Labiaplasty and Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation: Deciding on the best treatment for you

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Are you considering Labiaplasty or a non-surgical MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Rejuvenation?

What you need to know to decide the right treatment for you. 

Some women may be born with a large or irregularly-shaped labia, for others a large labia may develop after puberty, childbirth, or as the result of ageing.

Labial hypertrophy (when your labia is abnormally large or misshapen) typically affects the labia minor or the inner lips of the vagina. Contrary to popular myths, abnormally large labia tissues are NOT caused or worsened by masturbation or illnesses. Some women have them, and some women don’t.

If you find that your labia is abnormally large or misshapen, you might be considering a Labiaplasty procedure or the non-surgical vaginal and labia skin tightening treatment – MonaLisa Touch.

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A large or misshapen labia can effect women in a variety of different ways. If YOU are concerned about your labia skin, you may experience:

  • Discomfort or irritation wearing certain clothing or swimwear and during certain forms of exercise (Bike riding, horse back riding)
  • Proneness to Chronic Infections
  • Discomfort or self-consciousness during intimacy or sexual intercourse

On the other hand, you may be one of the many women who have not experienced any discomfort but feel overly self-consciousness about the outward appearance of your vagina or the effects it has on your self-image, or your sex life and quality of life in general.

This is what typically leads some women to consider a Labiaplasty surgery, a surgical procedure which reshapes or reduces the labia skin to improve comfort levels or freedom to wear certain types of clothing, lingerie or swimwear.  There is also a vaginal laser option, which can help refine or tighten some of the skin in the labia area.

Why might your Labia enlarge? Causes for an enlarged or misshapen Labia can vary from woman to woman.

A woman’s labia composed of the labia majora (which are the outer lips of the vagina) and the labia minora (the inner lips of the vagina).

Some causes of having large or notably extended labia include:

  • Genetics: You may have been born this way.
  • Puberty: As estrogen and other hormones increase during puberty, many other changes take place as well and this can lead to the overgrowth of the labia.
  • Pregnancy: When you are pregnant, there is an increased flow of blood to the genital area can increase pressure and lead to a feeling of heaviness.
  • Childbirth: During childbirth the labia can stretch and tear and while they normally do retract, some women are left with abnormally large labia.
  • Trauma: In some cases, hypertrophy can occur after infection or trauma to the genital area.

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What is a Labiaplasty? The methods of a Labia Reduction (also known as Labioplasty)

A Labiaplasty or Labioplasty surgery is commonly referred to as a Labia Reduction and is performed all over the world.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons may perform the labiaplasty/labioplasty surgery using one of two commonly used related surgical techniques: a trim method or a wedge method.

The Trim Method for Labiaplasty/Labioplasty Surgery

The trim method, or the strip method, is one of the most commonly used surgical techniques for reducing the length of the labia minora.

  • It removes excess labial skin by cutting away along the long edge of the labia minora.
  • This method is most commonly used because it is less likely to cause complications and often produces the most natural looking results for patients
  • Some women seek to remove the darker and longer edges of their labia minora, and the trim method may be appropriate for women seeking this type of labia reduction.

The Wedge Method for Labiaplasty/Labioplasty Surgery

The wedge method removes a wedge-shaped portion of the unwanted labia.

  • A wedge-shaped portion is removed in order to reduce the bulkiness of the labia minora.
  • This technique is not very popular but can some surgeons do use it in certain circumstances. 
  • The procedure itself typically only takes about an hour or two and is an out-patient procedure. C
  • Surgeons often give patients a mild sedative and/or pain medications, to help place you under a light sleep while they use local anesthesia to numb the area. 
  • Other labiaplasty surgeries are performed in Hospital Settings under General Anaesthesia.

Fortunately, if you’re wanting surgery to reduce your labia tissues, it’ll be good to know that the vaginal area tends to heal somewhat quickly. Every woman, however, is different – and you will have discomfort after surgery and need to follow post-op instructions whilst you’re healing..

However, recovery for a typical labiaplasty procedure is often relatively minimal.

What to expect with Labiaplasty Surgery:

During a consultation with a female Specialist Plastic Surgeon (ask to see Dr Rebecca Wyten), you will be assessed for which treatment is best to meet your goals. Not everyone is suitable for surgical options and you may decide to opt for a different approach OR to become more comfortable with the appearance of your labia.  But if you DO struggle with infections or discomfort during intercourse, exercises or walking, then the procedure MAY be an option for you. Socially, there are very mixed views about some surgeries and this is a procedure that not everyone will understand – and one you might not share on social media – but it can make a significant quality of life improvement for women who have been very uncomfortable and self-conscious about their larger labia. 

If labiaplasty surgery means you can exercise comfortable or wear swimwear and other summer clothing without self-consciousness, the decision is entirely up to you and your Plastic Surgeon.

There are risks, as with any surgery, and  your Surgeon will go over these with you in detail BEFORE you decide to proceed with the surgery.

In general, you will experience some pain and discomfort for about 10 days but any discomfort should improve after the 10 day mark.

Many patients can return to most normal activities within six weeks or thereabouts; and while the risks of Labiaplasty are typically low, they still can occur. Healing is always a bit unpredictable and potentially impacted by certain environments; so it is important to discuss with your doctor and to be fully informed about risks of surgery prior to consenting to surgery.  Also, surgery is often uncomfortable as you’re in the initial stages of healing. If you’re NOT sure you want to have this procedure done, don’t do it.  Discuss it with loved ones and people you feel comfortable with and then make up your mind for yourself – never have any form of surgery to please anyone else. It’s entirely up to you and your Surgeon.

What might Labiaplasty surgery achieve for you?

Women often choose labiaplasty to reshape the external appearance of their genitalia when they are tired of having infections, discomfort during exercise or intercourse and/or of feeling self-conscious about labia in certain types of clothing.

As previously mentioned, you may have a purely cosmetic reason for undergoing a labiaplasty and many women use the procedure to help treat a functional impairment.

Each woman is unique in her reasons for wanting surgery.

Doctors have found that women who consider their labia to be abnormally long (protruding) note it can lead to some levels of emotional or psychological distress, including distress during intimate encounters.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery (or non-surgical options) IS a method to help reduce the size of the labia or reshape skin, and may also be used after pregnancy or childbirth if a woman finds the changed labia to be very uncomfortable or prone to skin irritation.

Non-Surgical Options: Laser Vaginal Tightening and Revitalisation with MonaLisa Touch

Surgery is not always the best option for every woman, and does come with certain risks.  Luckily, there are other alternatives available to you like the MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser treatment option.

At Cosmetic Surgery for Women, the MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Rejuvenation is a non-surgical option that can treat a variety of issues without undergoing intensive Plastic Surgery.

General Practitioner, Dr Loretto Maxwell, is our Team’s ‘go-to’ Medical Professional for female health, post-pregnancy and menopausal help, including MonaLisa Touch treatments.

Dr Loretto Maxwell has had extensive and specialised training and experience and can perform a Vaginal Rejuvenation for you using the MonaLisa Touch system.

If you are experiencing any of the following then the MonaLisa Touch may be perfect for you:

  • Vaginal atrophy due to ageing or collagen loss of the vaginal skin
  • Loss of vaginal elasticity
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • A stretched or loose Vagina after childbirth

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Many of these symptoms can be treated with the MonaLisa Touch, for suitable candidates for vaginal laser treatments (these treatments may not suit all women).

The MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Laser is a revolutionary, non-surgical, “walk in, walk out” 20 minute treatment for vaginal revitalisation, vaginal tightening and loss of elasticity. The treatment is practically painless and requires no downtime – something that is likely very important for you.

Most women are perfect candidates for this treatment as it also has an effect on skin revitalisation or rejuvenation by improving the skin’s elasticity and collagen levels. It can also help with moisture levels by stimulating renewal of the processes that diminish with age – so this is a great treatment for post-menopausal women!

Results may vary from patient to patient, although Dr Loretto Maxwell generally recommends three MonaLisa Touch sessions spaced a month apart with occasional maintenance treatments. While the MonaLisa Touch is a fantastic option for many women, you may not be a candidate for the laser treatments and a traditional Labiaplasty may be your best choice.

When is it time for surgery? How to know the right time for a Labiaplasty or MonaLisa Touch treatment?

You may be one of the many women who choose to undergo a labiaplasty to alleviate your symptoms. Recovery times will vary from patient to patient, but usually takes approximately six weeks. Patients may begin to experience an improvement from their discomfort after about 10 days, again this will vary depending on the patient and their specific health condition. 

When it comes time to selecting a surgeon it is important to do your research before finding a plastic surgery practice. You should always look for a Specialist Plastic Surgeon that is FRACS qualified and belongs to a professional medical organisations.

Dr. Rebecca Wyten, MBBS, FRACS (Plas), our female specialist plastic surgeon, is a talented Melbourne surgeon expert in a number of plastic surgery procedures including labiaplasty; her focus areas include aesthetic and reconstructive surgery for women.

Dr. Rebecca Wyten can help to answer any of your concerns or questions regarding Labiaplasty. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Wyten today, or to enquire about a MonaLisa Touch Treatment from Dr Loretto Maxwell, call us on (03) 8849 1400. You can also visit our website to learn more.


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Last updated: 14/06/2018
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Amara Devereux
Amara, content contributor for Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men. Click here for more information on plastic surgery in Melbourne!