FAQs about Labiaplasty

Updated 4th April 2021

Will labiaplasty leave a scar?

Depending on what tools the surgeon uses and whether the surgeon makes the correct incisions, there is barely any chance of a scar. In the first stages of healing it may feel as though there may be some scarring but as time goes on and the labia softens and continues for up to several months after the procedure, you will find that usually the scarring will completely disappear.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure itself generally only takes an hour or two. Which means it is typically a day surgery procedure and is performed under general anesthetic or local anesthetic. This depends on the type of labiaplasty being performed and what the surgeon’s preferences are.

How long will recovery take after labiaplasty surgery?

You should typically aim to have a about a week off work or your usual activities. Showering and short amounts of time bathing are fine straight after surgery. Just like many procedures it is common to have some swelling after surgery. It is suggested that activities that affect the site of surgery such as bike riding and vaginal intercourse should be avoided for up to 6 weeks. But some activities such as horse riding can be resumed after 3 weeks. Your surgeon will of course confirm this information.

Is there a risk of nerve damage during labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty performed properly should not cause any damage. There may be a slight loss of sensation on the edge of the labia minora from 2 weeks to 2 months after the procedure. Most women have reported an increase in satisfaction from wearing tight clothes, sexual pleasure and confidence after the procedure is performed. 

Why can’t I just get my gynecologist to perform labiaplasty for me?

It is important to have a professional qualified cosmetic/plastic surgeon perform this procedure, particularly a surgeon who has had a lot of experience performing labiaplasty. A gynecologist is experienced with gynaecological anatomy and physiology but not the specialty training that is needed for labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, which isn’t usually, taught in general medical school.

How do I know if my labia are normal shape or size?

There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ appearance for the female genitalia. Normal is whatever you accept it to be as every single person’s genitals are different with both men and women. It is very common for the labia minora to protrude past the outside of the outer lips (the labia majora). To help you determine how ‘normal’ your labia minora is take a look at the Labia Library.

Will my sexual partner feel the difference after I have labioplasty?

This greatly depends on the size of the labia before the procedure. But yes, more than likely your partner will feel a difference because prior to surgery there would have been much more labia tissue present which can sometimes interfere with sexual activity. Visually your partner will definitely notice the difference, as the labia will be aligned and smaller (if this is the type of labiaplasty you are having done).

Can I have Labiaplasty if I am on my period?

Unfortunately you cannot have surgery on your menstrual period. This will need to be taken into consideration when making the booking for the procedure.

Should I have this surgery if I haven’t had children yet?

If you have a large labia and it is bothering you for either cosmetic or functioning reasons it is definitely fine to have labiaplasty surgery prior to having children.

The excess skin that is trimmed has no need and the scars will not interfere with delivery.

Does labiaplasty interfere with the ability to go through natural childbirth?

Labiaplasty should not affect the ability to have a natural childbirth at all. The labia are extremely pliable and stretchable. Labiaplasty reduces the length of the labia but not the labia’s ability to stretch. In some cases labiaplasty may make childbirth easier.

Why do I need a referral letter from my doctor Labiaplasty?

Because the Victorian legislation states that excision of part of the labia minora is considered “female genital mutilation” unless it is “necessary for the health of the person on whom it is performed”. It does not matter if you are an adult and you consent to the surgery. If the surgery is performed without a health indication your doctor may face criminal charges and up to 15 years in jail.

How do I choose the right surgeon to perform my labiaplasty?

With the rise in the amount of women seeking labiaplasty surgery then comes a rise in the amount of surgeons performing the procedure. This is why it is important to check the surgeon’s credentials. To confirm your doctor’s qualifications check they are a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (FRACS). This means that they can display these FRACS initials next to their name.

Fully qualified Plastic Surgeons would have undergone additional specific training in Plastic Surgery at the Royal Australian College of Plastic Surgeons. This will enable them to advertise themselves as plastic surgeons and be a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASPS for short.

Before you decide on one particular surgeon, take the time to research a number of surgeons checking they have the correct credentials and experience with performing a number of labiaplasty procedures. Make sure you consult with at least 2 or 3 surgeons. This will enable you to do price comparisons and check the following three things:

  • The doctor’s qualification and experience.
  • The quality of the facility where the operation is to be performed.
  • The level of after surgery care that will be available to you.

What are the risks associated with labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is considered by surgeons to be a ‘minor surgery’. But there are still some surgical risks, with the longtime consequences of labiaplasty not yet known. Although uncommon, it is advised that before you finalise your labiaplasty procedures, it is important to take the following risks into consideration.

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Permanent colour change to the labia
  • Unevenness
  • Pigment irregularities
  • Infection (yeast, bacteria)
  • Temporary or permanent numbness
  • Persisting pain or tenderness
  • Thickening due to permanent scar
  • Creases or bumps within the labia