Vaginoplasty vs. Labiaplasty: What’s the Difference?

It is a common experience for a woman to feel that her vaginal structures have become lax and started to sag after childbirth or with aging. The cosmetic procedure aimed at correcting these issues by tightening the vagina is called a vaginoplasty. Also sometimes called revirginization surgery, this procedure tightens the canal of the vagina so that it feels similar to how it did prior to pregnancy. These procedures can also make the area more sensitive, leading to heightened sexual response.

A procedure that is often also part of a vaginal rejuvenation surgery is a labiaplasty. Let’s explore these topics.


How labiaplasty differs from vaginoplasty

Rather than being a procedure that focuses on tightening the vagina, a labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure on the labia. It can be performed on the labia major (the outer, larger vaginal "lips") or labia minor (the inner, smaller lips). This operation is often chosen because women have inner labia that are extending beyond the outer labia. Labiaplasty can solve that aesthetic issue. It is often used to reduce the size of one of the sets of labia or to make them symmetrical.

These procedures are not performed at the exclusion of one another. Often a labiaplasty is performed in conjunction with a vaginoplasty. Both a vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are vaginal rejuvenation treatments.


What is vaginal rejuvenation?

Vaginal rejuvenation, also called aesthetic vaginal surgery or female genital plastic surgery, typically involves vaginoplasty to tighten the vagina and labiaplasty to improve the appearance of the labia. Rejuvenation is often chosen by people who want to recover their beauty and confidence following childbirth, injury, aging, or the loss of a substantial amount of weight. Many women report improvements in comfort, sensitivity, and self-esteem following these treatments.


Who should consider vaginoplasty or labiaplasty?

A range of different types of women will find that these procedures make sense for them. You may find it particularly appealing if you:


What are the benefits of vaginal rejuvenation?

If you get surgical vaginal rejuvenation procedures, here are three positives you may experience:


Key elements of your treatment plan

As the surgeon starts to discuss your treatment plan with you, there will be common topics and concerns that will include:

When you meet with the surgeon for an initial consultation, they will typically go over points such as the above, answer all your questions, and show you before-and-after photos of their previous patients.


8 questions for potential doctors about vaginal rejuvenation

It is important to be educated on any decisions you make about these aesthetic medical treatments. By asking questions of your plastic surgeon, you can be certain that you are confident about their capabilities to perform the particular procedure or procedures that you need. Here are a few questions to ask the doctor, as suggested by Smart Beauty Guide:

  1. Would vaginoplasty or labiaplasty be a good solution for me?
  2. Do I have fair expectations in terms of a likely outcome?
  3. Can I see before-and-after photos of your patients that you have treated with these procedures?
  4. Is there any scarring associated with these surgeries? How obvious will they be? Where will the scars be located exactly?
  5. Do you have advice in terms of anesthesia?
  6. How much is the cost of this procedure?
  7. How can I best play a part in and facilitate my recovery?
  8. How long should it take me to recover? What's typical? How soon can I go back to my day-to-day schedule?


Conclusion

Are you considering vaginal rejuvenation, such as vaginoplasty and labiaplasty? At Southeast Urogyn, Dr. Harris and Dr. Speights have both trained with famed Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. David Matlock of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America. See our surgical vaginal rejuvenation Q & A.

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