Labiaplasty, also referred to as labioplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure used to correct an overhanging or asymmetrical labia (the “lips” surrounding the vagina) which may not only appear cosmetically displeasing but may also lead to irritation as it rubs against the underwear or even discomfort during a sexual intercourse.

Some women have had overhanging or asymmetrical labia since they were young, although some have developed this condition due to the natural effects of aging or after childbirth.



If you have hanging and/or full fatty vaginal lips, you are generally a good candidate for labia reduction surgery. But as with any plastic surgery procedure, this involves risk of complications and recovery period which means that you have to be physically healthy and emotionally stable.

It is also important that you have realistic expectations and goals with this vaginal rejuvenation procedure, and have a full understanding of certain risks which are always involved in any plastic surgery.


While most vaginal surgeries such as labiaplasty were first used to address urinary incontinence, congenital deformities, menstrual problems due to malformation, and difficulty during sexual intercourse, these procedures can now be given to women who want to cosmetically improve their genitalia.

Determining if a certain procedure is reconstructive or aesthetic is important since most insurance companies provide coverage for surgeries which are medically necessary and are not solely performed for cosmetic reasons.

But even if labiaplasty and other vaginal rejuvenation procedures are sometimes performed for aesthetic reasons, the benefits you will enjoy such as better self-esteem and confidence are still substantial.


You should remember that there is no “ideal” look for a vagina and labia; in fact, women’s genitals have a very wide range of normal appearances which are considered anatomically correct. Consequently, there is no universal approach when conducting a vaginal rejuvenation surgery.

Traditionally, labiaplasty and other vaginal rejuvenation procedures are performed with the use of scalpel or surgical knife. But with the advances in plastic surgery, laser technology can now be used which can lead to more accurate incisions, shorter recovery, and less bleeding and swelling since the laser beam cauterizes the blood vessels and tissues.

Regardless of which surgical technique is used (laser beam vs scalpel), there is almost no risk of visible scarring since the incisions are very small and are usually hidden within the natural creases of skin.

Aside from an excision technique, you may also undergo liposuction if you have full fatty mons (vaginal lips).

Depending on your preference and Dr. Smiley’s, a vaginal rejuvenation surgery can be performed under general anesthesia (which can put you to sleep) or local anesthesia with sedation. In most cases, using local anesthesia alone is not recommended since many women are not comfortable if the procedure is performed while they are awake, even if they feel numb in the treated area.

Meanwhile, labiaplasty is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning, you can return home just several hours after your surgery.


Within a week following your surgery, your genital region will be tender and swollen. However, you can minimize these symptoms by occasionally applying cold compress on the area during the first 24 hours of your recovery.

Dr. Smiley will most likely require you to wear a female pad for several days to keep your genital area dry, and use an inflatable “donut cushion” to make sitting more comfortable.

It often takes six weeks for most patients to fully recover from their surgery. And in most cases, sexual intercourse and strenuous activities should be avoided within four to six weeks in order to prevent certain complications and achieve the most desired result.

To be on the safe side, you should ask Dr. Smiley on when is the right time to resume these activities.


In some cases, labiaplasty is complemented with vaginoplasty which is a procedure which can tighten the overstretched vaginal tissue, a condition which may happen after several childbirth or due to aging.

Dr. Smiley claims that both labiaplasty and vaginoplasty may improve the sensitivity of the female genitalia since there are no flaps of extra skin, thus resulting to a heightened sexual response and pleasure.

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