Expert Body & Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Labiaplasty / Female Genital Surgery

Why Consider Female Genital Surgery?

Female Genital SurgeryWhile female genital surgery has not traditionally been practiced by many plastic and cosmetic surgeons, these procedures have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. This is attributable to increased media attention to female genital surgery and a general attitude change both by patients and plastic surgeons. A great many women have concerns about the look of the outer labia and/or the inner labia. Enlargement or other irregularities in these areas can also lead to significant functional problems including pain, discomfort, infection, difficulty with sexual intercourse, and difficulty with wearing certain types of clothing. Other areas of concern regarding the female genital region can be prominence of the pubis (the area of the pubic hairs due to a fat pad) and unusual or excessive hair-growth patterns.

Labiaplasty (Labia Minora Reduction)

Labiaplasty is a female genital surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the inner labia (labia minora). The technical term used to describe enlargement of this anatomy is "labia hypertrophy". Women with this concern complain of self-consciousness with regards to exposing the area to sexual partners, pain and tenderness when wearing certain types of clothing, during intercourse or other activities (eg. bike riding).

Anesthesia for Labiaplasty Genital Surgery

Dr. Backstein, Toronto female genital surgeon, suggests that labiaplasty surgery is best done under a general anesthestic. Due to the obvious sensitivity of the area, surgery done under local anesthesia, while feasible, may be unpleasant for many patients. For women that would prefer to have the procedure done without going under general anesthesia, Dr. Backstein will arrange with a board certified anesthesiologist to do the labiaplasty under local anesthesia combined with a sedation.

Labiaplasty Post-Op Care

You will be extremely swollen in the surgical area and may have trouble walking normally. This will resolve!

  • 1

    Shower the day after surgery. The surgical area may get wet. Apply polysporin and a feminine pad after the shower

  • 2

    Use a feminine pad over the area and change as necessary

  • 3

    No sexual intercourse or exercise until instructed by Dr. Backstein

  • 4

    Do not use Advil, Aspirin, Motrin or any other anti-inflammatory as this can cause bleeding

  • 5

    If you have significant concerns, contact Dr. Backstein at

    • Can scars be removed?

A common question I am asked by cosmetic surgery patients is if it is possible to use plastic surgery to remove scars. The short answer is "no". Cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons are trained to use meticulous, careful techniques to minimize scars and to place scars in inconspicuous areas on the body but we are unable to remove scars. Several treatments are available to improve the appearance of scars such as cortisone and laser treatments, but to date, full removal of scars is not possible.

    • What are the complications of having Labiaplasty (Female Genital Surgery)?

Complications of labiaplasty surgery can include infection, scarring, sensory loss or sensory changes to the labia area, and pigmentary changes. In rare cases, patients may complain of some discomfort when having sexual intercourse.

    • When can I have sex after Labiaplasty?

Dr. Backstein suggests waiting about 6 weeks to have sexual intercourse or to exercise vigorously after labiaplasty surgery.

    • What is the recovery period for Labiaplasty?

Following labiaplasty, the female genital region will be tender and swollen. This will subside to a great extent after about one week. Dr. Backstein suggests icing the area intermittently for the first 24 hours and a female pad should be worn for several days to keep the area dry. Full recovery can take up to six weeks and exercise and sexual intercourse should be refrained from for 4-6 weeks.

    • What is the recovery period for Thigh Lift surgery?

Thigh lift surgery recovery is a 2 to 4 week process. Most patients will have a surgical drain in each thigh that is very easily and painlessly removed in Dr. Backstein's office several days after surgery. Heavy lifting and exercise should be refrained from for 4 to 6 weeks. As with other plastic surgery procedures, recovery occurs in phases. Initially patients will have swelling and some discomfort although thigh lift sugery is not reported to be particularly painful. Swelling and discomfort will begin to noticeably subside after around 48 hours. It can take about 3 months for essentially all swelling to be out of the thighs. Wearing post-op compression garments consistently as part of thigh lift post operative care will help reduce swelling sooner. Thigh lift surgery scars will fade over months to years.

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