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The appearance of our private areas is, of course, a private issue, but it is actually quite common for women to have complaints about the appearance of their genital region. Especially with the external areas such as the labia minora, the issue can be a sensitive one. For those who are bothered by an especially large or exaggerated labia minora, they may benefit from a labiaplasty.

Feeling self-conscious or experiencing physical discomfort are common issues and can be difficult to discuss, but there is a solution for those looking for peace of mind, relief and a boost to their self-confidence.

To learn more about this procedure, please contact Pearwood Plastic Surgery and schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Murphy today!

What is a Labiaplasty?

In recent years, the labiaplasty has become very popular. Reported numbers of women choosing a labiaplasty have jumped up by nearly forty percent. An average of more than ten thousand procedures are performed yearly. A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that can address cosmetic and functional concerns of the labia minora.

Women may experience irritation during physical activity or a bulged appearance in underwear or tighter fitting pants as a result of this issue. The labiaplasty is one of many other vaginal rejuvenation procedures that are available today. This procedure is specifically aimed at addressing the shape and size of the labia minora. The surgery is effective to treat the concerns of patients at various ages, but it is generally recommended that patients be past the age of puberty to ensure that the labia is no longer changing.

The procedure entails the removal of excess tissue from the labia minora. This is the external tissue of the vagina. The inner, more sensitive labia minora is often the area where patients have the most issues. When the labia minora is overly sensitive or naturally enlarged, this is called labial hypertrophy. Labial hypertrophy symptoms are hygiene problems, irritation, pain, and discomfort. With labial hypertrophy, there may be a visible bulge in clothing that is form fitting and tight. The sensitivity of the of this area can lead to an avoidance of cleaning, especially during your period, which results in chronic infection. Enlarged labia are also more prone to irritation and discomfort due to friction on your underwear. Athletic and physically active individuals can experience irritation and even injure an enlarged labia during activities like bike riding and horseback riding.

Labiaplasty Candidates

If you are bothered by the appearance of your labia minora, then you are a candidate for a labiaplasty.

An enlarged, disproportionate, drooping or flattened appearance of the labia minora is a common complaint. That said, patients should understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect vagina” and that vaginas come in a wide range shapes, sizes, and appearances.

More and more women are choosing the labiaplasty to solve issues of physical discomfort and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing vaginal appearance. Those who are interested in a labiaplasty should be in generally good physical condition without serious medical illness. For all cosmetic surgical procedures it is best if patients are non-smokers and avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication as these can complicate healing. Those who do smoke will be asked to quit a couple of weeks before their procedure. The labiaplasty is an effective procedure that reduces the labia minora, and it may also be combined with other vaginal rejuvenation techniques. Patients can speak with Dr. Murphy during their initial consultation to learn more.

Labia Hypertrophy

Many patients who are considering labiaplasty or vaginal rejuvenation have labial hypertrophy. Labia hypertrophy is the condition that describes a disproportionately large labia minora. If you have extreme labia hypertrophy, you’ve probably experienced a number of symptoms such as irritation, pain, discomfort due to pinching and rubbing during physical activity or intercourse. The causes of labial hypertrophy are varied and can occur at various stages of life. Some strong possibilities are genetics: hormones, pregnancy, and infection.

  • Genetics: some women have had elongated labias since they were born.
  • Hormones: with increases in estrogen during puberty, some women experience extreme changes and growth of their labia minora.
  • Pregnancy: childbirth and the physical changes due to pregnancy can increase blood flow and pressure to the genitalia.
  • Infection: some infections and diseases can cause trauma to the genitalia.


Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Kevin Murphy at Pearwood Plastic Surgery will give you the opportunity to determine which options will best help you achieve your goals. During this appointment, you will meet with the doctor himself, and he will discreetly and privately walk you through the process of the labiaplasty procedure and help customize a treatment plan that best fits your needs. You will need to be prepared to discuss your medical history, current health issues and any gynecological or cosmetic procedures you’ve already had.

During your private consultation, you can bring up your concerns, symptoms or problems that you’ve been experiencing and discuss your goals. Then a physical examination will take place to make an accurate assessment and determine if the labiaplasty is the appropriate technique. In some cases, other vaginal rejuvenation techniques may be a better fit, and Dr. Murphy will be able to explain which options are best for you.

Preparing For Surgery

Getting ready for your labiaplasty will involve some preparation on your part. The staff at Pearwood Plastic Surgery will guide you on what you will need in order to ensure you have the best experience. A few things to note are that you should arrange for a ride home and to have some company after your procedure. As you begin your recovery, it’s best to avoid straining yourself so, having a family member or friend around will make daily life easier. Stop smoking and taking any medications that will interfere with healing a few weeks before the procedure. Anti-inflammatory medications can complicate your healing.


The labiaplasty procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will be able to return home following your surgery. The excess tissue of the labia minora is removed to create an appearance that fits your aesthetic goals. Overall, the procedure is known to take about an hour and a half or longer, depending on the extent of treatment.

The first step is administering the general anesthesia, which will ensure that you feel no discomfort. The techniques used may be the trim or “wedge” technique. The trim procedure removes excess tissue from the end of the labia majora. The wedge procedure is a little different because the natural edges of the labia minora are kept intact as a pie-shaped piece is removed. The technique used is based on your particular body and the type of treatment you require. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures that do not need to be removed later.


Following the procedure, you’ll awaken from your anesthesia and taken to post-operative recovery room. Since this is an outpatient procedure, you will be in and out, back home on the same day of the procedure. Usually, patients take a few days off of work after the procedure to give the body an adequate amount of time to start recovery.

Patients may be given pain medication or an anesthetic spray to help them through the first couple of days. Wearing loose fitting clothes, or boxers is a good idea in the days after your procedure. Typically, patients can expect to be back to work after a week and light activity within two weeks. During this time, some discomfort and itching are common but speak with the doctor if this becomes extreme.

The sutures will dissolve after about three weeks. By the third week, you can return to some light activity, and by the sixth or eighth weeks, sexual intercourse can resume. It’s best to err on the side of caution and check with the doctor before taking on anything strenuous. Each person heals at different rates. There will also be follow-ups to ensure that you are healing well.


Patients come away with satisfied with a rejuvenated appearance of their vaginal area. The labiaplasty procedure is the most commonly performed of the vaginal rejuvenation techniques. Patients find relief from irritation and discomfort as well as a boost in self-confidence with the appearance of their vaginal area. The results of the procedure are long-lasting and will not be affected by later pregnancies or the effects of aging.


The cost of a labiaplasty is dependent on the unique situation of each patient. The techniques used, the goals of the patient and the possible inclusion of other vaginal rejuvenation procedures will all have an impact on the final cost. For some patients, if there are medically-related reasons for the procedure, insurance coverage is a possibility. The best way to determine your cost is to schedule a consultation at Pearwood Plastic Surgery.