No matter how wonderful we look to the rest of the world, many women are self-conscious about some part of their body. The shape, size and appearance of the genital region can be one of the areas a woman may be most worried about. In terms of self-esteem, dissatisfaction with the appearance and size of the labial area can lead to self-consciousness and embarrassment, and may lead to sexual dysfunction.
Cosmetic labiaplasty, known as the reduction of the labia, is among the most popular form of genital cosmetic surgery. Genital surgery can also include clitoral hood reduction, which reduces the amount of skin covering the clitoris, and vaginoplasty, which involves the tightening of the vaginal muscles. Labiaplasty is the specific cosmetic procedure to reduce the inner lips of the vagina, or labia minora. Some women experience physical discomfort as a result of elongated or large labia, while others are concerned with the cosmetic appearance due to size and asymmetry. Often, a small improvement to appearance, whether obvious or discrete, can mean an enormous boost in self-esteem and self confidence.
The Labia Procedure
The labiaplasty procedure usually takes between one and two hours, and is performed while the patient is under general anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedative. The surgeon will remove the pre-determined amounts of excess labial area and suture the incision with dissolvable sutures. Sensitivity is not lost as a result of labia reduction surgery, and there is almost no visible scarring; any scars will not be readily detectable by the untrained eye.
Cost of Labia Surgery
Depending on the location and the surgeon, the cost of a typical labia reduction treatment ranges from $3,000 to $6,000. The cost of cosmetic surgery is usually higher once the extra fees for hospital time, anesthetic and any after-care products are added on. Make sure to add the total cost to your list of questions to ask your plastic surgeon.
Recovery Time After Labial Surgery
Labiaplasty is not a complicated procedure, and the recovery time will be relatively short. You should be able to return to work in two to five days while restricting your activity for another two to three weeks. Instructions from your doctor will include wearing support panties to reduce swelling, as well as avoiding the use of tampons and douches. Patients can usually return to all normal activity within three weeks, but your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid intercourse for up to six weeks following the surgery.
Risk of Labial Surgery
Recovering from your surgery should be a fairly simple process. The best way to minimize risk in any surgery is to follow your surgeon's instructions carefully to ensure good healing. The specific risks involved with labia reduction include incision separation, bleeding, infection and scarring. With proper care and respect for recovery time there should be no complications.