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Labiaplasty

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know about Labiaplasty in Sydney!

What is a Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of enlarged inner vaginal lips (the ‘labia minora’) that protrude beyond the extent of the outer lips (the ‘labia majora).

Women may be born with larger than normal ‘labia minora’ or they can develop following childbirth or as part of ageing.

For some women, enlarged, protruding ‘labia minora’ can cause physical symptoms such as irritation or discomfort from tight clothing, exercises, some sporting activities or during intercourse.

Most women seeking a labiaplasty of the labia minora do so either because they suffer from irritation, or they believe that labia minora completely covered by the labia majora are more aesthetically appealing.

Although the term ‘labiaplasty’ can also be used to describe surgery on the outer lips (the ‘labia majora’), the vast majority of women requesting a labiaplasty are seeking to reduce the size of the excessively enlarged ‘labia minora’, the inner lips at the entrance to the vagina.  

The Different Labiaplasty Techniques

The labia minora are important for maintaining the moisture of the vulva and vagina. Their appearance varies considerably among women in terms of size, colour and shape but in some women, they can enlarge and protrude beyond the labia majora.

Removal of excess labia minora tissue can be performed by any of the following techniques:

1. The Trim Excision Technique

Your Surgeon will make one continuous incision along the edge of the protruding labia minora to remove the excess tissue and ensure that they no longer protrude beyond the labia majora. This technique is especially useful if the patient is also bothered by any darker-pigmented skin along the labial edges.

This is the simplest of all three techniques but it does run the risk of the edges of the labia having a ‘scalloped’ appearance due to the style of suturing.

Trim Excision Technique

2. The Wedge Excision Technique

In the ‘Wedge Technique’, your Surgeon will remove a full-thickness V-shaped wedge of tissue from the labia minora and then suture the remaining edges together to pull the entire length of the labia minora tighter.

Although the final appearance may be more natural-looking than the ‘Trim Technique’, excising a full- thickness wedge from delicate labial tissue and then suturing the edges together could result in poor healing with small holes in the labia or thickened scarring which could prove physically uncomfortable.

Wedge Excision Technique

3. Our ‘Swede’ Technique (Superficial Wedge De-Epithelialisation)

When choice permits, our ‘Swede’ Technique is always the preferred procedure because it produces a very natural appearance while avoiding some of the potential problems of the other techniques.

Unfortunately, the technique is not widely known or practised.

Apart from delivering a very natural appearance, its main advantage is that being only a superficial wedge dissection and not a ‘full thickness’ wedge excision, the blood and nerve supply to the labia are not compromised and normal sensation of the labia is preserved.

How Is Labiaplasty Surgery Performed?

For patient comfort and safety, all labiaplasty procedures are performed in a Licensed Day Hospital under General Anaesthesia administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist.

The aim of any Labiaplasty is to reduce the inner labia so they’re level with, or are within, the outer labia.

This will reduce any discomfort as well as limit the amount of tissue that’s visible when standing. 

A standard Labiaplasty usually takes 1-2 hours unless it is combined with other procedures.

Whichever technique your doctor uses, all incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, so there is no need to feel anxious about having sutures removed.

After 1-1½ hours in Recovery, you can return home. However, you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Watch Our Labiaplasty Animation Video

Recovery After Labiaplasty

  • Plan for an initial recovery period of 3-10 days depending on which technique was used and whether additional procedures were included.
  • During this time, you can expect:
    • Swelling and bruising
    • Discomfort and pain (but manageable with medications)
    • Minor spot bleeding
    • Urinating and sitting can be uncomfortable during this initial period.
  • Your Surgeon will provide specific and very detailed instructions about how to care for your labia during the period of recovery and healing. It is important you follow these instructions carefully as they will help relieve the initial discomfort as well as promote quicker and better healing.

‘Pros & Cons’ of Labiaplasty

The Pros:

  • It will reduce the size of the protruding labia minora.
  • It can also alleviate the physical symptoms that the protruding labia minora may be causing such as discomfort and irritation from tight clothing, exercises, sporting activities or during sex.
  • Labiaplasty results are permanent, but keep in mind that your body will continue to change as you age. You can have a baby after a labiaplasty, although childbirth can again stretch the labia or change their appearance.
  • Excess labial tissue can also harbour bacteria because of the difficulty of cleaning the skin. This, in turn, can mean a higher risk of urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Labiaplasty can reduce the risk of such infections.
  • Decreasing the size of the labia can make a large difference in comfort if you are very athletic and active in sports.

The Cons:

  • You’ll need anywhere from 3 to 10 days of recovery time depending on which technique has been used and whether any additional other procedures were included.
  • You should not wear tight clothing such as tight pants or jeans in the first 2 weeks as they will likely prove uncomfortable and cause irritation.
  • It generally takes three months for all of the swelling to settle completely but even after that there can still be continued improvement in appearance for up to one year.
  • You should not use tampons for the first few menstrual periods after a labiaplasty and you should wait for 6-8 weeks until you’ve healed before shaving or waxing.
  • You need to abstain from vigorous exercise for about 4 weeks and sexual activity for 8 weeks otherwise you may tear the sutured incisions apart, ruin the result and then need to start the entire healing process all over again!

Labiaplasty ‘Before & Afters’

Before
7 Months AFTER ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty
Before
6 Weeks AFTER ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty 
(Some tissue swelling still present)
6 Weeks AFTER ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty
(Some tissue swelling still present)
BEFORE ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty
Before
6 Weeks AFTER ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty
(Some tissue swelling still present)
Before
6 Weeks AFTER ‘Swede’ Labiaplasty
(Some tissue swelling still present)

Potential Risks & Complications of Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty surgery is generally considered safe but like any surgery, potential risks and complications exist and these include:

Specific to Labiaplasty:

  • Excessive Bleeding from the operative site.
  • Hematoma (a collection of blood under the surface).
  • Wound infection.
  • Delayed wound healing – more likely in smokers and diabetics.
  • Changes in sensation or numbness.
  • Asymmetry.
  • Abnormal scarring.
  • Over-resection or under-resection of the labia.

General Risks:

  • Allergic reaction to medications, sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions.
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and its potential to cause life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism. To reduce the risk of DVT, Calf Massagers can be applied for the entire duration of your surgery to prevent the blood in your leg veins from pooling and clotting.
  • Adverse Reactions to Anaesthesia or Medication: The safety of anaesthesia nowadays in Australia is well established. Nevertheless, potential risks exist with all anaesthesia and unexpected reactions can occur. These may include nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions ranging from minor to severe. Respiratory failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke are rare but documented risks of any general anaesthesia.

Procedures Sometimes Included with Labiaplasty of the Labia Minora

Labiaplasty to reduce the size of enlarged ‘labia minora’ is sometimes performed in conjunction with other forms of genital surgery, including:

  • Labia majora procedures which can be any of the following:
    • Liposuction to reduce the prominence of the hair-bearing outer vaginal lips (the ‘labia majora’).
    • Fat Transfer to restore lost volume of the outer vaginal lips (the ‘labia majora’).
    • Removal of excess skin in deflated and wrinkled outer labia.
  • Clitoral Hood Reduction –  the removal of excess skin folds over the clitoris to make the area appear less bulky or uncover the clitoris.
  • Liposuction of a prominent mons pubis – the triangular mound of fatty tissue over the pubic bone which may be visible when wearing tight pants or swimwear.

The Cost of a Labiaplasty

  • Labiaplasty

Unfortunately, we can only give you a very approximate indication of the individual component costs until you’ve had a consultation because the required technique will determine how long the surgery will take, which in turn will determine the Operating Theatre Fee and the Anaesthetist Fee as both the latter are based on Theatre Time.

  • Surgical Fee: This will ultimately depend on the labiaplasty technique required and whether any additional associated procedures are necessary.
  • Standard Labiaplasty From $7,000*

    * depending on the technique and whether any additional procedures are required.

  • Hospital Fee: Hospitals differ in their hourly rates for Operating Theatres. Our Surgeon will advise you of your hospital costs once it has been determined which hospital you will be attending and how long your procedure will take.
  • Anaesthetist Fee:This will basically depend on the duration of your surgery. Anaesthetic Fees are generally around $880/hour.

Can I Claim a Medicare or Private Health Insurance Rebate?

Surgical procedures for purely cosmetic reasons are generally not eligible for a Medicare Rebate.

Unfortunately, only a minority of patients are eligible to claim a partial Medicare Rebate because of Medicare’s strict criteria of eligibility which basically require that the patient’s labia must extend more than 8 cm below the vaginal entrance when the patient is standing.

If you meet the above criteria and you also have Private Hospital Cover, you may also be able to claim a variable portion of your Hospital Fees depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.

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Terms & Conditions


  • Consultations must be pre-paid at time of booking.
  • Once pre-paid, all consultations are non-refundable and non-transferable but can be moved to another date with at least 3 working days’ notice.
  • Cancellations with less than 3 working days’ notice and ‘no shows’ are not refundable or transferable and will incur a new consultation fee to re-book.
  • All payments by Credit Card & Debit Card attract a 0.3% surcharge and Amex a 1.5% surcharge.
  • The Medical Board of Australia’s new Regulations which came into effect on 1 July 2023 require that:
    • All patients seeking a consultation regarding cosmetic surgery must provide a referral and the referral must be from a GP or other specialist who does not perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic services themselves.
    • If a patient arrives without a referral, the Regulations recommend that the doctor should refrain from seeing the patient – in which event, any pre-paid consultation fee would be lost.

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Dr Kenneth Brito, Cosmetic Doctor

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