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5 Common Misconceptions About Labiaplasty

With over 25 years of experience performing labiaplasty, board-certified plastic surgeon Steven Yarinsky, MD, FACS has heard several rumors about this feminine intimate procedure that are simply not true. During the consultation process, he helps patients interested in the procedure get a better understanding of what the process entails. By discussing the benefits and risks in detail, patients become well-informed and know what to expect at every stage of their procedure and recovery.

Dr. Yarinsky explains that as long as labiaplasty is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon and Aesthetic Society member who is experienced with doing the various types of labiaplasty, patients will find the following to be myths.

“Labiaplasty is painful.”

Not only is this unlikely, but most patients find they have less pain after labiaplasty, since they no longer have the irritation caused from enlarged labia. Labiaplasty is usually performed under local or general anesthesia, ensuring you remain completely comfortable throughout surgery. Experiencing pain during or immediately after is uncommon, but any discomfort during the recovery can typically be managed with oral medication. Most women only take Tylenol® for discomfort within several days after their labiaplasty.

“My partner will be able to see my labiaplasty scars.”

When performed meticulously using the wedge-type technique—as opposed to the edge-trim technique—scars from labiaplasty are virtually undetectable. Dr. Yarinsky prefers the wedge labiaplasty technique due to its ability to conceal scarring. By placing the incisions in hidden areas, he can make sure the final results look exceptionally natural, with minimal signs of any work being done.

“Labiaplasty is only done for cosmetic reasons.”

Although cosmetic improvement is a popular reason for seeking labiaplasty, the procedure is often performed to address medical problems as well, such as pain or irritation from enlarged labial tissue. Women of all ages have sought Dr. Yarinsky for labiaplasty, hoping they can not only obtain an enhanced appearance but reduce physical discomfort like chafing, tenderness, and wetness that they may perceive when wearing tight underwear or clothing and with intimate relations.

“I’ll lose some sensation after labiaplasty.”

Labiaplasty should not cause any long-term sensation changes when properly done. If the procedure includes a clitoral hood skin reduction, however, there may be increased sensitivity and pleasure during sexual intimacy. While recovery time can vary, Dr. Yarinsky typically recommends waiting 8 to 10 weeks after surgery to resume intimacy and any activities that may place stress on the groin region. In general, he has found that sensation after labiaplasty is usually similar to what it was prior to the surgery.

“Labiaplasty will have to be redone if performed before having children.”

The results from labiaplasty are considered permanent and, therefore, should not have to be revised following a future vaginal birth. This is because labia minora once reduced in size will not enlarge or revert to their previous shape and size due to pregnancy or a vaginal delivery. However, new changes can occur, such as a torn labia minora after childbirth. While the timing of labiaplasty ultimately depends on the patient’s individual needs, Dr. Yarinsky says many of his patients wish they had undergone the procedure sooner!

If you have any concerns about your labiaplasty recovery or results, always feel free to reach out to your plastic surgeon and Dr. Yarinsky with questions. By doing so, you can learn whether your experience and recovery is normal and what to expect for your final outcome.

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