Labiaplasty Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best way I can evaluate a labiaplasty surgeon?
A: There is no certification or accreditation process for a labiaplasty surgeon. He or she can be a gynecologist, plastic surgeon, general surgeon or urologist. You have to do your homework to find the best surgeon for you. First, find out what formal training was done to learn how to perform labiaplasty. Second, ask how often your surgeon does these procedures, and how many has he done. Carefully screen the Before and After photographs on the website; the presence of one or two photos won’t give you a sense of the surgeon’s breadth of experience. You should view many pictures representative of his work. Also, don’t be afraid to ask about complications or how often your doctor needs to revise surgeries.
Q: My gynecologist told me this surgery is sexual mutilation and I will end up with constant pain and scarring. Is this true?
A: In the hands of an experienced surgeon this couldn’t be farthest from the truth. A comprehensive study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine two years ago addressed this issue. The result: over 90+% of women undergoing labiaplasty were very satisfied with their result and would recommend the procedure to others. Aside from being an elective cosmetic procedure like breast augmentation or rhinoplasty (nose job), many women have a functional motivation for labia reduction to reduce discomfort during sports and exercise, interference with sexual activity and gain the satisfaction of finally being able to wear form fitting clothes.
Q: I understand there are several surgical techniques for labia reduction such as the wedge technique or vertical recontouring technique. Also, there may be disadvantages to the use of laser. Can you explain these differences? And what is radiofrequency surgery?
A: There is an excellent explanation to all of these questions found on this website at http://labiaplastymd.net/labiaplasty-surgery/
Q: How long will my surgery take?
A: The operative time is usually under 1 ½ hours. If the surgery is more involved, such as the inclusion of clitoral hood reduction or prepuce reduction, it will take longer. You will be able to leave the surgery center an hour after recovery and remain pain free from 8-12 hours afterwards, until your regional anesthetic wears off. Ice and other analgesics can then be used effectively.
Q: How long will it take me to heal?
A: That depends upon the thickness and size of your labia and the extent of surgery. In general, you will be ambulatory immediately and can return to work or school in 5-7 days. By two weeks after surgery there should be at least a 50% reduction in swelling; your final cosmetic result can take up to three months.
Q: I noticed that there is a slight irregularity in the edge of the labia and a small skin tag developed during the healing process. What can be do about it?
A: Rarely there is a need to ‘touch up’ irregularities. If needed it is done at three months after the surgery in the office under local anesthesia. Our goal is to have a satisfied patient and we will do everything we can to achieve it.
Q: I had labia surgery with another doctor and I am not happy with the results. Will you fix it?
A: Unfortunately this has become a more frequent request. The answer is yes, of course. However, it is very important you have an in-office consultation or, if that is not feasible, to submit high resolution, clear photographs through our secure email for review. A highly individualized revision will give a pleasing cosmetic result.
Q: I am coming from out of state and am concerned about getting to Greenwich, booking a nearby hotel and local transportation. Also, I have to come alone. How long will I have to stay and will I need a nurse after the procedure?
A: Most patients arrive from out of town the day prior to surgery. A detailed history will have been taken on the telephone and local blood work and prescriptions obtained near your home. For international patients the latter will be taken care of when you arrive in the United States. My staff will help you make all of your arrangements including airport pickup, lodging, local taxi transportation and if needed a nurse’s aide. If you are traveling alone you will need an aide to accompany you back to your hotel and stay with you for several hours afterwards to be certain all is well. Patients can usually leave the day after surgery following a post-operative examination.
Q: Can you explain the cost of labiaplasty?
A: Your surgeon has spent 50-60 hours personally trained by pioneers in the field to learn all the nuances of this surgery. He has mastered the use of laser and radiofrequency surgery to give you the best possible outcome. Very few labiaplasty surgeons have this experience. This is a precise surgery that should be done under the safest operative environment which is provided at an ambulatory surgery center rather than in an office examination room. The surgical facility and anesthesia generate an expense in addition to the surgeon’s fee.
Q: Is labiaplasty covered by insurance? Do you participate with surgical loan programs such as Cosmetic Credit or offer a payment plan?
A: Unfortunately insurance companies view all labia reduction or reconstructive surgeries as cosmetic and provide no coverage or reimbursement. This is true even for labial tears, lacerations and obstetrical trauma.
We do not participate with any surgical loan programs. Their interest rates are exorbitant for the patient and they demand significant fee reductions from the surgeon. The ethics of these services are questionable. We do not offer installment payment plans.
Finally, you should never use the least expensive physician as your major decision making factor. In fact, when it comes to all restorative vaginal surgery it is always worthwhile spending more to achieve the best outcome. Meticulous surgery takes time, and the overall cost of the surgery center and its staff, anesthesia and the surgeon is based on time. You are paying for an expert and a team who has devoted a lot of training, expense and effort to provide the best cosmetic result, not to have you realize a less than desired outcome.
Please note, these are just a few of the literally hundreds of questions we receive at The Greenwich Center. To learn more, you can schedule a free telephone consultation with Dr. Jacobson in his Greenwich, CT by calling 203-869-8360 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Skype consultations with The Center for Vaginal Restorative Surgery can be arranged as well.
Q: What would you look for in a vagina surgeon?
Q: What is radiofrequency and why is it better?
Q: How long after surgery before I can have sex?
Q: Where will you perform my vagina surgery?
Q: Is labiaplasty just about reducing the outer lips?
Q: If a patient is interested in labiaplasty, what is her next step?
Q: What changes can occur in the larger outer lips of the vagina?
Q: Is labiaplasty covered by insurance?
Q: Tell us about your labiaplasty experience?
Q: Can labiaplasty be combined with other surgeries?
Q: What kind of anesthesia do you use for labiaplasty?