Twenty years ago you rarely heard about cosmetic labiaplasty. Today labiaplasty procedures have surged 44% just in the past year alone. According to an American Society of Plastic Surgery survey of 2014, labiaplasty is one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures nationwide. Dr. Mess has seen the same labiaplasty trend in her Columbia, MD practice.
Who is a candidate for labiaplasty?
There are many reasons women seek labiaplasty. Some women feel abnormal due to excessive labia minora protruding past the labia majora. Other patients request labiaplasty to improve sexual confidence, correct asymmetry, or increase comfort in bathing suits or tight clothing.
Dr. Mess Labiaplasty technique – Form and Function
Labiaplasty is a surgical reduction of the labia minora with preservation of aesthetics and function. An analogy could be drawn to reducing an overly large earlobe with a pie wedge excision and closure. The function of the ear, hearing, is unchanged, the sensation of the ear is not altered, and the patient needs to wait six weeks to wear earrings. Dr. Sarah Mess performs labiaplasty with a wedge excision technique. The wedge resection preserves the natural borders of the labia, color, contour and texture. The internal and external wedges are shaped differently and are superficially excised for best healing and cosmetic result. Clitoral hood excess can also be addressed laterally for harmony with the reduced labia. Most patients prefer little show of the labia minora past the majora. The scar is imperceptible and designed to lay in the sulcus between the labia minora and majora.
Most patients prefer labiaplasty under local anesthesia in Dr. Sarah Mess’s Columbia, Maryland office for ease and privacy. Patient input is also important to tailoring the marking. Patients receive numbing cream which readily absorbs into the labia minora and an injection of buffered local that is barely felt. The procedure is tolerated well due to complete numbing. Patients who have a ride home may take an oral calming medication. Patients also frequently combine labiaplasty with other procedures such as breast augmentation or abdominoplasty. When combined with other surgical procedures the labiaplasy is performed under general anesthesia as well.
After the procedure, we ask patients to relax and recline with ice packs for three days before returning to work. Most patients experience swelling and mild discomfort. The sutures are absorbable and tend to cause itching after two weeks. Remaining sutures can be removed at two to three weeks, and patients may return to exercise at this point. Patients are advised to avoid mechanical rubbing of the labia such as bicycle riding, horseback riding, and sexual intercourse for six weeks. Labiaplasty has one of the highest satisfaction ratings of all cosmetic procedures. In a 2014 study of 88 patients, 96% reported improvement of a genital appearance satisfaction scale after 3 months.
In office labiaplasty procedures typically cost between $4000 and $5500. This covers Dr. Mess’ fees and the required instrument and facility fees. Labiaplasty procedures performed under general anesthesia will have additional facility and anesthesia fees.
Dr. Mess has lectured to the Johns Hopkins Plastic Surgery Department as a labiaplasty expert. Her labiaplasty consultations are designed to put you at ease and provide you with the information you need to understand the procedure and express your desires. You may see her Johns Hopkins labiaplasty presentation, view various labiaplasty before and after photos and ask questions. Prior to your procedure you will have the opportunity to see your markings and visualize your goals.
Patients looking for a labiaplasty surgeon in Maryland have many choices. We invite you to visit the office to see if labiaplasty and Dr. Mess are right for you.