For some women, the vaginal lips can appear enlarged or misshapen due to a variety of factors. These issues can be resolved through labiaplasty (labia rejuvenation) which minimizes and reshapes the labia by removing extraneous tissue. Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Karol Gutowski, will resize and reshape the vaginal lips for an improved appearance. He can repair issues due to pregnancy, weight loss or those born with a defect. Although labiaplasty is classified as a cosmetic procedure, it can also help with medical issues such as chronic yeast infections, urinary tract infections and discomfort.
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. A surgeon with experience will preserve the natural color and contour and create a result that looks visually appealing with minimal to no scarring.
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.
"I feel natural, and I can't put a price tag on how I feel with self confidence - After having 4 kids naturally I was uncomfortable with how my body looked. Nursing had depleted my breasts and my belly button still stuck out like I was 9 months pregnant. My husband and I agree that my body needed some attention. I needed a breast augmentation and surgery to push my belly button back in. After an intensive research process which also included 4 in-person consultations in..."- B. / RealSelf / May 28, 2017
"Friendly, Professional and In Touch - Dr. Gutowski is genuinely a warm, considerate and pays close attention to your goals. He took the time to review options with me, explained the procedure and made himself readily available Incase I had any questions that may come up after my consultation. He personally called me after my procedure to ask how I was doing. Dr. Gutowski is a true professional in his field, and keeps the human..."- F. / RealSelf / Aug 02, 2018
"48;3 Kids ,had Horrible Scar from Apendix - Dr.Gutovski is just awesome.I had lipo with laser done few days before Full tummy tuck . This Doctor is very caring and takes care of his patients .You can feel that he is there for you with anything you need. For me this tummy tuck was important to get my self confidence back.I’m on my second day of tummy tuck recovery ,yesterday on day of the surgery Dr Gutovski came to see me at my home i..."- G. / RealSelf / Dec 06, 2017
"Breast Augmentation - My experience with Dr. Gutowski was absolutely perfect. Before consulting with him, I had already visited 3 other plastic surgeons in the Chicago area and still wasn’t set on any of them. Once I met with Dr. Gutowski, I knew right away he was going to be the surgeon I chose. He spent so much time with me explaining everything I needed to know about the procedure including the different i..."- R. / RealSelf / Oct 17, 2017
"Wouldn't go to anyone else - I saw Dr Gutowski in the Champaign office. He is awesome. He listens to you and what you are wanting to acheive. I have always had a hollowness under my eyes and it has gotten worse with age and medical problems. He gave me Radiesse under my eyes. He has a special technique that gets the filler where it needs to be with very little pain. It looks great! I also had Restylane Lyft for lip..."- S. / RealSelf / Aug 25, 2017
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.
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.
Plan Your Procedure
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