The Surgeon Minute

Labiaplasty 101: Looking Normal ‘Down There’

Labiaplasty 101: Looking Normal ‘Down There’

Women are taking charge of their body – and that means ALL parts, including ‘down there’! Labiaplasty surgery saw a sharp increase in 2016, with more than 12,000 procedures according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Women want an aesthetically pleasing look when it comes to their genitals and they are willing to pay for it! Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard J. Restifo of Connecticut has observed the increase in patients within his own practice, showing indeed how the life-changing procedure is becoming more and more accepted.

A Delicate Topic Exposed

Labiaplasty is growing in popularity, but it’s still difficult to talk about because it’s, ‘down there’. “It’s a delicate topic,” says Dr. Restifo. He certainly understands why women feel a little uncomfortable speaking up. “The thought of having surgery on so intimate an area can cause more than a little anxiety on the part of the woman.” Even so, Restifo says growing numbers women – and even teenagers with severe deformities – are seeking labiaplasty to correct issues.

Vaginal discomfort corrections with labiaplasty.

In general, a labiaplasty involves removal of redundant and/or excess skin of the labia minora“I think it’s important to remember that we are just dealing with extra skin – extra skin in a very significant location,” says Restifo. He adds that extra skin can cause a lot of discomfort, along with pain during everyday activities like working out, riding a bike or a horse, or even just sitting at a desk.

It can be especially painful during urination or intercourse. “There is a lot of pain – so obviously there is a functional component, as well as an aesthetic component.” Women often want the surgery to not only feel, but look ‘normal’.

Labiaplasty procedure.

Is A Labiaplasty Right For Me?

Women are being bombarded with information about labiaplasty. Social media lets patients hear about positive experiences regarding the surgery, and exposes women to changing trends. Grooming practices like shaving and waxing let women see their genitals better than they ever have – making them aware and sometimes embarrassed if their ‘parts’ don’t look the same as others.

Women are talking about what’s bothering them and learning more about what can be done to fix it. Restifo says women seek the surgery for different reasons – some are self-conscious after child birth or aging. “These are the Mommy Makeover women who have had multiple pregnancies and that tends to stretch the skin out,” he mentions.

He also says younger women are coming in to feel better about themselves. “There’s a pretty significant number of young women who are just pretty unhappy with how that area developed and they want the surgery, too.”

Labiaplasty - high patient satisfaction.

No matter what the reason, labiaplasty can make activities enjoyable again and allow clothes to fit better. Some women report greater sexual satisfaction after labiaplasty surgery, if extra skin was getting in the way. However, Restifo reminds his patients that the surgery is no cure for sexual dysfunction.

“… Results Are Very Dramatic”

Labiaplasty can improve quality of life in a lot of ways, with minimal pain and recovery or scars. “The surgery to remove the extra skin, even though it’s meticulous, does not take long and the recovery is fairly brief and the scars are invisible,” explains Restifo. He says a woman can be back to work in less than a week and other activities can start after that. “Exercise may take 2-3 weeks, intercourse may take six weeks, but the recovery isn’t bad at all.”

Relief following labiaplasty.

Restifo says for most patients there are no lingering scars. “It’s the part of the body where the scars are the most invisible.” He reminds patients that this surgery should always be about the patient and never about pleasing someone else, and he says if that’s true the rewards will be endless. “I think labiaplasty has one of the highest satisfaction rates of all the surgeries because it’s simple, the recovery is easy, and the results are very dramatic.”

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