The intimate area, like other areas of the body, is affected by the normal aging process. With age, the body's collagen production decreases, which leads to sagging of the skin of the labia. Pregnancy can exacerbate these effects. The contours of the female reproductive organs fade. The shape and proportions of the inner and outer labia (labia majora) change. During menopause, the subcutaneous fatty tissue of the female genitals also shrinks. The loss of volume makes the labia minora look sunken, and the proportion between the labia minora and labia majora is disturbed by the excess tissue of the labia minora. Protrusion of the labia minora can cause physical discomfort in some cases. For many women, protruding labia minora look aesthetically unflattering and they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their intimate area. Thus, many patients desire intimate surgery, specifically correction or shaping of the labia minora. In the case of large labia minora, there is often a pronounced, enlarged foreskin of the clitoris.
Young women complain mainly about an existing asymmetry and consider a labiaplasty in order to have it corrected with a surgical procedure. While in such cases one side of the labia minora has developed normally, the other side has not grown any further after puberty and is therefore very shortened compared to the other side. Labiaplasty can be an intimate surgical solution for unilaterally small labia in such cases.
However, a woman decides to undergo labiaplasty not only for aesthetic reasons, but often for medical reasons as well. Thus, many patients share due to discomfort when putting on tight clothes or during sports activities due to enlarged labia or even complain of pain when sitting or during sexual intercourse.
From a holistic point of view, in addition to the reduction of the hanging labia minora, an additional shaping of the labia majora in the course of surgery is also useful. The method of treatment with the patient's own fat leads to more fullness of the external labia of the patient and enlarges them. Treatment with the patient's own fat restores the natural proportion or normal aesthetic symmetry of the labia majora to the labia minora and can fulfill a woman's desire for vaginal rejuvenation.
Several studies show that appropriate and correctly performed labia reductions, augmentations, and corrections (including to the clitoris) not only serve to improve aesthetics, but can promote increased sexual arousal, more frequent intercourse, and stronger and more frequent orgasms in affected women. The autologous fat treatment leaves barely visible scars on the labia. The sensitivity to touch of the labia minora is not affected any more than that of the labia majora. The procedure can also be easily combined with other procedures such as an abdominoplasty or breast reduction surgery.
As with labia reduction, labia augmentation is routinely checked several times before each procedure to ensure that all necessary precautions have been taken for the maximum safety of the patient. Only when all preconditions are met according to the checklist, the plastic surgery procedure is started.
Labiaplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, i.e. without an overnight stay in a clinic. It is usually performed under twilight sleep. The doctor also administers medication to the patient to relieve her anxiety and reduce the sensitivity to pain on the female vulva. Then a local anesthetic cream is applied to the labia minora or labia majora so that the numbing injections are not felt. Within five to ten minutes, the surgical areas of the vagina are numb, so no pain can be heard. If the patient is not already deeply asleep, she will at most feel that something is happening on the surface of her body.
A well-known option for filling the so-called labia majora (large labia) for more volume is a gentle injection with hyaluronic acid by the doctor, of course under local anesthesia. Alternatively, as part of an intimate surgery on the external labia, an autologous fat therapy is offered. In this procedure, fat tissue cells are aspirated, purified and filtered, and are then applied to the labia minora via two-millimeter punctures. The fat cells can be suctioned from a woman's abdomen, thighs, buttocks or inner knees. During an autologous fat grafting procedure, 20 to 100 milliliters per side are inserted for labia augmentation. The stitches do not need to be removed, but dissolve themselves after about twenty days.
Labia augmentation by a plastic surgeon takes about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the findings. Immediately after the procedure, you will be continuously monitored in a so-called recovery room. You will be able to drink something and, if you tolerate it well, you will also be able to eat something without any problems after you have fully awakened. You will be assisted by our nursing staff when you go to the toilet for the first time. Before you leave the practice, control appointments will be made and the behavioral measures will be discussed with you in detail. You will be given a comprehensive written report and a telephone number where you can reach the attending physician, i.e. the surgeon, 24 hours a day in case of emergency.
Before, after and even during the procedure on the vulva, you can watch movies or your favorite series with virtual reality glasses. Not only is it entertaining, but the distraction has also been shown to reduce pain sensitivity.
Dr. Santos Stahl will explain to you in a transparent and comprehensible manner how the costs of labiaplasty are made up. You can get an idea of the price range in advance on our cost page.
- All your questions about possible risks, the various complications and alternative treatments should be answered before a possible surgery on the vagina.
- The date of surgery should be as far away from menstruation as possible. Therefore, make the appointment depending on your period.
- The female genital area should be free from infections, genital warts and the vagina should be free from inflammation.
- Intimate shaving can cause skin irritation or injury. Therefore, to minimize the risk of inflammation and for best results, only electric hair clippers should be used one week before surgery.
- On the day of labiaplasty, shower with a disinfecting soap (e.g. HiBiScrub® Plus, Octenisan® Wash Lotion, Prontoderm® Shower Gel) and clean the vagina including the labia minora and clitoris.
- Limit nicotine and alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- If necessary, temporarily stop taking hormone-containing medications (the pill).
- Blood-thinning medications (e.g. ASS, Thomapyrin®) must be discontinued at least ten days before the operation after consultation with your attending physician.
- Vitamin preparations (A, E) and food supplements (omega-3 fatty acids, St. John's wort preparations, etc.) must be discontinued at least four weeks before vulva surgery.
- Surgery limits your ability to travel by air. The doctor therefore recommends that you do not undertake any air travel, both professionally and privately, for the four weeks following the labiaplasty.
- Before undergoing an aesthetic procedure for the purpose of adjusting the shape or size of the vulva labia, follow-up insurance should always be taken out.
- As with labia reduction, regular checks of your well-being and the visible result of labiaplasty by the expert are of high importance.
- After the intimate surgery, you should disinfect the fresh sutures for 14 days in the morning and in the evening (e.g. with Octenisept® or Lavanid® gel) for an optimal result.
- Shower with a special disinfecting soap (e.g. HiBiScrub® Plus, Octenisan® Wash Lotion, Prontoderm® Shower Gel) from the first postoperative day.
- Regular cooling of the female genital area helps to keep the inevitable swelling at the labia down. After three weeks, the swelling has largely subsided.
- You can usually resume work the day after labiaplasty. However, we recommend that you do not sit much for the first ten days after the appointment in order not to jeopardize an optimal result and to avoid problems.
- Tampons should not be used for the first three weeks after labiaplasty correction.
- Bending, lifting heavy loads, sports (including swimming and any other type of sports), saunas and sexual intercourse should be avoided for four weeks, possibly longer if there is still swelling on the treated tissue.
- The same guidelines apply to any type of labiaplasty, so analogously also in the case of labia reduction.
The specialist in aesthetic plastic surgery, Dr. Santos Stahl, will first of all ask you about your motives and wishes for change in an individual and personal consultation. Physical and psychological complaints will be ascertained and evaluated. General information about work and leisure time is important in order to be able to plan the recovery phase after the operation. Effects of your complaints on your intimate life are important for planning treatment. All topics you discuss with the specialist for aesthetic surgery, Dr. Santos Stahl, as well as all other information you entrust to her, will be treated in strict confidence.
In order that the most suitable treatment method can be determined by the expert, the treating aesthetic surgeon, and any patient-specific different risks can be recognized in time and prevented if necessary, Dr. Santos Stahl will ask questions about the following topics:
- Preventive examinations,
- Family planning,
- Pre-existing conditions and previous operations
- Allergies and
- Medication intake.
Please let us know if you smoke or take any dietary supplements. These factors will have a major impact on your surgery.
If you are unsure or do not feel fully informed, do not hesitate to ask your cosmetic surgery specialist any questions. It is not uncommon for meaningful questions to come up afterward. At the end of the initial consultation, we are happy to offer you a second consultation. It is very important to us that all of your questions have been clearly answered prior to surgery.
After a complete and thorough physical examination, Dr. Santos Stahl discusses your goals for correction with you. She clearly discusses medical indications for large or small labia, shows you various treatment alternatives and the associated risks and limitations, which can also occur in rare cases, During the personal consultation, you will receive all the information so that you can decide which therapy is right for you. It is very important to discuss your expectations openly with your specialist. Often a poorly informed patient or doctor or surgeon is the cause of an unsatisfactory result, even if there are no complications with the procedure.The doctor, Dr. Santos Stahl, will discuss all the details of the procedure with you in a personal and individual consultation and answer common questions, for example, about the duration of the surgery, the surgical technique and aftercare in the first few days. You agree with her on the type of anesthesia used and discuss topics such as follow-up cost insurance, the preparatory measures and behavioral measures after the procedure.
Ask for before and after pictures of this intimate surgical treatment during the personal consultation. The anonymized images, for which the patients have given us their consent, can be viewed at the appointment if necessary. You can find more information in advance on the before and after pictures page.
If you would like to read other patients' opinions about treatments at Centerplast visit the following page.