Medical Reasons for Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure, in some cases, is performed for medical reasons, rather than cosmetic. The procedure involves surgically decreasing the size of the “labia minora,” the soft flaps of tissue surrounding the opening of the vagina. Some women have troublesome medical conditions with this region that must be resolved surgically.
What medical conditions may be treated with labiaplasty?
- Chronic UTIs: Women may suffer from chronic urinary infections due to larger inner vaginal lips that trap bacteria, which move the body causing ongoing infections in the urinary system.
- Pain: When the labia minora are overly large, it may lead to pain, discomfort, and chronic itching.
- Dyspareunia: The structure of the opening to the vagina may lead to pain during entry in sexual intercourse or even when placing a tampon. The tissues can become caught and pushed into the vaginal opening during sex and may lead to skin tears.
- Vaginal trauma: Childbirth may have caused trauma to the labia that needs to be surgically corrected.
- Trouble with urination: Overly large labia minora can cause some women to have trouble with urination, as the tissues inhibit the stream of urine, which becomes caught within the tissues and is difficult to clean.
- Pain associated with sitting: Women may experience pain and discomfort when seated for longer periods.
- Bacterial infections: Difficulties thoroughly cleaning the enlarged tissues can result in chronic bacterial infections.
- Congenital conditions: Some people are born with a condition affecting the genitals which may require surgery to correct.
What does the procedure entail?
Labiaplasty, when medically necessary, is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, requiring local anesthesia. The surgical approach will reflect the individual condition of the patient, and may be:
- Trim labiaplasty: This procedure involves removing excess tissues and suturing the incisions with dissolvable sutures to reduce the size and extent of the tissues.
- Wedge labiaplasty: This approach involves removing a wedge-shaped portion of the thickest area of the inner lips at the vaginal opening to reduce the size of the tissues and may involve reducing extra folds of skin on the clitoral hood.
Does health insurance cover labiaplasty?
To be covered by health insurance, it must be considered medically necessary. When it is established that the condition is the cause of pain, discomfort, ongoing infections, or other medical problems, health insurance may cover some of the cost of the procedure.
Choosing your surgeon for labiaplasty
When choosing a plastic surgeon for labiaplasty, you want to ensure you are under the care of a doctor who employs the highest patient health and safety standards, and who has a breadth of experience with his surgery. Dr. Brian Shafa is an experienced plastic surgeon, trained at top-tier educational centers, including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, UCLA, and Wayne State University School of Medicine. He brings a rare level of experience, education, and naturally compassionate nature to every procedure. He has established a Beverly Hills plastic surgery practice known for individualized care and honesty, and where patients feel confident under his dedicated and professional care.