is an individual decision based on the pain you may or may not still be feeling. Regardless of that, you’ll need to start with walks and other light activity during the second week after your surgery. Anything overly strenuous or with impact, such as running, needs to wait another two weeks. Pretty much any exercises can return after four or five weeks.
When can I have sexual activity after labiaplasty?
You won’t feel like having sex during the early part of your recovery. Obviously, any sexual activity too soon after your surgery risks tearing your incisions. You should plan for between 6-8 weeks before you consider intercourse again.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about labiaplasty, contact our office at 713.271.9000 to schedule a consultation today.