Who is a candidate for labiaplasty?


Labiaplasty is a type of plastic surgery to shorten labia minora. This certainly isn't in the top 10 surgical procedures I perform, but it does come up at least a few times a year. The real question is, when are labia so long that they require surgery? While there's a huge range of what's considered normal, the average labia measures about one inch from base to tip. Most of my patients with excessively long labia request a labiaplasty not because they care about the cosmetic appearance, but because they experience discomfort and irritation during sexual or athletic activities. Certainly there are those women who desire "a trim" based on their idea of what's attractive, even when reassured that their labia are perfectly normal. I have had a few patients who were so self-conscious about the appearance of their labia that they avoided sexual intimacy altogether.

Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure that can be performed by a gynecologist or plastic surgeon. Most women are sore for a couple of weeks and develop an affinity for boxer shorts. Bike riding and sex are generally out of the question for about a month. Most women who have this procedure are highly motivated and say that the end result was worth it.