A labiaplasty, or the plastic surgical reduction and improvement of the labia minora, is the Rodney Dangerfield of cosmetic surgery: “it doesn’t get no respect!” Many people who have heard of the procedure consider it to be a frivolous, incredibly unwarranted one sought out by superficial, self-absorbed women who have too much time on their hands, more money than they know what to do with and are of so little of substance that they even have to critique the anatomy of their private parts. Often, the phrase “Scottsdale women” is used in the same sentence.
Is this perception of a labiaplasty reflective of reality or is there more to the story?
As with any cosmetic procedure, there is a subset of women who obsess about any real or imagined imperfection of a part of their body. With regards to their labia minora, they want designer ones which are what a labiaplasty can offer.
However, a majority of women have real and substantial issues which this procedure can address. For example, large protruding labia minora can be painfully stretched, compressed and irritated during a variety of physical activities, particularly horseback riding and bike riding as well as with sex. This can result in skin breakdown and even chronic infections. Tight and form fitting clothing can elicit similar problems as well as create significant embarrassment by making the anatomic problem fairly evident to the general public. Finally, the considerably enlarged labial size can create a variety of hygienic problems.
When performed correctly, a labiaplasty can successfully address both the cosmetic and functional issues that are associated with atypically large and prominent labia minora. It can alleviate the issues that had been associated with a variety of activities including having sex as well as improve self-esteem.
In later posts, I will cover specifics on the procedure itself including techniques and expectations. If you would like more information on the labiaplasty procedure or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform, or to schedule a consultation with me, please feel free to call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona