Labiaplasty, sometimes referred to as a ‘facelift’ for the lady parts, continues to skyrocket in popularity among women who want a more youthful look ‘down there’. However, the remodeling trend is also getting the attention of young girls, some very young. The Plastic Surgery Channel reporter, Dawn Tongish takes a look at what some experts say is a disturbing push to have this surgical procedure too young.
Live Labiaplasty on Social Media
It was a shocking moment live on Instagram when adult entertainer Farrah Abraham had a labiaplasty performed. She told her followers it was a special moment. “What’s up? We are going to get a designer vagina,” she said. The 90 second video created a big stir as social media watched the procedure being performed in real time.
During the operation she told her audience she wanted to create ‘designer’ genitals and offered advice. “My vagina is giving birth to a vagina today. After designer vagina surgery – you can’t have sex for like 30 days,” Abraham said. Some are calling Abraham’s surgery a media stunt, but it doesn’t take any wild publicity to fuel the popularity of labiaplasty. Women are already clamoring for the surgery, including very young girls who are showing interest in changing the appearance of their genitals. And while labiaplasty serves an extremely important role in functional improvement of the vagina, it’s aesthetic component is easiest to see.
How Young is Too Young?
Labiaplasty can be life changing, as overly large labia minora can cause a whole host of functional issues. During the operation, the labia minor are reduced in size, a procedure that improves function and aesthetics all in one. Patients who want the procedure are often interested in a more youthful look, but even very young girls are curious about labiaplasty. An adolescent specialist who works for the British Broadcasting Company indicates that girls as young as 9-years old are seeking labiaplasty. It’s an age that some plastic surgeons say is too young to consider this sort of operation. “I think it’s really crazy at a young age to be thinking that much about your vagina, ” says Dr. Tiffany McCormack, a board certified plastic surgeon in Reno, Nevada.
McCormack performs labiaplasty operations often and says it can change a woman’s life by improving appearance and function. She says it may at times be necessary even in younger girls, for the right reasons. “Some young girls are born looking very different down there,” she explains. “If it’s something that can be corrected with surgery so she can live a normal life and not be embarrassed about a body part, then that’s alright. It should never be done just to look perfect, like a barbie doll. That’s going too far.”
Is “Designer Vagina” the Term Surgeons Really Want to Use?
In some circles, labiaplasty is referred to as a ‘designer vagina.’ It’s a term that may make it more appealing to some demographics, but it isn’t favorable to board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Mary Gingrass. “I’m a little offended, or cringe a bit, at ‘designer vagina,'” says Gingrass. Dr. Gingrass is a big supporter of labiaplasty and performs the procedure routinely in her Nashville, Tennessee office. She believes the procedure should be talked about with respect and reserved for the right client. “I think there are limits about what is okay to talk about and make fun of.”
She says it is an effective surgery to resolve real issues and restore feminine confidence. “For anyone with labia that are hanging down, or people who feel uncomfortable, it is a simple operation to shorten those and make people feel more comfortable,” she explains. There isn’t anyone laughing at results. Experts say labiaplasty patients are some of the most satisfied when it comes to the outcome. People report being happy with a renewed sense of confidence and restored sex drive. However, experts say it’s important that this surgery be done at the appropriate age, for the right reasons, and if it’s about having something ‘designer’ – save it for fashion.