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What is Labiaplasty?

A Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to decrease the size of the labia minora. Labiaplasty may be done either alone or with other plastic surgery procedures.  Labiaplasty is considered a “same day” surgical procedure. A patient may have the procedure performed in an outpatient surgical center and return home the same day. Candidates for a labiaplasty report that enlarged labia can cause issues of intimacy and discomfort. Some issues include local irritation of the vagina, personal hygiene, or discomfort during sexual intercourse or exercise. Some patients report insecurity about appearance.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, vaginal cosmetic surgeries, are growing in popularity.  Labiaplasty is one of the fastest emerging trends in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Coan is a board certified plastic surgeon who has been recognized as a top plastic surgeon in North Carolina by US News and World Report. Additionally, Dr. Coan was voted Durham’s Best Plastic Surgeon seven consecutive years in a row by Durham Magazine. He was also voted Best Plastic Surgeon in Cary, NC by Cary Magazine for 2018. Call CARE at (919) 484-4884 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brian Coan for labiaplasty.


Patient Testimonial


" Everyone here at Care plastic surgery are completely amazing people. They all made me feel very comfortable and safe in their hands. Dr. Coan is an amazing surgeon and does his absolute best to make sure you leave here looking and feeling amazing. -Mary John " - Compassionate Doctor

The Surgical Procedure

The labiaplasty procedure is performed on an outpatient basis while under general or local anesthesia. The surgery takes about one hour to complete. The labia minora are reduced while maintaining the natural shape by use of skin and tissue tightening techniques.

Surgical Complications are Rare

There are many techniques that can be used in labiaplasty. Dr. Coan uses the latest surgical techniques designed to reduce the external appearance of scars. These techniques can reduce issues like itching and burning from scarring. Other issues that may result from labiaplasty include infection, prolonged swelling, and asymmetry.

Recovery from Labiaplasty

After surgery, patients should abstain from such physical activities. We recommend holding off on high-impact sports for about six weeks. This allows enough time for the sutures heal. Patients must also keep the wound clean with sitz baths and antibiotic cream. Swelling and discomfort that may result from the surgery usually dissipate about two weeks after surgery. Medication may be prescribed to aid these symptoms. The sutures used to close the incision are dissolvable.

Why would you get a labiaplasty?

A labiaplasty addresses cosmetic concerns of the external female genitalia, including the labia majora and minora. Patients can also experience functional issues, such as discomfort during exercise or physical activities.

What kind of anesthesia is used for a labiaplasty?

The majority of our surgical procedures are performed using MAC anesthesia. During your procedure, you will be able to breathe on your own without the need for intubation. Local anesthetic is also used to provide additional comfort during and after the procedure.

Why is labiaplasty performed?

Labiaplasty is most commonly performed to reduce the size of excess or enlarged labia minora. This procedure can also be performed for the labia majora. There are many cosmetic, functional, and emotional reasons why this procedure is performed. Labiaplasty can be performed to improve cosmetic appearance and asymmetries, increase self-confidence, or reduce physical discomfort during daily activities.

What causes a woman to have enlarged labia?

There are many factors that can contribute to enlarged or excess labia minora. Factors such as age, hormonal changes, pregnancy and childbirth, weight fluctuations, and genetics can impact the size and/or appearance of the labia.

What are the benefits of labiaplasty?

Many patients find increased comfort during various activities after labiaplasty. Oftentimes, patients complain about the impact on their daily activities, such as catching during intercourse or exercising. Patients also experience improved health and hygiene, increased sexual pleasure, greater comfort in clothing, and overall increased confidence.

How long does labiaplasty take?

Labiaplasty is considered an outpatient procedure. The actual procedure time takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on if other procedures are being performed at the same time. This does not include total prep and anesthesia time.

Does labiaplasty hurt?

At CARE Plastic Surgery, Dr. Coan utilizes both local anesthetic and IV sedation for optimal patient comfort intraoperatively. While this procedure is typically manageable with regards to pain and discomfort, some mild post-operative swelling and discomfort is expected. Dr. Coan implements a very reliable and effective pain management protocol for patients after surgery. We also recommend typical postpartum care, including gentle rinses, sitz baths, and cool compresses.

What is the labiaplasty recovery like?

Pain and discomfort are well-managed early in the post-operative period. Conservative measures, as stated above, help tremendously with overall patient comfort. We recommend patients avoid exercise for six weeks after surgery, and use pads for approximately 2-4 weeks. Patients may resume intercourse when comfortable, which is typically around six weeks post-op. The majority of swelling typically resolves by approximately 7-10 days, with optimal results evaluated at 3 months after surgery.

Does labiaplasty leave visible scars?

Dr. Coan utilizes a unique surgical technique, unlike the typical trim technique, that is virtually scarless. With this technique, Dr. Coan is better able to conceal the incision. With this technique, Dr. Coan can better conceal the incision within the natural folds of the female anatomy while also preserving the majority of the patient’s existing anatomy.

What are the risks of surgery?

With any surgical procedure, there are risks and benefits. Common and uncommon complications can include asymmetry, under-correction/over-correction, bleeding, bruising, hematoma, infection, wound breakdown, scarring, ongoing pain, pain with sex or loss of sensitivity. We recommend choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon when moving forward with an elective surgery.

Who is a candidate for Labiaplasty?

Typical candidates for labiaplasty include individuals who have experienced significant labial changes postpartum or after weight loss, or patients who have always had enlarged and/or irregular labia majora.

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