Enlarged labia can be genetic or the result of age, hormone changes, pregnancy, or childbirth. Stretched or large labia can be a source of emotional and physical discomfort, resulting in challenges to women’s daily lives, from their clothing choices to their comfort to their sexual intimacy.
Dr. Alter is one of the leading labiaplasty specialists in the world, serving patients in New York City and the surrounding areas.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty (labioplasty) or labia minora reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that reduces the size of one or both labia minora. This procedure aims to give women comfort and confidence in their bodies.
Am I a Good Candidate for Labiaplasty?
You may be a candidate for labiaplasty if the size, shape, or symmetry of your labia are causing you physical or emotional discomfort. Some women seek the procedure because they dislike the look of their labia. Other women desire reduction because their labia are physically uncomfortable in clothes or interfere with daily activities like walking, running, or sexual intercourse.
Labiaplasty candidates should be in good health, non-smokers, and realistic in their expectations.
If you feel you are a candidate for a labiaplasty, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gary Alter, one of the leading labiaplasty surgeons in New York City and worldwide, and he will discuss your options.
How Was Labiaplasty Initially Performed?
Originally, labiaplasty was performed using the trim method. Here, a surgeon would reduce the size of each labium by trimming excess tissue along the entire border of the labium and stitching along the incision. This method often results in sacrificing the natural contour and color of the labia, as lighter scar tissue from the inner labia replaces the original tissue. This is the procedure usually performed by gynecologists and many plastic surgeons.
However, there are many disadvantages of using the trim technique that usually outweigh the lighter color edge, such as asymmetry, over-amputation of the labia, scarring, and scalloped edges. This technique makes it also very challenging to create a natural transition from the upper labium to the clitoral frenulum and clitoral hood.
Extensive scarring along the labia can also result in more discomfort for the patient, making this technique less than ideal for alleviating physical and aesthetic concerns.
What Technique Does Dr. Alter Use When Performing Labiaplasty in New York City?
In light of the negative issues presented by the trim method, Dr. Alter invented and developed a new labiaplasty technique over 25 years ago that preserves the natural contour, color, and anatomy of the labia minora edges.
Dr. Atler’s technique called the “Alter labia contouring,” the “central wedge,” or “V” labiaplasty, has been his preferred method for achieving optimum results since its invention.
Since publishing a seminal article on the method in the prestigious plastic surgical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2008, Dr. Alter has been regarded as a leader and innovator in the field of genital reconstructive surgery. Additionally, his technique has been adopted by plastic and genital surgeons worldwide.
During this procedure, Dr. Alter removes the most protuberant area of the labium using a “V” or “pie-slice” incision, which disconnects the upper and lower labium. Then, the labium is sutured together using a four-layer suture closure, resulting in a more natural labial appearance with a small, less-visible transverse scar across the edge of the labium.
With this technique, Dr. Alter can remove the largest, and usually the darkest, portion of the labium and the excess skin on the sides of the clitoral hood with minimal scarring.
What Type of Anesthesia Is Used During Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is performed under general or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. These options are for optimum comfort and can be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Alter.
What Are the Risks of the Wedge Labiaplasty Technique?
The Alter wedge labiaplasty has minor disadvantages. This is a more complex technique and requires greater surgical skill and a longer operating time. While rare for Dr. Alter, these include a 5% chance of the wound opening slightly at the edge and way less than 1% chance of a larger opening in his hands. These can be repaired easily.
In the hands of a less skilled surgeon, large disruptions in the suture line can occur; however, this is very unusual if done by a skilled, practiced surgeon like our leading New York City labiaplasty surgeon, Dr. Gary Alter.
Under Dr. Alter’s care, the advantages of the wedge labiaplasty include the preservation of natural anatomy with normal labial edges, more consistent symmetrical results, less chance to over-excise the labia, a lower incident of discomfort due to smaller scars, and less post-operative pain.
How Long Does a Labiaplasty Take?
The length of your labiaplasty procedure will vary depending on the amount of correction needed and the specific surgical techniques used. Generally, a labiaplasty takes one to two hours.
What Is the Labiaplasty Recovery Process?
Recovery after the Alter wedge labiaplasty will vary between patients. A long-acting local anesthetic is given at the end of the surgery, which minimizes post-operative pain. Ice is used for two days. Typically, most women can return to work and their daily schedule within a few days.
You should wear loose clothing and protect your surgical site for a few weeks, but no additional care is required. No exercise is allowed for three to four weeks. Sex and wearing tampons should be avoided for six weeks following surgery.
Will Labiaplasty Leave Scars?
The trim method often leaves large, painful, scalloped scars, obligating some women to seek labiaplasty revision.
The Alter wedge labiaplasty method ensures less scarring than other methods. Dr. Alter understands the importance of having minimal scarring after your labiaplasty, so he makes incisions in less conspicuous areas where they will be almost invisible.
In addition to performing labiaplasty, he also routinely performs labiaplasty revision for women who require additional care after a botched labiaplasty elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions About Labiaplasty
How much is labiaplasty in New York City?
Like all plastic surgery procedures, the cost of labiaplasty in New York City will vary depending on the extent of your surgery, the technique used, and if you are combining your labiaplasty with any other procedures. Cost factors include geographical location, anesthesia, facility, and surgeon’s fees.
We understand that the cost of labiaplasty is an important factor as you consider the procedure. While opting for a lower-cost labiaplasty may be tempting, you should only entrust this delicate and complex surgery to a highly skilled genital reconstruction plastic surgeon like Dr. Gary Alter.
A rare surgeon, board-certified in plastic surgery and urology, Dr. Alter has unparalleled knowledge of the technique and anatomy along with the experience and compassion necessary to give you results that will meet or exceed your expectations.
Dr. Alter will happily provide a cost estimate once a surgical plan has been established and agreed upon.
What if I am unhappy with my labiaplasty results?
Many medical professionals perform labiaplasty without sufficient training or knowledge of female anatomy. Unfortunately, this often creates undesirable results for their patients. This is why it’s important to choose a plastic surgeon who understands the nuances of this delicate procedure, like female and male genital reconstruction specialist Dr. Gary Alter. Dr. Alter is a world-renowned plastic surgeon specializing in labiaplasty and labiaplasty revision.
Dr. Alter has extensive experience performing labiaplasty revision. He has published in the plastic surgery literature and lectured worldwide on his reconstructive techniques.. Dr. Alter can adjust, improve, or correct many concerns for patients unhappy with their prior labiaplasty procedures, including scarring, over-excision, or under-excision.
If you are interested in labiaplasty revision in New York City, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alter today to discuss your options.
Does labiaplasty tighten the vagina?
Labiaplasty concerns the outer portion of the vagina, so it does tighten the vulva. However, labiaplasty does not affect internal tissues or nerve endings, even during a clitoral hood reduction.
If you are looking for improvement or rejuvenation in that area, Dr. Alter offers many surgical and non-surgical options, including labia majora reduction, clitoral hood reduction, perineoplasty with or without vaginal tightening, clitoris reduction, and FemTouch™ vaginal resurfacing.
These treatments may be combined with labiaplasty, although not all may be performed simultaneously. If you are interested in vaginal rejuvenation in New York City, Dr. Alter will review these options during your consultation.
Will labiaplasty tighten my labia majora?
Labiaplasty reduces the size and prominence of your labia minora (inner lips). If you are concerned with the size or protuberance of your labia majora (outer labia), Dr. Alter can correct this during your labiaplasty. He can also revise prior labia majora reduction treatments.
Why does Dr. Alter not use the trim method?
Dr. Alter created the Alter wedge method as a better alternative that eliminates common issues with the trim technique. The trim method involves removing the outer tissue of the labia, which can result in too much tissue being removed, a lack of symmetry between the labia, extensive and painful scars including scallops, and removal of the natural color of the labia.
Will wedge labiaplasty look natural?
Yes. Preserving the natural edge, color, and shape of the labia is the purpose of the wedge technique. This aims to give you optimum results while maintaining the integrity of your anatomy. Scars are barely noticeable.
Is labiaplasty permanent?
Labiaplasty is considered a long-lasting, permanent procedure. However, no plastic surgery procedure can stop changes in the body due to the natural aging process, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations. However, it is rare to ever need to reduce your labia again.
What if I get pregnant after labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty will not affect your ability to get pregnant or give birth. However, pregnancy and subsequent vaginal deliveries may rarely impact the results of your labiaplasty results. Dr. Alter offers labiaplasty revision in New York City.
Dr. Alter and the entire team are dedicated to providing every patient with exceptional individualized care—from consultation to recovery. We take the time to learn about your concerns, goals, and desires, so we can build a plan that addresses your concerns and gets you the
results you deserve.