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A labiaplasty is the surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of enlarged labia minora, also known as the inner lips of the vulvar area. An enlargement is often considered to be present when the labia minora extend out past the labia majora (outer lips) to a variable degree.

For quite a long time, the majority of medical professionals as well as the public at large held the opinion that a labiaplasty was a frivolous procedure desired by vacuous, silver spoon women who were strongly influenced by graphic images courtesy of the pornography industry and with nothing better to do than contemplate the appearance of their “privates”. The opinion was that these women had their breast augmentation and liposuction, are going to the spa weekly, and having their bi-weekly hair appointments so why not get a designer labiaplasty? One more thing to boast about for the pampered woman who has everything?

That is not the case so much anymore.


Because after the newness and alluring sexual nature of this subsided aided with significant exposure by the media, people began to realize that this is actually a reasonable procedure that addresses real life issues – psychological and physical.

And effective it is! In fact, several studies on the subject revealed satisfaction rates well in excess of 90% – a very high rate.

A study entitled “Why Women Request Labiaplasty”, published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal this past April, investigated the major reasons why women were motivated to seek a labiaplasty including their importance and frequency. The researchers had fifty consecutive patients, who were consulting for a labiaplasty, fill out a comprehensive questionnaire related to various aspects of this issue. What they found was that there were both physical and psychological reasons for wanting to pursue a labiaplasty and most had multiple reasons for both categories.

The physical symptoms and their percent incidence in this study are:
A. Tugging during intercourse – 74%
B. Uncomfortable wearing tight clothing – 72%
C. Uncomfortable twisting of labia – 58%
D. Visible labia in exercise clothing – 54%
E. Pain during intercourse – 48%
F. Exposure in bathing suit – 40%

As for the psychological issues, they are as follows:
A. Self-consciousness over appearance – 94%
B. Negative self-esteem – 66%
C. Less attractive to partner – 64%
D. Negative impact on intimacy – 64%
E. Restrictive clothing choice – 56%

Of the six physical symptoms cited, the average per person experienced 3.5 of them. For the five appearance related issues, that average was 3.4. Including all eleven symptoms together, the average person seeking a labiaplasty experienced almost 7 of them – an incredibly remarkable number of issues.

Clearly this study, in addition to several others, reveals the major negative impact that enlarged labia minora have on women as relates to both physical and psychological issues. It contradicts the sentiment of many that a labiaplasty is an unnecessary, frivolous or even exploitive procedure and instead, strongly supports the importance of making this procedure available for affected women.

If you would like to schedule your consultation for a labiaplasty or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona


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