While plastic surgery is very commonly known, a labiaplasty may not be. A labiaplasty is a procedure that some people with vaginas may decide to get if they do not like the way their genitalia looks or feels. Labiaplasties are not generally considered medically necessary as they are a form of cosmetic surgery.
What Is a Labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is designed to decrease the size of the labia minora, or inner tissues of the vagina, so that it is even with the labia majora, or outer tissues of the vagina, or vice versa. A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure and is normally done one of two ways:
- Edge Resection: An edge resection is typically done while under anesthesia. A trained and certified plastic surgeon will trim the edges of your labia minora until it is the desired length and shape.
- Wedge Resection: A wedge resection is also usually done while under anesthesia. Your surgeon does not touch the edges of your labia minora and instead will cut wedge-shaped pieces out of the center of the labia minora. Dissolvable stitches are then added to pull the skin together.
Risks of a Labiaplasty
Just like any procedure, a labiaplasty does come with some risks.
Those risks include:
- Chronic dryness
Why Get a Labiaplasty?
One of the reasons those with vaginas opt to get a labiaplasty is usually simply because they do not like the current length of their labia. They become self-conscious wearing things like bathing suits and tight pants and their labia can be visible.
Another reason to get a labiaplasty is that it can improve everyday function.
Those with large labium have trouble performing certain tasks like:
- Riding bike
- Having intercourse
The enlarged labia can result in it twisting or tugging which can cause pain.
How Much Does a Labiaplasty Cost?
The average cost of a labiaplasty is $3,053, not including the cost of anesthesia. This cost will most likely need to be paid out of pocket because most insurance companies will not cover the cost of this procedure since it is considered to be an elective and cosmetic surgery.
Are There Other Options?
Before going through with the procedure, take the time to do some research. If you want the procedure purely for cosmetic purposes, research and see what other genitalia look like. This can help some realize that there's nothing wrong with their body.
If you are getting the procedure due to body dysmorphia, try talking to a therapist. They will be able to walk through it and help you decide if this is something you really want to go through with.