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Labiaplasty in San Francisco

model posing displaying lower body curves

The labiaplasty procedure is performed for women who have redundant, or overly large, labia minora (vaginal lips). These women often complain of their labia getting caught in their underwear and clothes and can experience discomfort during sexual intercourse. With the operation, San Francisco, CA board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gray, removes the excess labia skin and tissue, leaving a remnant that appears like a short labia minora. Attention is taken so that the edge of the labia appears natural and that sensation is normal. Discomfort, painful intercourse, and the catching of the labia in clothes are resolved through this surgery.

Surgical Technique

Women who are considering labiaplasty should consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon. In the past, before surgeons improved this procedure, the approach was to remove the excess tissue and skin deformity using an amputation method. Today, skilled surgeons use aesthetic reshaping techniques so that the labia are not only reduced in size, but also the nerves are protected in the process so that sexual feeling is not compromised. A surgeon with experience will preserve the natural color and contour and create a result that looks visually appealing with minimal to no scarring.

The most common approach surgeons take to perform labiaplasty is to use a device known as Iris Scissors. This fine, advanced surgical tool allows the surgeon to reshape the inner folds of the labia. In the process, a clean “V” shaped wedge is made to the vaginal lips, and is removed to reduce the size. The surgeon will carefully work to reshape and reconstruct the lips so that they meet the patient’s aesthetic goals. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision. Another approach is to use a laser treatment to reduce the labia. This is effective for some patients, but is only recommended in cases where the skin defect is minimal.

Dr. Leonard Gray

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Dr. Gray is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience conducting surgical procedures of the breast, body, and face. His emphasis on patient education and attention to detail have made him the top choice for plastic surgery in the Bay Area. Dr. Gray invites you to meet with him for a friendly and informative consultation.

During & After Surgery

Labiaplasty typically takes between 1 – 2 hours to complete, depending on how complex the surgical case is. It is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility and does not require an overnight stay. Women who undergo labia rejuvenation will need to avoid any activity that may cause swelling and bleeding, such as exercise, sexual activity, douching, and the use of tampons. These activities can be resumed slowly around 4 – 6 weeks post-op. Women find that the results of this procedure look so natural that their self-confidence and self-image are improved drastically. 

Labiaplasty FAQs

When researching the aesthetic surgery market, most patients will find that a large majority of cosmetic surgeons offer labiaplasty. While many OBGYNs are capable of performing labia rejuvenation, the procedure is most often considered cosmetic. An OBGYN will be able to surgically remove any excess that exists within the labia; however, a cosmetic surgeon will consider the aesthetics as well. This ensures that scarring is minimal, and that color, contour and symmetry looks and feels natural. 

As with any surgery, there may be numbness in the vaginal area after the procedure is completed. This is temporary as the skin and vaginal lips heal. In regards to sensitivity, it is important to understand that labia rejuvenation affects, for the most part, the vaginal lips only. Sensitivity is served by the clitoris. A skilled cosmetic surgeon that specializes in labiaplasty will work around this area so that a loss of sensitivity does not occur.

Labiaplasty, when performed by a skilled surgeon, will only improve sexual intercourse. In many cases, this is because the excess skin and tissue that may have gotten in the way during sex before will now be removed. The clitoral region will be protected and the sensory nerves preserved so that sexual intercourse is not impacted in a negative way.

In most cases, it is recommended that women wait to have labia rejuvenation until after all pregnancies are complete. However, if having enlarged labia is bothersome and causes physical symptoms and emotional hardship, then this surgery can most definitely be performed before a planned pregnancy. If the results of the surgery are compromised due to a post-surgical pregnancy, a second surgery can be discussed.

The best candidates for vaginal rejuvenation are women who have developed significant labial changes postpartum or who have always had large or irregular-sized labia majora, minora, or both. While there is no emphasis on standard shapes or sizes of labia, many women express dissatisfaction with asymmetry.

Other labiaplasty qualifications may include the following:

  • Being 18 years or older
  • Experiencing physical discomfort while sitting, exercising, or during intercourse
  • Feeling self-conscious about the size or appearance of the labia
  • Having labial tears resulting from childbirth

Most patients interested in labiaplasty are seeking cosmetic enhancements; however, there are many reasons you may pursue this procedure. At Bay Area Plastic Surgery, we respect every patient’s motivation and provide compassionate and caring experience.

The labia majora and minora go through multiple transitions throughout a woman’s life, especially during puberty. Variations in size, shape, and symmetry are all normal and rarely indicate any potential problems in the teen years. We don’t recommend undergoing cosmetic surgery on labia that are still growing and changing, since that could result in a need for secondary corrective surgery.

Most reputable cosmetic surgeons encourage patients who are still developing physically and emotionally to wait until they’ve reached full maturity in their early 20s.

Labiaplasty is a minor surgery usually involving a local anesthetic. However, surgically cutting into the labia can result in discomfort and swelling.

Dr. Gray can prescribe medications to help reduce bruising, swelling, and pain if you feel any concerns. Still, over-the-counter alternatives work quite well for most patients to dull the pain after a labiaplasty.

In most cases, the results of a labiaplasty are permanent. However, all bodies are different, and things like childbirth, aging, or trauma can adversely affect some labiaplasty results.

Every patient has a different experience, but many wear maxi pads or period panties for one to two weeks after their procedure. These tools keep the area sanitary and protect your clothes from any bacitracin ointment or bleeding that may occur from the incision during the healing process. Pads and period panties also provide extra cushioning and protection throughout the day to keep you more comfortable.