Cosmetic surgery is very popular in the United States thanks to American celebrities that show off the changes in their appearance on the red carpet as well as at awards shows and other events. The popularity of cosmetic surgery has also grown overseas and this is true in the country of Lebanon.
According to doctors in that country, more Lebanese women are requesting a surgery with names such as “The Barbie Look” and “The Beverly Hills Rejuvenation”. No matter what name they use to describe the procedure, it is better known as labiaplasty which is a surgery that trims the inner labia, reduces the fold of skin that covers the clitoris and/or tightens the vagina.
During a recent interview, Dr. Hussein Hashim, a plastic surgeon in Beriut, said “In the gulf the ladies want a big butt and a big vagina. Not the Lebanese. They want smaller vaginas. They are more like the Europeans: they want the labia inside.”
In general, labiaplasty is the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery procedure in the world. The increase in women that desire “designer vaginas” has been of particular interest to researchers. Some people feel the Brazilian bikini wax has made women more aware of the appearance of their vagina. There are others that blame online pornography for the increased interest in the look of the vagina. They say it has impacted women who feel their vagina looks abnormal because of what they view in movies. In addition, the desire to wear tighter clothes along with reasons such as childbirth, irritation during exercise and interest from men play a role in the decision to have labiaplasty.
Labiaplasty is performed for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Besides being performed to reduce the labia minora so it doesn’t suspend below the labia majora (the outer flaps of skin on either side of the vagina), the surgery is also done to help women that suffer from irritation during daily tasks or when they are exercising or wearing clothes that are tight-fitting. An excessive labia can also cause a person to itch or have hygiene issues or discomfort during intercourse.
Labiaplasty is performed using two common techniques;
The cost of labiaplasty depends on the type of procedure performed, the amount of work performed and the area of the country where it is performed. In general, the cost of the surgery is anywhere from $2500-$6000.
Patients will suffer some swelling, bruising and tenderness for several weeks after the surgery. They should avoid any heavy lifting for the first week and they will also need to take a week off work since walking can cause discomfort and friction.
The results won’t be visible for a few weeks due to swelling. Any swelling should be gone in three weeks and patients will notice that the labia minora is tighter and more youthful in appearance. After six months, the final results should be visible. The results are long-lasting but they can change as a person ages or if a female becomes pregnant.
In the country of Lebanon, female patients are often influenced by magazines that feature photos of women wearing tight clothing that is often revealing. Doctors in the area have noted that labiaplasty does carry some risks that patients need to be aware of before having surgery. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States, laser techniques used to “rejuvenate the vagina” may cause burns, scarring or pain during sex.
Having said that, doctors in Lebanon do admit that the satisfaction rate for patients remains high and, in general, the complication rate for patients is low. While it remains to be seen if the procedure will continue to grow in popularity in the next few years, the number of women undergoing the procedure does not appear to be slowing down anytime in the near future.