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Labia Minora Reduction (Labiaplasty)

Labia Reduction: Labia Minora (Inner Lips) Reduction: The Alter Labia Contouring

Procedure: The New Labiaplasty

The labia minora are the inner lips of the vagina located on the sides of the vaginal opening. The labia can vary in length, width, color, and symmetry. Some women are born with enlarged labia whereas others develop the enlargement with age, hormones, or childbirth. The labia can cause discomfort with clothes, sex, or exercise or can cause embarrassment with a sexual partner or in tight pants.

A labiaplasty (labioplasty) or labia minora reduction is a procedure to reduce the size of the labia. Traditionally, gynecologists and most plastic surgeons trim or amputate the labia by excising the protuberant labium and over-sewing the raw edge. It is the same procedure whether it is performed using a scalpel, scissors, or laser. This procedure is not ideal, since the natural contour and color of the labial edge are removed and replaced by a vertical scar line extending the entire length of the labium. This scar is often irregular and scalloped, and the junction of the clitoral hood to the labium is also commonly distorted. It is difficult to achieve labial symmetry with the trimming, which occasionally results is inadvertent over-removal or amputation of all or part of a labium, There is also a higher incidence of discomfort along the long vertical scar-line, since it is chronically rubbing on clothes.

Because of these problems, I invented the “Alter Labia Minora Contouring” technique n the mid-90’s. In this technique, I excise a “V” or wedge from the most protuberant portion of each labium. The excision disconnects the top from the bottom, which are then sutured together horizontally. Therefore, the only suture line on the edge is a small transverse line instead of a longitudinal vertical line. The suture line goes from the outside of the labium to the inside of the vagina. Thus, “the New Labiaplasty” preserves the normal labial anatomy, contour, and color. If the labia have darker edges than desired, these are usually removed with the wedge excision. The resulting scars are almost undetectable. I have also developed modifications to excise some of the redundant clitoral hood, if desired by the patient, which I usually perform routinely.

The “Alter Labia Minora Contouring” technique takes up to two hours using magnification to assure accurate approximation of the labial edges, whereas the trimming technique usually takes 15-30 minutes with the resulting longitudinal irregular scar and edges.

I have recently published my results on 407 patients over 2 years in the most prestigious international plastic surgery journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This paper is the seminal article on my technique and is the largest series of any labia minora reductions ever published or reported. Patients responding to a questionnaire (166 of 407) were pleased with the surgery by an average score of 9.2 out of 10 (10=most pleased). There was an extremely low complication rate. 98% of the responding women to the questionnaire said they would do it again.

The procedure is performed in the Board Certified Plastic Surgeon’s fully accredited surgical center in either his Beverly Hills, California or Manhattan, New York office. General anesthesia is usually used, but sedation with local anesthesia is possible. If you have a relatively sedate job, you can probably return to work in 3-4 days. You can resume sexual relations in about six weeks after the reduction.

Insurance may cover part of the cost of the labiaplasty (labioplasty) if you have discomfort. We are happy to assist you with obtaining preauthorization.

I have performed the labiaplasty surgery three times on the show DR 90210 on the E!! Channel I have been featured discussing my labia reduction procedure (labiaplasty /labioplasty) in Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Glamour, Allure, Marie Claire, Self in addition to other periodicals.

If you have more questions about labia reduction, labia minora reduction, or labiaplasty, you are welcome to contact Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Gary Alter, at his Manhattan, New York, or Beverly Hills, California offices.

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For more information on labiaplasty (labia minora reduction / labioplasty) please visit Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Gary J. Alter, MD labiaplasty website: http://www.labiaplastycenters.com


As a best in class plastic surgeon, Dr. Gary Alter provides highly personalized and comprehensive care. His philosophy regarding the physician / patient relationship is based on trust and has earned him one of the most respected reputations in the world.

For more information about the surgeries we offer or to schedule a consultation with the board certified plastic surgeon, please contact either our Beverly Hills of New York City plastic surgery practice:

BEVERLY HILLS

416 N Bedford Dr, Suite 400
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tel: (310) 275-5566

NEW YORK CITY

461 Park Ave South, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 321-0749