As the popularity of these two procedures grows, questions naturally arise on the differences between vaginoplasties and labiaplasties.
As women age and especially after childbirth, the vagina tends to become a little looser and stretched out. Aimed to heighten the sexual pleasure of intercourse, vaginoplasty is a procedure that “tightens up” the vaginal tissue. Of course, the female sexual response is complex and many factors such as emotions, spirituality and interpersonal relations play a role, so vaginoplasty is no guarantee of enhanced sexual pleasure but on an anatomically level, it should definitely help.
Labiaplasty is plastic surgery on the labia (the “lips” surrounding the vagina), and can be performed alone or with a vaginoplasty. Surgery is performed on the labia major (the larger, outer vaginal lips), or the labia minor (the smaller, inner vaginal lips). Labiaplasty basically decreases the size of the labia, making them smaller or correcting an asymmetry between them.
Both procedures can be considered reconstructive, cosmetic or both. If you’re having trouble deciding whether you should consider vaginoplasty or labiaplasty, it’s important to understand the difference between reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery improves the function of a body part, while cosmetic surgery primarily changes the aesthetics of essentially normal anatomy. For example during a nose job (rhinoplasty), a surgeon can restructure the interior nasal cavities to help you breathe better or reshape the nose to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Interestingly, vaginoplasties were originally developed as reconstructive surgeries to repair structure defects when the vagina was malformed, too short, or absent (such as in vaginal agenesis), so that a girl could grow up to have normal urination, menstruation, and intercourse.
Labiaplasty can also be a reconstructive procedure as well and often it the primary reason women pursue plastic surgery for this region of their bodies. An abnormally large labia or asymmetric labia can cause skin irritation, discomfort and difficulty keeping good hygiene. Labiaplasty can make a huge difference for women, both functionally and emotionally.
If you are interested in learning more about vaginoplasty and labiaplasty in Hawaii, click here to visit S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS’s Labiaplasty website and schedule a consultation!