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Labiaplasty (Labioplasty) - Seattle - Vancouver, BC - Radiant Rejuvenation

Labiaplasty by an Expert, Experienced Gynecologic and Cosmetic Surgeon

Call for a Complimentary Initial Consultation - 425.712.7546

Dr. Michael Lau, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, is a cosmetic vaginal surgeon highly trained in both urogynecology and cosmetic surgery [ Biography & Credentials ]. He has been performing labiaplasty and other vaginal plastic surgery for over 25 years and has been serving patients from the regions around Seattle and Vancouver, BC, and also from all over the world. He lectures internationally, especially in the area of optimizing normal function in intimacy with vaginal plastic surgery. Dr Lau has transformed labiaplasty into a minimally invasive procedure done under local anesthesia (local numbing medicine), promoting faster recovery. Local anesthesia avoids the risks of general anesthesia (going to sleep) and is more cost effective. Most patients can return to work and normal activities in just a few days. Please see Expectations and Limitations below.

Dr. Lau has seen so many women greatly bothered by the appearance of their labia, to the point of severely affecting their relationships and intimacy. It is our mission to help these women to regain their self-confidence and fulfilment, especially in intimacy. The following information will cover the problems and solutions to achieve the correction of abnormal looking labia through labioplasty by an expert.

Please view the following presentation by Dr. Michael Lau regarding labioplasty minora, majora, and clitoral hood reduction:

Example of Labiaplasty (Labioplasty)

Labiaplasty - Labioplasty

Photo Gallery

Click here for more labiaplasty (labioplasty) images.

Concerns: Large and Redundant Vaginal Lips

Labiaplasty - Labioplasty

There is a normal diversity in the size, color and shape of the labia, commonly known as the “vaginal lips.” This diversity applies also to the hood over the clitoris and to the mons pubis, the fat pad and coarse skin overlying the center of the pubic bone.

Women are more aware of the differences in genital appearance owing to the increase in such exposure in the public media and increased discussion regarding labiaplasty or labioplasty. Child bearing and aging can change some of the features of the external genitalia that one is born with.

If the labia are enlarged or unequal in size, or conversely, shrunken and wrinkled, it may cause some women to feel deformed or abnormal, causing embarrassment and loss of self esteem. Also, in some cases, larger labia can cause local irritation, interference with intercourse, and self-consciousness in wearing certain clothing. Some women are also very conscious about the size or shape of their mons, which is basically a fat pad subjected to fat accumulation. Labiaplasty (labioplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that offers a solution to the concerns of women regarding the appearance of the external genitalia.

So what are normal looking vaginal lips (labia minora and labia majora) anyway? Objectively looking for what is normal for the labia, one must recognize that there is a large variation of the size, shape and color of the labia. A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2005 shows the following dimensions relating to the size of the labia (in centimeters, 1 inch = 2.54 cm):

Labiaplasty Range Average
Clitoral length (cm) 0.5 – 3.5 1.91
Clitoral glans width (cm) 0.3 – 1.0 0.55
Labia majora length (cm) 7.0 – 12.0 9.3
Labia minora length (cm) 2.0 – 10.0 6.06
Labia minora width (cm) 0.7 – 5.0 2.18

Not only is there a large variance in the size of the labia, there is also variance in the color, shape, thickness, and texture of the labia. 82% of the genital area is darker in color than the surrounding skin. Whereas 28% of the labia minora is smooth, 68% of the labia has ridges and creases, and 4% of the labia has marked ridges and folds.

However, most importantly, the normality of the labia is a matter of perception by the woman herself, as she compares herself to what she sees of others or the "models" in the media. Her concern of abnormal looking labia is relevant and needs to be addressed, no matter how one defines the objective normality.


Solutions: Labiaplasty by an Expert

Complimentary Consultation - to resolve concerns: The concerns over the appearance and feel are often caused by the lack of information, or worse, by misinformation. A consultation with Dr. Michael Lau, an experienced pelvic plastic surgeon, can put these concerns in proper perspective, and the option for labiaplasty (labioplasty) offers a solution to address these concerns. A large number of our patients are out of the area or international. Dr. Lau is delighted to have a phone consultation to address their concerns and initiate the processes.

Surgery: Surgical solutions (labiaplasty or labioplasty) have been developed to correct the appearance of the external genitalia. Many of these procedures that Dr. Michael Lau performs are minimally invasive, thus involving an easier and shorter recovery period. Labiaplasty (labioplasty) is mostly performed in our in-office surgical suite with local anesthetic. This eliminates the risks of general anesthesia (sleeping) and makes the procedure more cost effective.

Labiaplasty (labioplasty) - reduction surgery for labia minora and labia majora: The surgery to reduce the size or contour of the labia is called labiaplasty (labioplasty). It is a delicate surgery tailored to meet the woman’s perception of normal genital appearance while preserving the natural contour, texture, and color of the edge of the labia minora. There are newer surgical techniques for labiaplasty (labioplasty) developed in the US, Fance, and Korea to accomplish the objectives. Some of these labiaplasty (labioplasty) techniques are Wedge Resection as by Alter; Wedge Z-Plasty as by Giraldi; or Deepithelialization Reduction as by Choi. The selection of the specific technique is tailored to the individual patient’s anatomy and aesthetic objectives, leading to the optimal result.

Large labia affecting appearance and interfering with clothing. Corrected with Labiaplasty Minora and Majora

Labiaplasty Majora and Minora

Large labia minora and wrinkly labia majora affecting appearance. Corrected with Labiaplasty Minora & Majora

Labiaplasty Majora and Minora

Labia majora enhancement: Fat cells harvested by liposuction from other areas of the patient’s own body can be transferred to the labia majora to correct the shrinkage and wrinkling of the area. Dermal fillers can also be used for this purpose. Dr. Lau will recommend the best course to enhance the appearance of the labia majora for your consideration.

Reduction of redundant clitoral hood: Usually performed in conjunction with labiaplasty (labioplasty), the redundant secondary hood over the clitoris can be reduced to give a better aesthetic effect. The primary clitoral hood is left in place to act as a protective barrier to the clitoris.

Redundant clitoral hood, corrected with Labiaplasty and Clitoral Hood Reduction

Labioplasty with Clitoral Hood Reduction

Mons pubis contouring: Liposuction contouring can be performed to reduce the fat pad over the pubic bone for women who are self conscious of the bulging appearance of that area. Dr. Michael Lau usually contours the mons pubis to match the rest of the abdomen during his lipocontouring procedure for the lower abdomen to give a smooth contour transition between the lower abdomen and pubis. This procedure can be done in conjunction with labiaplasty (labioplasty).


Expectations and Limitations

Pain: There is no pain after the application of local anesthesia (numbing medicine) during the procedure. Post procedure pain is usually well controlled with pain medication for a couple days, and also with the use ice packs locally.

Limitations: No intercourse for 4- 6 weeks. The patient can start walking, using the treadmill, and doing other low-impact aerobic exercise right away, but wait for 1-2 weeks to jog. However, she needs to avoid high impact and heavy lifting for 2-3 weeks. Obviously, she should avoid bike or horseback riding and other activities that would directly impact the labia for 4 to 6 weeks.

Function: Unless the patient should have future vaginal birth trauma, the results of the labioplasty should remain. There are abundant sensory nerve fibers and erectile tissue in the labia minora contributing to excitation during intercourse, which could be affected by surgical intervention. Dr. Lau exercises great care to minimize the disruption of those tissues during surgery in order to preserve and optimize normal function. Actually, this is an area of Dr. Lau's expertise and research interest, and he has given presentations to his peers on the topic.

Work: If the job involves heavy activities, please plan to take 1-2 weeks off. Otherwise, a few days off work should be enough for most non-physical jobs. The patient can drive once she is off the narcotic pain medication.

Travel: Most of our out-of-town patients fly out the day after the procedure. International and long distance patients are recommended to stay for 1-2 extra days due to the long flights. Someone else needs to handle the heavy luggage for the patient who is traveling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Labioplasty

Q: Does pregnancy cause vaginal lips looseness leading to the need for labioplasty?

A: Pregnancy and vaginal births can potentially cause vaginal lips looseness. The hormonal changes and local tissue effect during pregnancy can contribute to the enlargement and sagginess of the labia, both labia minora and majora – the inner and outer vaginal lips. If there is any traumatic tear of the labia during vaginal birth, labia irregularities might need to be addressed with labioplasty.


Q: How does vaginal birth cause vaginal looseness?

A: During a vaginal birth, the passage of the baby through the vaginal canal causes the vaginal supporting tissues and muscles to over stretch and often tear. The stretching of the tissues and muscles around the vaginal canal loosens the vagina. The tearing of the tissues and muscles at the vaginal opening causes it to appear gaping. Both the looseness of the vagina and the gaping of the vaginal opening are frequently the reasons for requesting vaginal rejuvenation.


Q: How many vaginal births would it take for one to need vaginal rejuvenation?

A: It all depends on the amount of damage done during the vaginal birth and not necessarily the number of births. If there are severe tears of the vagina structures even with one birth, the woman might have the problem of looseness and gaping of the vagina that would benefit from vaginal rejuvenation. Genetics plays an important role, also. Some women are more prone to vaginal looseness.


Q:  Can I do pelvic floor exercises (Kegal exercises, bio-feedback, or vagina appliances) to tighten my vagina lips instead of labioplasty?

A: Pelvic floor exercise certainly can help tighten the vaginal muscles, and one should do that. However, exercises cannot correct the gaping of the vaginal opening nor the size and shape of the labia. Labioplasty would be most effective in improving the appearance of the vaginal lips.


Q: Can a person who has never had children have a loose vagina and gaping opening?

A: Although this is not common, it can happen that a woman was born with such an issue or is prone to developing loose vaginal tissue. If she is self-conscious of a looseness problem, then she should at least get a consultation to get a professional opinion.


Q: Can vaginal rejuvenation correct urine leakage problems?

A:  Urinary leakage can be due to the loss of bladder neck support (stress urinary incontinence) or overactive bladder. Vaginal rejuvenation is not intended to correct either problem. Usually, medications are used to treat urine loss due to overactive bladder. Pelvic floor exercise, biofeedback, and surgery are options to correct stress urinary incontinence.


Q:  When can I resume intercourse after labioplasty?

A:   One can resume vaginal intimate activities six weeks after labioplasty. This will give time for the vaginal tissues to heal properly.


Q:  When can I resume exercise after labioplasty?

A:   One can start walking, doing treadmill, elliptical machines etc. within one week after labioplasty. There are several things to avoid doing after labioplasty, besides intercourse, in order for the vagina to heal properly:

Within these guidelines, a patient can tailor her exercise programs to resume appropriate activities within a week after labioplasty.


Q:  Will my vagina stretch out over time after vaginal rejuvenation?

A:  That does not usually occur with normal intimate activities. However, if one has a vaginal birth after vaginal rejuvenation, the vaginal tissues could be damaged again. Of course, another vaginal rejuvenation can correct the vaginal looseness again. Dr. Lau always makes a point to make sure that his patients understand this, especially if the patient is not sure about future family plans.


Q:  I am in a transition phase with my marriage or relationship, and not with anyone intimately right now. How tight should I make my vagina with the vaginal rejuvenation, not knowing what my future partner might be like?

A:  This is a very common question, and Dr. Lau will discuss with the patient about her expectations and experience and usually recommend a correction with the vaginal rejuvenation that would accommodate the normal range of male sizes. That has worked well for nearly all patients over the years.


Q:  Should I have my loose vaginal lips fixed – a labioplasty – at the same time as the vaginal rejuvenation?

A:  Often labioplasty is performed with vaginal rejuvenation in the same setting. Dr. Lau can perform both procedures under local anesthesia – just local numbing medicine without the need of going to sleep under general anesthesia.

Many women notice that their labia are large, hanging down, or not even with age and childbirth. Having the labioplasty and vaginal rejuvenation done at the same setting saves cost and recovery time compared to doing each procedure separately. With the vaginal rejuvenation, the lowest portion of the labia majora – the outer lips of the vagina – are usually repaired as part of the process. This actually can tighten and reduce the sagginess of the labia majora. In most cases, only labioplasty of the labia minora is needed in conjunction with the vaginal rejuvenation.

For patients from the Pacific Northwest region, including Vancouver, BC, labioplasty can be done in a day trip

Many women come from the Pacific Northwest region to have labioplasty by Dr. Lau, especially from the Vancouver, BC metropolitan area and other areas in British Columbia, such as Victoria. Since Dr. Lau's office is located in Edmonds, a suburb north of Seattle, it can be reached by car in only about two hours from Vancouver. For most of our patients from Vancouver and British Columbia, a labioplasty can be done in a day trip, like most patients from Eastern Washington.

As an example for a regional patient, the timeline for a patient from Vancouver, BC having a labioplasty as a day trip would be like this:

  • Complimentary phone consultation -  Dr. Lau will speak with you in a scheduled phone call of 20 to 30 minutes to discuss your concerns prompting the request for a labioplasty.  A medical history is taken to make sure that labioplasty would be appropriate. Dr. Lau will then go over the surgery of labioplasty, how he does it, and the possible risks involved. Then he will answer any questions and concerns that you might have.
  • A package of information, including pre and post operative care would then be emailed to you. Dr. Lau’s office staff will work with you to schedule a date for your labioplasty.
  • You will be driving down from Vancouver, for example at 9 AM, avoiding the morning traffic in Vancouver and north of Seattle, arriving at Dr. Lau’s office by 11:30 AM.
  • Dr. Lau will see you personally at 11:30 AM to go over the history in detail again, perform a physical examination, and answer all the questions that you might have. He will then go over the surgical consent form with you in detail. Dr. Lau will give you a written prescription for pain medication and antibiotics to be filled in a pharmacy close by. This will take about an hour.
  • You can drop the prescription off at the pharmacy around 12:30 PM, have lunch (you can eat a nice lunch since we are doing the labioplasty using only local numbing medicine), and then pick up the medication.
  • Back at the office by 1:30 PM, Dr. Lau will give you the pre-operative medications and go over the pre-op checklist with you. You can choose a movie to watch during the one-hour pre-op period.
  • Labioplasty from 2:30 to 4 PM. You can continue watching movies if you like during the procedure.
  • Then you can head back to Vancouver around 4 PM.
  • Dr. Lau will talk with you over the phone for a post-operative check at one week, three weeks, and six weeks. Dr. Lau will also give you his cell and home phone numbers so he can be accessible to you during the off hours.

This process has been repeated with many patients from the Pacific Northwest region over the years with great success and convenience. Please call 425-712-7546 to schedule your phone consultation.

More Information...

For more information regarding labiaplasty (labioplasty), please see Dr. Lau's Question & Answer Session regarding this topic on Dr. Lau's website.