Vaginoplasty vs. Labiaplasty - Is There a Difference?

Posted June 05, 2023
Learn the difference between Vaginoplasty vs Labiaplasty

As a woman ages, the vagina can start to become loose or slack due to the aging process or childbirth. Because of this condition happening to females of many ages, there are some women who decide to have surgery to tighten vaginal tissues that have stretched. When it comes to treating the current condition of the vagina, there can often be a choice between vaginoplasty and labiaplasty. In this article, we will examine the two procedures to determine if there is a difference between the treatments.

Vaginoplasty – What is It?

What is VaginoplastyIn general. vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed to tighten a loose vagina. In addition, there are some surgeons who say the procedure can improve the sensitivity of the vagina although this claim has been challenged by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It has not been proven that a surgical tightening of the vaginal tissue will deliver an increased sexual response. There are often cases when an increased amount of sexual “sensitivity” can actually cause a person to feel pain as opposed to increased pleasure.

It can also be performed to construct a vagina as part of gender affirmation surgery.

If the procedure is performed to tighten the vagina after childbirth or due to the aging process, the surgeon will remove any excess skin and then use stitches in order to secure loose tissue in the vagina. In addition, the surgeon will reduce the opening size of the vagina.

Labiaplasty – What is It?

Labiaplasty is considered to be plastic surgery on the labia AKA the “lips” that surround the vagina. This procedure can be performed on its own or it can be performed at the same time as vaginoplasty. Labiaplasty is able to reduce the size of the labia minora which is the inner flaps of skin that are located on either side of the vagina. The results can alter the size or the shape of the labia by making the labia smaller or more symmetrical in appearance.

The surgery can be performed by creating an incision that runs along the length of the labia so excess skin and extra tissue on the labia minora can be trimmed. Labiaplasty can also be performed when a surgeon removes a wedge from the area of the labium that has the greatest protrusion. Then, the top of the labium is sutured to the bottom part, so a smaller labium is created.

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty – How to Decide Which Procedure to Undergo

When considering which procedure to have, it is important to know the difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. A surgeon will perform cosmetic surgery in order to alter or enhance the aesthetic look of the targeted body part. On the other hand, reconstructive surgery is performed to improve the functionality of a body part.

It should be noted that the ACOG is still cautious about many types of cosmetic vaginal surgery due to a lack of scientific evidence about their effectiveness and safety.

In addition, vaginoplasty is now considered to be part of a group of cosmetic surgeries that are marketed to the public as either “designer vagina” or “vaginal rejuvenation” surgeries. As part of the marketing campaigns for these “vaginal rejuvenation” procedures, plastic surgeons spotlight the possible improvements in the appearance of the body part along with improvements in the confidence and self-esteem of the patient.

It is also important for the patient to chat with the surgeon when it comes to the desired changes to the vagina. The genitals of a woman have a wide range of appearances that occur naturally. Even if the vagina is considered to be correct when it comes to the anatomy of the body part, there is not one certain “look” for a vagina that is the “right look.”

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty – Are There Any Risks?

When it comes to cosmetic surgery for the vagina, there are some common risks that patients need to know about when deciding about having a procedure. These common risks include the chance of an infection, possible scarring, permanent changes in the sensation of the vagina, and continuous/ongoing pain.

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty – Talk to a Doctor in Advance of the Surgery

As mentioned above, it is best for the patient to have an open discussion with their doctor of choice about any concerns they have regarding the surgery. They should also share their expectations when it comes to the recovery process and final results as well as their medical options beyond vaginoplasty and labiaplasty.

The patient should be educated and informed about any potential risks and complications in advance as well as the benefits they will enjoy after the procedure. It is also important for the person to know that most health insurance plans do not cover these two procedures as they are considered to be elective procedures that are not medically necessary. This means the patient will need to pay for the surgery out of pocket which might impact their final decision about having either procedure.

- MA


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