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Some women are born with enlarged labia, whereas others develop the enlargement due to childbirth, hormonal changes, or age. Enlarged labia minora can cause discomfort in tight clothing, during physical activities, and with sexual intercourse. Many women are very self-conscious with their labial appearance, as large labia can cause loss of self-esteem and lack of intimacy.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty (labioplasty) or labia minora reduction is a procedure that reduces the size of the labia minora.
Am I a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?
You may be a good candidate for labiaplasty if the size of your labia minora gets in the way of you living a happy, comfortable life. Candidates for labiaplasty are women unhappy with the appearance of and experience pain and discomfort with their labia.
If you are in generally good health, have realistic expectations of your results, and do not smoke, labiaplasty may be right for you.
Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Alter to determine if you will benefit from the procedure.
How Is Labiaplasty Performed?
Traditionally, gynecologists and plastic surgeons perform labia minora reduction by trimming the protuberant labia minora and stitching along the excised edge. This procedure is the same whether performed with a scalpel, scissors, laser, or radiofrequency device. It is less than ideal since the natural contour and color of labia minora edges are eliminated. The labial edge is replaced in most instances by an irregular scar line of more lightly colored inner labial tissue.
It is very difficult to achieve symmetry, avoid scallops, prevent unsightly scars, and make a normal transition from the upper labium to the clitoral frenulum and clitoral hood with this procedure. In fact, many cases of inadvertent over-resection and even amputation of the labia minora result from the trim technique. It has also been associated with a higher incidence of chronic discomfort along the scar line. The advantages of the trim are that it takes less time and can achieve a lighter labial edge.
What Technique Does Dr. Alter Use When Performing Labiaplasty in Beverly Hills, CA?
Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Alter developed a new technique of labia minora reduction called the “Alter labia contouring” procedure. Most commonly referred to as the “central wedge” or “V” labiaplasty, this advanced technique preserves the normal contour, color, and anatomy of the labia minora edge. He published the seminal article on his technique in the prestigious plastic surgical journal, “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2008.
During the procedure, the most protuberant portion of the labium is excised in a “V” or “pie-slice” manner, which disconnects the upper and lower labium. The labium is then repaired by suturing these edges together in a four-layer closure. This results in normal labia minora appearance with only a small, rarely visible transverse scar across the edge normal labia minora appearance. Also, unlike the posterior wedge labiaplasty favored by some surgeons, the thickest and protuberant portion of the labium is removed. Excess skin on the sides of the clitoral hood can also be reduced without visible scars.
What Type of Anesthesia Is Used During Labiaplasty?
For your comfort, labiaplasty is performed using local or general anesthesia. It can also be performed under intravenous sedation. Because of this, you should not feel any pain during the surgery,
What Are the Risks of the Wedge Labiaplasty?
The disadvantage of the Alter wedge labiaplasty is a small chance of a minor wound opening, a longer operating time, and a greater surgical skill required. In untrained or cavalier surgeons, large disruptions in the suture line can occur, giving the procedure a bad reputation. However, this is very rare if done by a skilled, meticulous surgeon.
The advantage of the wedge labiaplasty is the preservation of normal anatomy with normal labial edges (the darkest portions of the labia are usually removed), a higher incidence of symmetry, less chance to over-resect labia tissue, a lower incidence of chronic discomfort, and less post-operative pain.
How Long Does a Labiaplasty Take?
The length of your labiaplasty will vary depending on the amount of correction needed and specific surgical techniques used. Generally, the surgery takes one to two hours to complete.
What Is the Recovery Process Like After Labiaplasty?
The recovery after the Alter wedge labiaplasty will vary between patients. However, most women can return to work and other obligations within a few days.
You should wear loose clothing and protect your surgical site for a few weeks, but no additional care is required. Sex should be avoided for at least six weeks.
Will I Be Left With Significant Scarring After Labiaplasty?
Dr. Alter understands the importance of hiding your scars. The trim method often results in long, painful scars, leaving women in need of labiaplasty revision. However, the wedge method makes the incisions in inconspicuous areas so they will be almost invisible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Labiaplasty
How much is labiaplasty in Beverly Hills, CA?
Like all plastic surgery procedures, your Beverly Hills labiaplasty cost will vary depending on the techniques used, the extent of the procedure, and whether any other surgery is being performed in combination with your labia minora reduction. Additional cost factors include geographical location, anesthesia costs, facility fees, and surgeon’s fees.
Dr. Alter and his team will happily provide you with a cost estimate during your consultation once a surgical plan has been established and agreed upon.
What if I am unhappy with my results?
Unfortunately, there are many medical professionals out there who offer labiaplasty even though they do not have the training or experience needed to perform this delicate procedure. This is why it is so important to find a plastic surgeon who specializes in female and male genital surgery like Dr. Alter. Dr. Alter is a renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who specializes in labiaplasty and revision labiaplasty.
Dr. Alter commonly sees patients who are unhappy with previous labiaplasty results. Maybe their surgeon did not remove enough tissue (and they are still unhappy with the excess), or poor surgical techniques left them with scars or the removal of too much tissue. Using advanced reconstruction and revision techniques, Dr. Alter can adjust, improve, or correct the results from a previous labiaplasty.
Will labiaplasty tighten my vagina?
Labiaplasty tightens the vulva, which is the outer part of the female genitalia. This surgery does not tighten the vagina or any internal tissues. If you are looking for improvement in that area, Dr. Alter offers other surgical and non-surgical techniques, including clitoral hood reduction, perineoplasty with or without vaginal tightening, and FemTouch™ vaginal resurfacing, among others. These treatments can be performed alone or in combination with labiaplasty. Not all treatments can be performed simultaneously. Dr. Alter will review this during your consultation.
Will labiaplasty tighten my labia majora?
Labiaplasty is performed to reduce the size and prominence of the labia minora (the inner lips). If you are displeased by the look and size of your outer labia (labia majora), Dr. Alter can correct and remodel this at the same time of your labiaplasty. He can also revise previous labia majora reduction treatments if there is asymmetry or another complication.
Why does Dr. Alter not use the trim method?
Dr. Alter created the Alter wedge technique to prevent some of the most common complications associated with the trim method. The trim method removes tissue along the external edge of each labium. This can result in too much tissue being removed, long and often painful scars, and the removal of the natural coloring associated with youthful labia.
Will wedge labiaplasty look natural?
Yes. Thanks to the techniques applied during a wedge labiaplasty, patients can maintain natural-looking labia in both shape and coloration. Scars are barely noticeable.
Is labiaplasty permanent?
Labiaplasty is considered a long-lasting procedure; however, it is important to remember that no plastic surgery procedure prevents additional aging or damage caused by pregnancy or weight fluctuations. Your tissues will continue to age naturally.
What if I get pregnant after labiaplasty?
Undergoing labiaplasty will not prevent you from getting pregnant, nor will it affect a future pregnancy in any way. Unfortunately, a subsequent vaginal delivery will likely impact the quality and appearance of your labiaplasty results.
Dr. Alter performs labiaplasty revision in Beverly Hills, California.
Dr. Alter and the entire team are dedicated to providing every patient with exceptional individualized care—from consultation to recovery. We take the time to learn about your concerns, goals, and desires, so we can build a plan that addresses your concerns and gets you the
results you deserve.
Thoughts & Insights
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