Vaginal rejuvenation has become increasingly popular in recent years. There is now a myriad of both surgical and non-invasive procedures available to women that can help them restore their confidence and improve their sex lives through genital rejuvenation. Andre Panossian, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Pasadena, CA, helps women from all over the Los Angeles area feel happier and more confident through vaginal rejuvenation.
What is Vaginal Rejuvenation (AKA Labial Reduction or Labiaplasty)?
Vaginal rejuvenation (labiaplasty) is performed to turn back the clock on external vaginal tissues, known as the labia. This procedure is typically performed on the labia minora, which are the smaller, more sensitive inner lips.
Some women experience excessive tissue in the labia minora with age, after childbirth, or due to genetics. The excess tissues may extend beyond the outer vaginal tissues (labia majora) and can interfere with many normal functions including sexual intercourse, insertion of tampons, or during exercise. During labial reduction surgery, the excess tissues are carefully removed to permanently fix this problem.
A hymenoplasty is another vaginal rejuvenation procedure that can re-tighten the hymenal tissues that are ruptured as women experience their first sexual intercourse. This is an effective technique to restore a women’s vagina to its youthful, virginal state.
How Do I Know if I Need This Procedure?
Most frequently, patients who undergo this procedure do so because of excess tissue in the labia minora. Often, when the inner lips protrude significantly, it can cause physical discomfort and interfere with a woman’s quality of life. In addition, some women have elongated or heavily asymmetrical labia minora. This can also make certain aspects of life more difficult, and it can cause embarrassment or anxiety.
If your inner labia are relatively symmetrical, tucked into the outer lips, or slightly protruding and not causing any pain or discomfort, chances are that your genitals are well within the range of what is considered normal.
Those who are interested in labiaplasty should schedule a consultation with Dr. Panossian. He will be able to evaluate you and make a recommendation based on your goals and concerns.
Your Labiaplasty Consultation
Before scheduling your labiaplasty procedure, you will have a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Panossian in Pasadena. He will go over your medical history, discuss your goals and give you a realistic idea of what to expect after a labiaplasty. He will also give you his honest opinion about your candidacy.
This is your opportunity to ask questions and to get all the information you need to move forward with the procedure. It’s a good idea to come in with a list of questions prepared so you don’t forget to address anything important.
What Should I Expect During a Labiaplasty Procedure?
The overall goal of a labiaplasty is to reduce the size of the labia minora so that they remain tucked into the labia majora comfortably. The procedure can be done either with local or general anesthesia. All procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
Most women will not require general anesthesia for a labiaplasty. Often, a local anesthetic is administered while the patient reclines comfortably, remaining awake and alert throughout the procedure.
Should the doctor determine that you would be more comfortable under general anesthesia, a board-certified anesthesiologist will be present throughout the surgery to ensure your safety and comfort.
The excess labial tissues are marked out in a specific pattern that will facilitate their removal. Typically, the doctor employs what is known as the “wedge” technique to give the most natural-looking results with a minimal amount of post-surgical discomfort. The surgery takes approximately 1 hour. All stitches are absorbable.
During a hymenoplasty, a V-shaped incision is made in the rear portion of the vaginal opening (introitus). The tissues are then closed in several layers with absorbable tissues to separate internal and external vaginal tissues.
Some patients choose to have both procedures performed. You will discuss your goals and wishes during the consultation.
What Should I Expect During Labiaplasty Recovery?
Someone should accompany you to drive you home post-procedure, and you should avoid driving for at least 24 hours. If you are taking prescription pain medication, however, you may need to avoid driving longer.
Patients can return to activity relatively quickly after surgery. You will be instructed to apply ice packs or a bag of frozen peas to the operative area for the first 24-48 hours. The incisions should be iced for up to 20 minutes each hour, which helps with bruising, swelling, and general discomfort.
Activities should be approached cautiously for about 2 days. Most people will return to work in 3-4 days, taking care to avoid activities that might rub on the incisions. In many cases, it is recommended to take at least a week away from work, school, or strenuous activities, but this can vary from one patient to the next.
There is to be absolutely no sexual intercourse, tampons, bicycle or horseback riding, swimming, hot tubs, or other physical activities that will put pressure and friction over the incisions for 6 weeks.
Loose, breathable clothing and unrestrictive cotton underwear must be worn throughout recovery to keep friction to the labia at a minimum.
As your recovery progresses, light physical activity is encouraged, but strenuous activities and rigorous exercise should be avoided until you have made a full recovery.
What are the Risks of a Labiaplasty?
As with any surgery, there are potential risks or complications. Dr. Panossian will go over all of these risks with you in as much detail as needed, but in general, the risks may include:
- Infection at the surgical site
- Bruising or bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Scarring around the surgical site
- Persistent pain
Labiaplasty is a very safe procedure overall. You can minimize the risks by choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon with a long track record of safety and excellent results.
Frequently Asked Questions about Labiaplasty
Healthy, adult women can choose to have labiaplasty performed whenever it works best for them. However, it is important to note that pregnancy and childbirth can change the genitals somewhat. Waiting until you are done having children can help ensure long-lasting results.
We welcome patients from Pasadena, Los Angeles, and from all over the state of California and beyond. Prices vary depending on the patient’s needs, but location does affect the overall costs. Keep in mind that there will be several fees included in the total cost. Our office can provide you with all the necessary information and provide financing options.
The initial pain will be limited immediately following your procedure due to the local anesthetic. Most women report feeling limited pain for the first 24 hours, followed by moderate discomfort and soreness in the weeks following. Generally, this pain can be effectively managed with cold compresses and over-the-counter painkillers.
Because the incisions used will be small, the resulting scarring will be minimal and difficult to see. Dr. Panossian performs each labiaplasty intending to leave the smallest scars possible to give you a natural appearance.
Understandably, many women are concerned about potentially losing sensation in the labia following labiaplasty. While you might experience some sensation changes during the recovery period, you are unlikely to develop long-term sensation loss. As one of the leading labiaplasty surgeons in California, Dr. Panossian can discuss this with you and give you more information to ease your mind.
Schedule a Labiaplasty Consultation with Dr. Panossian
If you feel that a labiaplasty may be right for you, feel free to call 626-765-6885 or email our practice to schedule your labiaplasty consultation with Dr. Panossian. If you do not live in the Los Angeles area, our staff can work with you to set up video conferencing and photographic consultations, just fill out our contact form. We look forward to helping you boost your confidence!