What is a Labiaplasty?
Our team frequently hears from women who feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk about their most intimate feminine questions. At Denver Plastic Surgery Associates, we are proud to have an all female staff that truly understands what it means to provide great care and understanding regarding such sensitive topics. One of the most frequent procedures inquired about is a labiaplasty. A labiaplasty is the surgical reduction of the labia minora or majora or correction of labial asymmetries. If you have an enlarged labia minora or majora, or laxity of labia tissue, you may understand the discomfort that comes from everyday activities like riding a bike. Some women also experience embarrassment while wearing form-fitting clothing, like yoga pants or bathing suits. Women can also be very self conscious about the size of their labia and this feeling can interfere with the enjoyment of their sexual life When women first come in to consult with Dr. Rodgers regarding these issues, they are often nervous and somewhat ashamed because they think that something is wrong with them or their anatomy.. We are here to tell you that you are not alone and that there is a surgical solution that can be performed in the comfort of our office.
Dr. Christine Rodger’s and the Initial Process
Dr. Rodgers is a board certified plastic surgeon and has performed over 400 labiaplasty procedures since she began her career in the Denver area. Her patients greatly benefit from her skill as a surgeon with 37 years of experience. As a woman, she approaches each patient’s needs with great understanding and always with their well being in mind. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Rodgers will first review the benefits, risks, and surgical techniques she uses. She will then perform a physical exam where she will go into greater detail regarding how she would perform the surgery. Each individual’s anatomy is different so Dr. Rodgers takes time to thoroughly explain what she would be doing in each particular area of the labia. She will then walk the patient through how to prepare for surgery and what the entire recovery process looks like. Dr. Rodgers ultimately wants to help guide each female patient to reaching her functional, emotional and cosmetic goals.
Once a patient decides to continue on with booking surgery, there will be a lot more communication leading up to the procedure between the patients and our patient care coordinator, who organizes all in-office surgeries. One very important thing for all patients to do is to avoid taking any aspirin, NSAIDS ( Motrin,Advil,etc.) high doses of Vitamin C and E, glucosamine and fish oil 2 weeks before and after the surgery so as to avoid any heavy bleeding. On the day of surgery, if the patient is very nervous, she may elect to take some medication to relax when she arrives at our office. If the patient decides to take such medication, she will then need someone to drive her home. If she does not take the medication, she may drive herself home, if she wishes. She is instructed to wear loose fitting clothing and one of our staff members will take her to a room and help her get comfortable. The patient will then be instructed to get into a gown and apply topical numbing cream to the labia. The patient will topically numb and ice the area for about an hour. During this time, our clinical staff will review all postoperative instructions and will ensure that all of the patient’s questions are answered.
The patient is then moved into our in-office procedure room, where all supplies are set up sterilely. The patient will then be positioned on the bed where Dr. Rodgers will once more verbally discuss her plan with the patient. Once Dr. Rodgers marks the area, she will then internally numb the area using a local anesthetic. The patient is lying down for the entire procedure and is also prepped using sterile technique. Due to the numbing cream, most patients feel minimal discomfort or pain. The patient can choose to listen to music, read, or even watch a movie throughout the procedure. We understand that many women are nervous about the surgery so we do everything we can to help make the process as comfortable as possible. Dr. Rodgers uses an electro-cautery for the procedure which allows for cutting while simultaneously coagulating, which minimizes any bleeding. Dr. Rodgers uses sutures that are dissolvable in about 3-4 weeks. The procedure takes only about 45 minutes to complete for most patients. Immediately after completion of the surgery, the labia and surrounding areas will be swollen. This swelling will increase for the next few days and then will continue to decrease over time.
Following the procedure, the patient is guided to a room where she can rest until she feels comfortable enough to stand and walk on her own. Cold compresses are applied to the labia in order to help decrease swelling. Patients typically have no issues with walking or performing daily activities; however, we do advise that all patients rest as much as possible for the next several days. It is perfectly fine for patients to go for brief walks, but vigorous athletic activities should be avoided for 5-6 weeks after surgery. Patients are seen in the office for their postoperative appointments no later than one week after the procedure. During the appointment a member of our clinical staff will monitor the patient’s progress, instruct her on guidelines for a successful recovery, and will address all questions and concerns. From there, we adjust the following postoperative appointments as needed. We like to see patients back two, four, and six weeks following their procedure.
The labia tissue has a very good blood supply and for this reason, there is almost no to minimal scarring after healing has occurred.. The results of a labiaplasty will be immediately noticeable and will continue to improve throughout the recovery period. Although we instruct patients to follow restrictions until they are 6 weeks out from surgery, most women state they are back to feeling normal within as little as 3 weeks. Final results will be noticed after about 6 weeks but keep in mind that each person will heal a little differently. Labiaplasties are long-lasting and truly help improve the quality of life of many women. Please call our office if you have any further questions about labiaplasty or any other surgical procedures. We are happy to help!