For the past five years one of the fastest- growing fields in plastic surgery is that of female genital plastic surgery. With access to the internet, women have become more informed of the options available to them. Labiaplasty (surgical treatment of the labia minora) has surged in popularity as long labia minora can lead to chafing, pain,and inability to wear certain bathing suits. Visibility of the labia minora through exercise pants is another reason women seek labiaplasty, and women report high satisfaction rates with the procedure. In general, labiaplasty causes minimal pain after surgery and recovery is quick. Abstinence from sexual intercourse is recommended for four to six weeks after labiaplasty.
When patients feel that their vaginal area is “loose” after childbirth, there are now non-surgical treatments like radiofrequency (ThermiVa, Viveve) and laser (Fem Touch, Diva,Mona Lisa, Fem Lift) that can give significant improvement in tightness, relief of minor urinary incontinence, and improvement in sexual well-being. These non-surgical treatments are painless and have minimal downtime.
For those who are not candidates for non-surgical treatments then surgical perineoplasty or vaginoplasty are available. These surgical procedures take longer to recover from, but they can restore the vaginal area and tighten the perineal and vaginal musculature. As with labiaplasty, abstaining from sexual intercourse for four to six weeks is also recommended.
Procedures like vaginoplasty or labiaplasty can be combined with other “mommy makeover” plastic surgical procedures like tummy tuck, breast augmentation or liposuction. It is best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to review all options, both surgical and non-surgical.