Labiaplasty New York City with Dr. Cangello
Labiaplasty (Labia Surgery) for Improved Confidence
Labiaplasty typically refers to the surgical reduction of the size of the labia minora. However, it can also be performed to reduce the size of the labia majora. For women seeking vaginal rejuvenation, the labia majora can also be augmented as they tend to atrophy or deflate with aging or weight loss.
Patients most commonly seek labiaplasty for aesthetic purposes. Some feel uncomfortable about the size of their labia, especially if they notice bulging while wearing certain clothing, such as exercise clothes or bathing suits. Enlarged or hypertrophic labia can cause pain or discomfort during intercourse, recurrent urinary tract infections, and cause difficulties with cleanliness and hygiene. Any combination of these can cause significant emotional stress.
Labiaplasty surgery can reduce the size of the labia minora (and majora if desired) to alleviate any or all of the problems creating by enlarged labia.
Facts About Labiaplasty
- Clinical studies show that labiaplasty may improve a woman’s satisfaction during sexual intimacy.1
- Last year, more than 10,000 women in the U.S. had labiaplasty.2
- The natural skin texture of the labia typically hides scars so well that labiaplasty scars are virtually undetectable after healing.3
- Labiaplasty can help correct complications from enlarged labia, including pain during sex, inability to wear certain clothing, and interference during sports.
- Labiaplasty may be included as part of a customized Mommy Makeover treatment plan.
- Ideal labiaplasty candidates are in good health and have realistic expectations for the surgery.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Labiaplasty?
You are considered to be a good candidate if you are unhappy with the size and shape of the labia. You should be in relatively good health and be motivated to follow Dr. Cangello’s pre and post-operative instructions. This includes abstaining from sexual activity and tampon use while you are healing from surgery.
Labiaplasty is available to patients who are out of puberty. Having large labia can cause severe social discomfort and anxiety for young women and girls. Good candidates range from patients as young as 15 to adult women seeking rejuvenation after aging and childbirth.
Suitable candidates must also have realistic expectations for the surgery. Those who experience pain or discomfort during intercourse or with physical activity can expect to have relief of those issues. By reducing the size of the inner labia to the point where they are hidden within the labia majora, patients feel much better about their physical appearance. Dr. Cangello explains the results you can expect from the labiaplasty so you feel completely confident in your procedure.
**Warning: This video contains graphical surgical material which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
The Consultation: Creating Your Plastic Surgery Plan
The treatment process begins with a consultation in our New York City office. Dr. Cangello will discuss your medical history and the results you would like to achieve from your labia surgery. Dr. Cangello will ask about your goals for the labiaplasty and the look you hope to achieve. He will conduct a physical examination, so he can see the extent of labial hypertrophy (overgrowth) and whether it involves the labia minora or majora only or both. Following the physical exam, Dr. Cangello can describe additional surgical solutions that can be combined with labiaplasty as necessary.
Labiaplasty is not a procedure where one approach fits all. In fact, the key to a good outcome has a surgeon who can adequately assess the anatomy and determine how it differs from what is considered to be “normal.” This is where the skill of an experienced, artistically inclined board certified plastic surgeon is essential. Dr. Cangello recommends a surgical plan that helps create the appearance you desire. He will also answer your questions and explain how to prepare for your procedure.
Preparing For Your Labiaplasty
Dr. Cangello is committed to achieving the best results possible. During your initial consultation, he will create a pre-operative plan for you to follow. This plan is designed for your unique needs, to make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Your pre-op plan may include changes in diet and other habits that impact your health. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking.
Dr. Cangello will also give you instructions for the days before your surgery. These include stopping certain medications and supplements that may cause thinning of the blood which can lead to bleeding after surgery. You will also be instructed not to eat beginning at midnight on the day of your surgery if you are going to be put to sleep during your procedure.
Finally, Dr. Cangello and his staff will explain your post-operative plan. He will give you prescriptions to fill before surgery and ask you to find someone to accompany you home following surgery (if you are put to sleep). You should not shave the pubic hair immediately before surgery.
Where will the surgery be performed?
The labiaplasty surgery is performed in Dr. Cangello’s AAAASF approved operating room on site in his office. The facility is state of the art and is equipped with all of the essential medical equipment to ensure that your procedure is extremely safe. Your safety is of utmost concern to Dr. Cangello.
Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia used depends on the extent of your procedure, your tolerance for minor discomfort, and your anxiety level. Often the procedure can be completed with local anesthetic only. Dr. Cangello uses a topical anesthetic before the injection of the local anesthesia so that the pinch of the needle is not felt. The discomfort from the numbing medicine being injected is very brief, and no pain is felt during the actual procedure. Oral medication can also be given to reduce anxiety.
While general anesthesia is not necessary for the procedure, intravenous sedation can be used so the patient sleeps through the procedure and experiences no discomfort. Dr. Cangello works with only highly experienced board-certified anesthesiologists. If the patient chooses to have sedation, they must plan to be accompanied home by a responsible adult.
Labiaplasty Surgery Techniques
The two most common techniques of labiaplasty include the “trim” technique and the “wedge” technique. Dr. Cangello prefers the “wedge” technique in most instances.
The trim technique affects the labia minora. From a technical standpoint, this is the easiest method for reducing the size of the labia minora. As seen in the illustration below, the excess labial tissue is excised along the full edge the labia minora. This can be efficiently executed by the surgeon and takes less time, compared to the wedge technique. However, the pigmented edge of the labia is lost. However, the tissues in this area heal exceptionally well so visible scarring is not of great concern. The trim technique is best suited for patients with minimal labial hypertrophy (excess growth).
In contrast to the Trim technique, where the rim of the labia minora is amputated, a wedge of the labia is removed. The advantage of this technique is that the pigmented color of the labial edge is maintained. The appearance of scars is not an issue as the tissue in this area heals exceptionally well. The wedge can be designed in one of many ways depending on the shape and size of the patient’s labia. Options include excision of a central wedge of tissue, an anterior wedge, a posterior wedge or a combination of the two. All these methods maintain the color of the labial rim, which is usually pigmented, unlike the inner part of the labia which is pink.
The labia majora can also be treated depending on the aesthetic issue. Excessively large labia majora can be addressed by excision. A crescent of the inner aspect of the labia majora is excised, leaving the scar hidden deep in the fold at the junction between the labia majora and labia minora. The placement of the scar can be seen in the diagram below, and it is located where the straight vertical black line is drawn. Another aesthetic concern that arises for women is that the labia majora can appear deflated. This commonly occurs after the reproductive years or after significant weight loss but can happen at any time. Treatment for this involves adding 10- 15 cc of fat by grafting the fat suctioned from another area of the body to the labia majora.
David L. Cangello, MD, FACS Plastic Surgery New York
Dr. David Cangello is one of the top board-certified plastic surgeons in all of New York City. His approach of treating plastic surgery with an artistic eye has successfully shaped his practice. Dr. Cangello cares about the result of the surgery as much as the patient does. Read more to learn why you should choose Dr. Cangello for your next procedure.Schedule a Consultation
The Recovery Process
When your labia surgery is complete, you will have sutures (stitches) in the area that was operated on. You will also have antibiotic ointment on the incisions and a sterile dressing covering the incisions. If you had Intravenous anesthesia for your procedure, you would need to be accompanied home from Dr. Cangello’s office. However, because this procedure can be a highly sensitive procedure for some, it can be done under local anesthesia only. If your procedure is done under local only, you do not need to have someone accompany you home.
A prescription for pain medicine will be given to you before your procedure, and you may take that as needed. You are asked to avoid medicines containing Ibuprofen or Aspirin after surgery until Dr. Cangello permits their use.
Your dressing should be removed before you use the toilet and you should gently cleanse the area with light soap and water after you use the bathroom. The area should be pat dry with a clean towel, and the dressing should be replaced with new ones. You are permitted to shower (not bathe) 48 hours after the procedure.
A feminine pad can be used. However, tampons should be avoided for 4 (four) weeks. Sexual intercourse and self-stimulation should be avoided for four weeks. You may return to work the following day after surgery, provided you are comfortable.
The ideal candidate is any woman who is healthy and is unhappy with the appearance of the labia minora or majora. While labiaplasty is traditionally thought of as a procedure to reduce the size of the labia minora, it can also be used to reduce the size of the labia majora. Hypertrophy (excessive growth) of the labia minora can sometimes cause pain or discomfort for women. Some women are not comfortable with the appearance of enlarged labia. Women suffering from any of these issues and others not mentioned here are good candidates for labiaplasty.
Rejuvenation of the labia majora can also be performed and this is done with Fat Grafting. With aging or weight loss the labia majora can lose their fullness. This can result in an aged appearance. Women who want to rejuvenate the appearance of the genital area sometimes combine labiaplasty with fat grafting of the labia majora.
The scars from labiaplasty are usually very inconspicuous and/or not visible at all. The skin/soft tissue of the labia heals exceptionally well and when incisions are made meticulously and strategically placed, visibility of scars is minimized.
Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation are not the same thing. Usually vaginal rejuvenation refers to some sort of tightening procedure for the vaginal canal. That being said, Dr. Cangello does perform rejuvenation of the external appearance of the female genitalia. Reducing the size of the labia minora (which can grow due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or as a result of aging) and fat grafting the labia majora, which can atrophy with aging, results in a “neater” and more youthful external appearance of the genitalia.
Patients can choose to have labiaplasty under local or general anesthesia. Dr. Cangello assists patients in making the decision as to what anesthesia type will be best suited for them based on their anxiety level and tolerance for having a procedure while awake.
For the first few days after surgery, the labia minora and sometimes the surrounding labia majora can be bruised and swollen. The area tends to be sore and pain medication is prescribed to alleviate the pain. Patients should minimize the amount of time they spend seated or walking for the first week. They should also wear a pad within their undergarment to minimize rubbing of the undergarment on the incisions.
After the first week soreness usually subsides and patients no longer require narcotic pain medication. Tyelnol can be used as needed at this point. If the incisions itch, a cool compress may be helpful. But incisions should not be rubbed or scratched. Patients are usually comfortable enough to return to work at this point but should continue to be very conscious of minimizing rubbing of or pressure on the incisions.
After about four weeks patients can return to normal activities, however sexual activity should be delayed until 6 weeks.
1 Veale, D., Naismith, I., Eshkevari, E. et al. Psychosexual outcome after labiaplasty: a prospective case-comparison study. Int Urogynecol J 25, 831–839 (2014) doi:10.1007/s00192-013-2297-2
2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2018 National Plastic Surgery Statistics. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-report-2018.pdf Accessed January 24, 2020
3 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Four common questions women have about recovery after labiaplasty. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/four-common-questions-women-have-about-recovery-after-labiaplasty Accessed January 24, 2020