What’s involved in the Fastest Growing Cosmetic Surgery Procedure Around?
Labiaplasty has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years, and is reportedly the fastest growing cosmetic surgery of the moment. As an increasing number of women elect to have this surgery and spread the word to their friends, even more women are seeking information from their doctors about the procedure for themselves. But what is it? And why is it suddenly exploding on the scene?
What Is Labiaplasty? Put simply, Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that reshapes and/or tightens the folds of skin that surround the vulva of a woman’s vaginal area – namely the skin around the labia minora (inner portion of labia) and the labia majora (outer portion of labia), making the area neater and more attractive. For a more detailed description of what’s involved in Labiaplasty, this is a good resource.
There are several reasons a woman may choose to have this type of surgery. Some are medical and necessary (correct irregularities, improved genital hygiene or remove excess tissue), while others are more cosmetic or elective (tighten loosened or stretched skin after childbirth or due to ageing, increase sexual sensation or improve appearance).
A 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 37% of women elected for Labiaplasty surgery for cosmetic reasons, while 32% had undergone the procedure for functional/health reasons.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these reasons and how labiaplasty can help.
Cosmetic Reasons for Labiaplasty With the rise in popularity of Brazilian and Hollywood waxes, and the almost mainstream nature of pornography culture in recent years, women are now more than ever able to compare the way each facet of their bodies look with other women’s, leaving many women feel embarrassed or self-conscious about this particular part of their body. In fact, research shows that 40% of women are unhappy with this area of their bodies. This self-consciousness, particularly if they feel that there is something irregular about their vagina, can interfere with relationships, intimacy, intercourse and self-confidence.
To alleviate these problems, some women choose to undergo Labiaplasty, to remove the excess or engorged skin around the area to improve the look, feel and appearance.
Another popular reason for the surgery is to tighten the area after it may have been previously stretched out or torn during childbirth, after a major weight loss or simply as a result of the natural aging process.
Medical Reasons Although generally categorised as a cosmetic procedure, there are medical reasons for having Labioplasty done too. There are several causes for an enlarged or stretched labia which would warrant the surgery as a medical necessity as opposed to just cosmetic or personal concerns including:
Frequent yeast or UTI infections
Over active bladder
Excess urinary frequency
In these cases, the Labiaplasty surgery is medically necessary and can alleviate discomfort as well as other bothersome issues. An enlarged labia can cause a number of difficulties, and in some extreme cases, elongated external genitalia can cause pain and discomfort during certain exercises, intercourse or even when wearing tight fitting clothing or swimwear.
Sexual Problems Typically, the labia and vulva of a woman’s vagina are surrounded by many nerve endings, which encourage the appropriate sexual response during intercourse.
After childbirth, at which time the labia can be dramatically stretched beyond its regular size, these nerve endings can lose sensitivity, making intercourse less satisfying. By tightening the area and trimming excess skin during surgery, that sensitivity is restored and sex is more enjoyable again.
Whatever the reason women are jumping aboard the labiaplasty bandwagon, it’s likely we’ll see the procedure continue to become more common as time goes on and women get more comfortable discussing this very intimate and personal form of cosmetic surgery.
About the author
Dr Robert Goldman is a Cosmetic Surgeon with a practice in Perth Western Australia and Cairns Queensland. Follow Dr Goldman on Google+.