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Frequently Asked Questions about Labiaplasty

Click on the Questions below for answers to our most commonly asked questions about Labiaplasty.

Q: What is labiaplasty?

A: Labiaplasty is an out-patient procedure performed to sculpt the skin surrounding the vaginal opening called the labia. When elongated, the labia minora (inner labia) may interfere with exercise or intercourse and limits clothing options due to the appearance of a bulge or discomfort. Most patients who undergo labiaplasty do not want the labia minora to protrude beyond the labia majora (outer labia).

Q: How long does labiaplasty take?

A: Individual procedures typically take between 1 and 3 hours. If cosmetic labial surgery is combined with other procedures the surgery could be longer.

Q: Where is the surgery performed?

A: Most surgeries are performed in our private in-office surgical suite. It is registered with the state of Florida and is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the gold standard in patient safety. Our caring surgical staff specializes in modern cosmetic-plastic gynecology emphasizing patient safety and comfort. Most of our patients tell us this is preferable to a hospital setting or a large surgery center as patient privacy is more fully protected and a patient is never exposed to hospital based germ cross-contamination. The surgical suite is also superior to in-office procedures because we can use more appropriate anesthesia to achieve the best cosmetic results for our patients. Your surgery day will be scheduled for you and you alone, our surgical team and surgical suite will be completely committed to your needs and safety. Dr. Serrão and his surgical team have hundreds of hours of experience in this state-of-the-art facility.

Q: How much does labiaplasty cost?

A: Fees range from $5000 to $7000 including the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, facility fee, all pre and post-operative appointments, post-care kit and blood work. A quote based on your specific medical history, physical exam, desired requests and goals will be provided upon the conclusion of your initial consultation.

Q: What about financing?

A: Women’s Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Wellness has made arrangements with several companies that offer financing plans to meet your individual needs. We also provide in-office financing plans as well. Our financial coordinator will be happy to assist you with any financial arrangements at your initial consultation.

Q: How long does labiaplasty take?

A: Individual procedures typically take between 1 and 3 hours. If cosmetic labial surgery is combined with other procedures the surgery could be longer.

Q: Is there a fee for the initial consultation with the surgeon?

A: Yes. The initial consultation lasts approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours and costs $200. This fee will be applied to your surgery when you decide to schedule your labiaplasty. The consultation will be with Dr. Serrão and will focus on an individualized plan of care to address each patient’s personal desires. Surgical procedures are discussed in detail, before and after photos are reviewed, and all post-surgical protocols are explained. You will meet with our experienced surgical team and tour our facility. Photographs may be taken and utilized during your evaluation and surgical planning to help you understand your needs and expected outcome.

Q: Is labiaplasty covered by my insurance?

A: No, it is not covered by insurance. Cosmetic labial surgery is considered an elective cosmetic-plastic procedure done by patient request, such as breast augmentation, liposuction, face-lift, or abdominoplasty.

Q: Should I have my labiaplasty performed by a plastic surgeon or by an OB/GYN?

A: The answer is neither. Plastic surgeons generally have no training in residency with any cosmetic labial surgery. They tend to focus the majority of their practice and time on the most common elective procedures, including breast augmentation, face lifts, and rhinoplasties (nose jobs). Obstetricians and gynecologists are trained in residency to perform vaginal surgery. However, they have minimal, if any training or experience performing state-of-the-art vaginal rejuvenation or cosmetic labial surgery, a modern cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgical procedure to achieve the desired results of the woman.Cosmetic labial surgery is ideally performed by a gynecologist who specializes in the field of modern cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgery. Ideally, patients should seek out a specialist who has performed hundreds of labial procedures and is intimately familiar with the varied anatomy, patient preferences and latest surgical management to provide optimal results both aesthetically and functionally.
To choose a qualified cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgeon:
• Verify credentials and specialized training
• Review before and after photos
• Consider the number of vaginal rejuvenation procedures performed
• Request patient testimonials

Q: How many labiaplasties has Dr. Serrão performed?

A: Dr. Serrão has performed hundreds of cosmetic labial procedures since he became the first modern cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgery specialist in Orlando in 2008.

Q: Why should I choose Dr. Serrão as my surgeon over other surgeons?

A: As a specialist in modern cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgery, Dr. Serrão has years of experience performing cosmetic labial surgery. He has studied and trained with Professor Adam Ostrzenski, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Hab., Dr. David Matlock, and Dr. Marco Pelosi, all of whom are recognized pioneers and experts in the field of cosmetic–plastic gynecologic surgery. Dr. Serrão considers Professor Ostrzenski to be his current mentor and is proud to be a member of his distinguished educational team. He has been honored with invitations to lecture to other surgeons from around the world on cosmetic-plastic gynecology.On another important note, patients are typically thrilled with their aesthetic and functional results, and all patient survey results are available for review during the initial consultation. Our results will attest to Dr. Serrão’s vast knowledge of female anatomy and his extensive surgical skill. Moreover, as an experienced gynecologist, Dr. Serrão, fully comprehends the sensitive nature of the subject and is able to communicate with empathy and understanding. Many patients say they feel more comfortable, respected, and protected being surrounded by a health care team who truly cares for them before, during, and after your cosmetic labial surgery. Finally, the on-site AAAHC accredited surgical suite available to Dr. Serrão’s patients is the perfect setting to undergo surgery of the labia. The suite is reserved for modern cosmetic-plastic gynecologic procedures ONLY providing an exclusive, comfortable, patient-focused experience throughout your stay with us. Dr. Serrão and his surgical team will take very good care of you.

Q: What symptoms are typical among women who elect to have labiaplasty?

A: Common complaints include labial pain and irritation from rubbing against clothing (especially jeans and workout clothes), as well as interference with activities including intercourse, tampon placement, urination, cycling or horseback riding and the appearance of a bulge when wearing certain clothes. For some women elongated or asymmetrical labia may cause embarrassment or interfere with a sexual relationship. A significant percentage of our patients simply do not like the appearance of their labia and request subtle sculpting.

Q: What are the surgical risks of labiaplasty?

A: Risks of surgery are extremely rare and seen in less than 1% of cases. Complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring or nerve injury. To put this into perspective, the risks involved with pregnancy and delivery far exceed any risks of labiaplasty when performed by a surgeon with expertise in the field of cosmetic labial surgery. Dr. Serrão will discuss all of the risks of labiaplasty with you during your consultation and again at your pre-operative visit.

Q: What types of anesthesia are available?

A: Cosmetic surgery of the labia minora and labia majora is performed using local anesthesia alone or with IV sedation that is provided by our highly experienced CRNA (licensed certified registered nurse anesthetist). This type of anesthesia allows you to sleep gently while remaining conscious and able to breathe on your own, thus reducing the risk associated with general anesthesia. You will be safely monitored throughout the entire procedure and will feel no discomfort during your labiaplasty. You will remain in our recovery room until you meet our discharge criteria and will then be able to go home with your family member or to our over-night facility with our private duty nurse. Our patients do very well with this type of anesthesia.

Q: What is recovery like after labiaplasty?

A: Most patients are up and about the afternoon of their surgery day. During the first 48 hours after surgery, patients should place ice packs or frozen peas on their incisions to minimize swelling and bruising. Routine tasks are allowed as long as there is no irritation or pressure at the incision sites. Loose clothing and cotton underwear “granny panties” are mandatory during the 6-week recovery period.

By 72 hours you may resume regular activities, making sure there is minimal friction to the labia, however, we encourage minimal activities the first week after surgery whenever possible. Patients may drive at any time as long as they are not taking narcotics. Patients may return to work within 3 to 5 days as long as rigorous physical activity is avoided. The stitches will usually dissolve by the 6-week follow-up appointment. During the 6 week recovery, patients are on pelvic rest meaning no tampons, douching or sexual relations of any kind. Please be aware that bath tubs, hot tubs, swimming (pools, lakes, or ocean), exercise, cycling, dancing, skiing, horseback riding, jet skis, motorcycles, etc. should be avoided during the recovery period. You will be allowed to do walking exercise after your 2-week follow-up visit.

A complete list of post-operative instructions will be given to you in your surgery packet at your pre-operative appointment.

Q: How soon after surgery can I return to work?

A: Most patients return to work within 3 to 5 days. The amount of time off that will be needed is dependent on the extent of your surgery as well. Dr. Serrão will discuss this with you at your initial consultation.

Q: What kind of pain can I expect after labiaplasty?

A: Pain overall is minimal due to nerve blocks and local anesthetic injected at the conclusion of the case. You should expect limited pain for the first 18-24 hours. After this, most patients report mild to moderate discomfort and swelling for a few days, which can be easily controlled by analgesics and ice packs. You are likely to have some continued soreness for a few weeks after surgery which may be relieved by anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil).

Q: How soon may I have sex after surgery?

A: We ask that you abstain from sexual relations of any kind for 6 weeks to ensure the best aesthetic results and adequate healing.

Q: Will I have a scar after labiaplasty?

A: Any incision on the body will leave some form of scar. Labial scarring, however, tends to be minimal as the incisions are small, the tissue is thin with a good blood supply and labia naturally have a slightly “wrinkled” appearance prior to surgery already. The goal of surgery is to have such a natural appearance that your OB/GYN doesn’t even realize you had surgery.

Q: Will labiaplasty affect my sexual satisfaction?

A: For some women, enhanced self-confidence and reduced labial tissue can actually improve sexual experience and sensation. A patient’s ability to achieve stimulation and clitoral orgasms should not be diminished as Dr. Serrão takes extreme care to spare the clitoris any injury during surgery protecting this very sensitive organ at all times.

Q: How long will it take for me to see my final results?

A: Final optimal results are typically appreciated 4 to 6 months after surgery. By the 6 week post-operative visit the sutures should have dissolved and most of the bruising and swelling will have resolved.

Q: Does Dr. Serrão perform laser labiaplasty?

A: Dr. Serrão is proficient with many surgical instruments including the laser, cautery device, radiofrequency, CO2 ablative laser, electric knife, iris scissors and the scalpel. The instrument best suited for your particular surgery will be discussed during your initial consultation and the advantages and disadvantages of each instrument may be reviewed in detail.

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A: There is no such thing as “normal” labia, just as “normal” breast size is impossible to define. Every woman displays her own individualized anatomy – labia are thick or thin, dark or pink, and labia come in every variable size and shape. A woman’s labia are never considered abnormal. When women request labiaplasty of the labia minora (inner lips) they usually request that the labia not protrude beyond the labia majora (outer lips). The bottom line is if they bother you it’s time to explore your options.

Q: Is it possible to lighten the dark skin on my labia and in the vaginal area?

A: Darker skin, attributed to hormonal changes or genetic factors, can usually be addressed surgically or with prescription medication. During your consultation Dr. Serrão will discuss your individual options.

Q: Can labiaplasty be combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures?

A: Yes. Many times patients choose to combine labiaplasty with vaginal rejuvenation for a full feminine make over. In addition, Dr. Serrão specializes in cosmetic surgery of the female patient, combining elective procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, or tummy tucks. With this option your surgery may be performed in a single surgical session or as two surgical sessions depending on the extent of the procedures to be performed. This will be discussed with you at your initial consultation and will be scheduled accordingly.

Q: I am from out of town. How long before I can travel back home after my surgery?

A: Many of our patients travel nationally and internationally to experience vaginal rejuvenation with Dr. Serrão and to enjoy all that Orlando has to offer. Most prefer a long distance initial consultation, which may be scheduled by calling our office or using the contact page on this website. If a patient wishes to pursue surgery, she arrives the day before surgery and must remain in the Orlando area for 3 to 5 days after surgery. All patients have a follow-up visit 24 hours after surgery and again before their departure. Remaining follow-up visits can be done through scheduled telephone calls and photographs to our confidential photo e-mail site. Our concierge service is accustomed to facilitating hotel reservations, transportation, private in-room nursing care, and fine dining restaurant delivery services. We are fortunate to have accommodations through Comfort Suites and Florida Hospital for over-night stays that are located one block from our in-office surgical center. Our private duty nurse, Kathy Onofre, LPN, will pick you up from our surgical suite, care for and pamper you overnight, and bring you back to the office in the morning for your post-operative visit. Kathy has worked with Dr. Serrão for more than 5 years and is very knowledgeable in the post-operative care of cosmetic-plastic gynecologic surgery patients. We will be glad to assist you with the arrangements for private-duty nursing at your request.

Q: May I personally speak with other patients who have had labiaplasty surgery performed by Dr. Serrão?

A: Yes. Many of our previous patients have offered to speak with other women who are considering labiaplasty. Just ask, we will make the arrangements.
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E. John Serrão, MD, FACOG, FAACS, FAAAAM