Many changes can occur to a woman’s body through childbirth, hormonal fluctuations, weight variations or the aging process. Some are visible, and some are quite intimate. When changes occur to a woman’s private areas, the result can be both cosmetically concerning and physically uncomfortable. Female rejuvenation surgery is designed to help women restore or repair the vaginal area to improve both form and function.
Dr. Barrett understands the sensitive nature of vagina rejuvenation and takes ample time to ensure his patients are comfortable with their decision to move forward with this treatment. You will be treated with compassion and professionalism through every step of the process at Barrett Plastic Surgery.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, also known as aesthetic vaginal surgery or vaginal reconstructive surgery, is a procedure performed to reduce or reshape the lips of the vagina, known as the labia. Labia minora are the inner lips, while the outer rims are known as labia majora. The labia cover the clitoris and vaginal opening. When they are enlarged or asymmetrical, women can experience pain during intercourse or embarrassment during daily activities.
Dr. Barrett customizes labiaplasty to meet the unique needs of each of his patients. While it is most common to reduce the labia minora, the labia majora and tissue around the clitoris can also be addressed. During your consultation, you and Dr. Barrett will discuss your concerns and goals for the surgery so that you can design a custom treatment plan for you.
Is Labiaplasty Right for Me?
There are two different reasons for undergoing labiaplasty, and Dr. Barrett will help you understand which category you fit best:
Women with a Functional Issue
These individuals often experience pain during intercourse or while participating in activities like riding a bike or horseback riding. They may also deal with uncomfortable symptoms like chafing.
Women with Cosmetic Concerns
Other individuals may not like the physical appearance of the vagina, due to uneven or protruding lips. This aesthetic concern may make them self-conscious in snug-fitting clothing and during intimacy with a partner.
Keep in mind that while medical insurance may cover labiaplasty surgery if it is considered medically beneficial to patient health, the process not covered when performed for cosmetic reasons.
Options in Labiaplasty
Dr. Barrett might use a variety of techniques when he performs your female rejuvenation surgery:
During this procedure, Dr. Barrett trims away the outer edge of the labia minora to reduce possible protrusion and create a smoother, pinker edge. This technique is the least invasive and the most straightforward and can be used when minimal correction is required.
With the wedge resection, a small portion of the labia minor is removed in a wedge shape, and the edges are sutured together. In addition to removing more of the vaginal lips, this technique preserves the natural side and color of the labia minora.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
When there is excess tissue surrounding the clitoris, it can be difficult for a woman to become sufficiently stimulated during intercourse. This technique removes the excess tissue, exposing more of the clitoris for improved sexual function.
Dr. Barrett will select the best technique for you based on your specific concerns. Your options will be discussed at your initial consultation.
Preparing for Your Surgery
While labiaplasty is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an extended recovery process, there are a few steps you can take before your procedure to ensure a safe and successful outcome. Some of those steps might include:
- Stay away from cigarettes for a few weeks before your surgery to ensure healthy healing and avoid nicotine-related complications
- Fill all prescriptions ahead of time, so they are ready for you when you get home Avoid blood-thinning medications like aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen, as well as supplements like fish oil and vitamin E that can affect your bleeding during and after surgery
- Take sufficient time off for your recovery and line up help with kids and pets so you can entirely focus on your healing process
Dr. Barrett may perform your labiaplasty under local anesthesia and sedation or twilight anesthesia. No matter which anesthesia is chosen, you can rest assured you will be comfortable throughout and will more than likely sleep through the process. Incisions will depend on the specific technique used, but Dr. Barrett will take care to ensure they will not interfere with the form or function of the vagina. The labia minora will be reduced, and the two sides made symmetrical to improve the appearance of the opening.
Dr. Barrett can remove clitoral tissue at the same time he reduces the labia minora if you requested that as well. Most labiaplasty procedures take around two hours to complete. After an hour or so in our recovery area, you will be able to return home to recover.
It is common to feel some soreness, swelling and bruising for the first two weeks following labiaplasty. Dr. Barrett recommends icing for the first two to three days and will prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable during the early portion of your recovery. Dr. Barrett will meet with you weeks during the healing process to monitor your progress, answer your questions and address any concerns as they arise. He will also give you additional instructions for your recovery that are appropriate for you.
Most women are back to most activities within a week, although the full recovery period after labiaplasty can take four to six weeks total. Dr. Barrett encourages patients to refrain from sexual activity and strenuous activity for a few weeks since they could cause uncomfortable chafing. You will also find looser clothing to be much more comfortable during the recovery process.
Regain Your Youthful Vitality
While many cosmetic procedures are focused on visible areas of the face and body, there are also solutions for your most intimate areas. Whether you have never been completely comfortable with the appearance of your vagina, or you have noticed changes over time, Dr. Barrett can help. Contact Barrett Plastic Surgery at 310-598-2648 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barrett and discuss your options in vaginal rejuvenation.