Here at St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, we notice that trends in plastic surgery often come and go, but one trend in particular has a lot of women (quietly) asking the question: can I change how I look down there?
There is no question that labiaplasty, the surgical improvement of female labia, is quickly becoming a popular procedure among women. But who are the women requesting this procedure? There are generally three groups. The first group is women aged 15-19 who have congenital asymmetries of the labia minora. Frequently they will require only a one -sided labiaplasty. The second group is women aged 25-35 who are concerned with the appearance of their vulvar area in a standing position. The third group is women in the perimenopausal area, aged 38 and older who are seeing some atrophy and wrinkling.
For those in the second group, the desire for a cosmetic change could have many different origins. Perhaps it’s due to the onslaught of women taking advantage of waxing or laser hair removal, who are now able to “see” themselves properly for the first time.
But like many things in life, men and women view this area differently. What women think a man wants to see is often not what a man does want to see. A recent survey* of attitude differences between men and women toward this area of feminine anatomy shows considerable differences: _______________________________________________________________ What causes a woman to seek help in this area? Ninety percent believe they have excess tissue protruding past their labia majora. Forty-six percent have asymmetries they would like to have corrected. Most of the surgeries involve the labia minora. A large labia minora can cause discomfort when wearing tight clothing, embarrassment if it hangs out of a bathing suit, even discomfort during sex. Less frequently the labia majora is more full or hangs down lower than desired. Sometimes there might be a hood of skin hanging down partially covering the clitoris. This hood can even interfere with orgasms.
All of these problems can be corrected with surgery under local anesthesia. If the labia majora is too full or hangs down too far, it also can be improved. Fullness can be lightly liposuctioned to remove that extra fatty tissue. Too much length can be simply trimmed. If on the other hand, the labia is atrophic or too flat, it can plumped up with a synthetic filling product such as Juvederm. A longer lasting filling agent is your own fat. Yes, your own fat can be used to restore volume to the labia.
Following the surgery, it might take you 4-5 days before you can return to work. We like patients to wait about three weeks before returning to exercises that involve squatting or bending. It is important to wait six weeks before resuming sexual activities.
A more controversial topic includes the G spot: Can G spot injections improve your sex life? Injections of a synthetic filling agent have been used below the clitoris to essentially make it protrude slightly, increasing its stimulation. It appears to be successful at least 60 percent of the time. If you have questions about labiaplasty–even if they seem embarrassing–talk with your plastic surgeon. Just make sure that he or she is familiar with these surgeries.
William Huffaker, M.D., F.A.C.S Survey results courtesy of Dr. Christine A. Hamori, 2012 ASAPS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.