Labiaplasty (also referred to as labia rejuvenation) is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the appearance of the vaginal lips. Women who have gone through pregnancy or those who have experienced a significant weight loss may have enlarged labia. In addition, some women are born with asymmetrical vaginal lips. Abnormal labia can result in an unsightly appearance, but more importantly, it can cause symptoms such as chronic irritations, discomfort during sex, and yeast or urinary tract infections. Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau, believes that women who are unhappy with the appearance of their labia should not feel anxious or scared to consult with a surgeon. It is a common procedure among his plastic surgery patients that has excellent outcomes. Our office understands the sensitive nature of this procedure thus we stress the importance of patient privacy for this type of surgery.
"27 YO Mom of 2 Labiaplasty - Dr. Fernau and his staff are excellent! He takes alot of time to go over the procedure with you and makes sure all of your questions are answered. He recently did my Labiaplasty procedure and I will hopefully be going back for a BBL in the future. I rate him and his team a 10 out of 10 for sure!"- P. / RealSelf / Aug 28, 2018
"Very happy with my results - I had a Labiaplasty with Dr. Fernau and I'm very happy with my results. He and his staff are great and he just very thorough in expaining your procedure. He truly cares about his patients and their satisfaction with his work. I highly recommend him!"- Anonymous / Vitals / Nov 16, 2018
"27 YO Labiaplasty - I had my labiaplasty procedure done today with Dr. Fernau. He's such a great doctor and sees to it that you're well taken care of and informed. His staff is very friendly and helpful.. they treat you like friends/ family instead of just patients. I cannot wait to see my final results. For now my before pictures are being attached. I will updated when I'm further along post op."- D. / RealSelf / Aug 28, 2018
"27 YO Labiaplasty - I had my labiaplasty procedure done today with Dr. Fernau. He's such a great doctor and sees to it that you're well taken care of and informed. His staff is very friendly and helpful.. they treat you like friends/ family instead of just patients. I cannot wait to see my final results. For now my before pictures are being attached. I will updated when I'm further along post op. Updated on 29 Aug 2018: Feeling way better today than I was last night. Bruising pretty bad but pain is bearable.. uncomfortable more than painful. Took my Percocet and Valium this morning and only my ibuprofen since then, and seem to be getting by ok with just the ibuprofen now. Updated on 31 Aug 2018: Swelling and bruising is improving. I'm getting around pretty good now. Some slight stinging here and there but no pain meds needed. Continuing to take my antibiotics. Very happy with my results so far and anxious for the swelling and bruising to be completely gone. I know I've got a ways to go though ;) Updated on 4 Sep 2018: Making progress on the swelling. Slowly, but expected. Pain free other than a shooting stinging feeling every now and then. I'm guessing it's nerve pain. Hoping these next few weeks of recovery fly by. Updated on 2 Oct 2018: Been a while, thought I'd post an update. My swelling has gone down and I'm thrilled with my results so far. Bumps are starting to smooth out and look way better. I don't feel any internal stitches now. Still some darkness on the skin but I'm assuming that will go away with more time. Looking at before and afters now, I can't believe I didn't get this done sooner. Updated on 2 Nov 2018: I'm a little over 2 months post op now and feel great. I'm happy with my results and feel completely back to normal again. I've resumed intercourse with my husband and there's no issues now. The first couple times were a little tough, the skin felt too tight so we took it slow.. but after about the 3rd time everything has been great since, even better than before surgery. Updated on 5 Dec 2018: Still seeing some minor changes but feel like I'm pretty close to what my final look will be. Very happy with the results and cannot believe I went through so many years of shame. I should've had this surgery years ago. Updated on 21 Feb 2020: Not as happy with my results as I was my last update. It seems after the tissue completely relaxed that it has increasingly gotten larger again. And the appearance is more bumpy now and less smooth. It also seems like my tissue is kind of dog eared near my clitoris on the left side. I dont understand what caused it to change so much but overall I'm still happier than i was before surgery. Im just not completely satisfied like i was the last time. I still stand by Dr. Fernau and say him and his teams were great."- D. / RealSelf / Oct 09, 2018
"Dr. Fernau performed a Brazilian butt lift and a labioplasty and a breast aug and I absolutely love my results. He is kind and professional and so is his staff. I would recommend any of my friends or family to doctor Fernau"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Feb 21, 2015
Women who are considering labiaplasty should consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon. In the past, before surgeons improved this procedure, the approach was to remove the excess tissue and skin deformity using an amputation method. Today, skilled surgeons use aesthetic reshaping techniques so that the labia are not only reduced in size, but also the nerves are protected in the process so that sexual feeling is not compromised. Dr. Fernau will preserve the natural color and contour to the patients desires while creating a result that looks visually appealing with minimal to no scarring. This is called the Precision Labiaplasty Technique. This quick recovery technique involves minimal swelling, cuts down on recovery time, and minimalizes post-procedure discomfort. Exparel, a long acting local anesthetic, is administered and helps with the post op discomfort for 3 to 10 days after the procedure. EMLA Anesthetic Cream can be applied at home which also helps with post operative pain relief. Most of Dr. Fernau's patients experience minimal to no post procedure pain with a 10 out of 10 satisfaction level!
Labiaplasty Surgical Process
The most common approach surgeons take to perform labiaplasty is to use a device known as Iris Scissors. This fine, advanced surgical tool allows the surgeon to reshape the inner folds of the labia. In the process, a clean “V” shaped wedge is made to the vaginal lips, and is removed to reduce the size. The surgeon will carefully work to reshape and reconstruct the lips so that they meet the patient’s aesthetic goals. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision. Another approach is to use a laser treatment to reduce the labia. This is effective for some patients, but is only recommended in cases where the skin defect is minimal.
Labiaplasty typically takes between 1-2 hours to complete, depending on how complex the surgical case is. It is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility and does not require an overnight stay. Women who undergo labia rejuvenation will need to avoid any activity that may cause swelling and bleeding, such as exercise, sexual activity, douching, and the use of tampons. These activities can be resumed slowly around 4-6 weeks post-op. Women find that the results of this procedure look so natural that their self-confidence and self-image are improved drastically.
The procedure itself can run between $3,000-$4,500. It is a procedure that is now offered by many cosmetic surgeons.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $3,000 - $4,500
- Recovery Time
- 4-6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
OBGYN or Cosmetic Surgeon?
When researching the aesthetic surgery market, most patients will find that a large majority of cosmetic surgeons offer labiaplasty. While many OBGYNs are capable of performing labia rejuvenation, the procedure is most often considered cosmetic. An OBGYN will be able to surgically remove any excess that exists within the labia; however, a cosmetic surgeon will consider the aesthetics as well. This ensures that scarring is minimal, and that color, contour and symmetry looks and feels natural.
Does It Cause Insensitivity?
As with any surgery, there may be numbness in the vaginal area after the procedure is completed. This is temporary as the skin and vaginal lips heal. In regards to sensitivity, it is important to understand that labia rejuvenation affects, for the most part, the vaginal lips only. Sensitivity is served by the clitoris. A skilled cosmetic surgeon that specializes in labiaplasty will work around this area so that a loss of sensitivity does not occur.
Does It Affect Intercourse?
Labiaplasty, when performed by a skilled surgeon, will only improve sexual intercourse. In many cases, this is because the excess skin and tissue that may have gotten in the way during sex before will now be removed. The clitoral region will be protected and the sensory nerves preserved so that sexual intercourse is not impacted in a negative way.
Before or After Pregnancy?
In most cases, it is recommended that women wait to have labia rejuvenation until after all pregnancies are complete. However, if having enlarged labia is bothersome and causes physical symptoms and emotional hardship, then this surgery can most definitely be performed before a planned pregnancy. If the results of the surgery are compromised due to a post-surgical pregnancy, a second surgery can be discussed.