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Correction of Labia Minora and Clitoral Hood: Mommy Makeover Procedures


Labiaplasty is a popular procedure designed to improve the appearance of the female labia minora. Women seek consultation for labiaplasty for two basic reasons: to improve the cosmetic appearance of the labia minora, or for medical problems associated with large labia minora including dyspareunia (pain with intimacy) or hygeine. Whatever the reason for seeking consultation, there are many options available for labiaplasty that require minimal downtime and that offer women outstanding results.  Labiaplasty is often requested as a complement to mommy makeover surgery after pregnancy. 


What are the labia minora? The labia minora are known as the inner lips of the female genitalia, as opposed to the outer lips or mounds that are known as the labia majora.  The labia minora are primarily composed of skin and a small amount of subcutaneous fibrous tissue.  The labia minora are important in maintaining the moisture of the vulva and vagina, and also in protecting the vulva from injury.  Over time, the labia minora may become enlarged, leading to problems with pain, discomfort, poor hygiene, and discomfort with normal intimacy.  The enlarged labia minora may also prevent normal sensation of the clitoris due to the overlap of skin covering the area.

There are several different anatomic parts that make up the female genitalia.  The labia minora comprise the inner lips of the genitalia and are found immediately lateral to the vaginal canal and medial to the labia majora.  The labia minora can become enlarged and may thus need to be reduced during a labiaplasty procedure.  The labia majora, on the other hand, are the two fatty mounds found immediately outside of the labia minora.  With time, the labia majora may lose their fullness and volume, making them look deflated and less full.  Some patients may require fat augmentation to enhance the labia majora, while others may require liposuction to decrease the fullness of the labia majora.  The clitoral hood is the extra skin around the clitoris; which sometimes can become stretched out and may even cover the clitoris during intimacy.  Clitoral hood reduction can improve sensitivity of the clitoris by increasing exposure during arousal.  The last area of concern in the female genitalia includes the mons pubis, which is the hair bearing area of fat in the front of the pubis.  Pubic mound reduction can decrease the fullness of this area with less invasive mons pubis liposuction. 


Labiaplasty is an outstanding technique to restore confidence to a woman and to reduce functional and cosmetic problems associated with an enlarged labia minora.  This leads many patients to ask whether they are appropriate candidates for labiaplasty and labia minora reduction.   The following is a list of good surgical candidates for a labiaplasty:

  1. Women who have an enlarged labia minora or an asymmetric labia minora since childhood.
  2. Enlarged labia minora after childbirth or pregnancy.
  3. Functional problems such as pain or discomfort with sitting, wearing tight clothes, and sports activities.
  4. Pain with intimacy; also known as dyspareunia.


Some women develop with asymmetric labia minora in which one side is significantly different than the other side.  For these women, there are several options to achieve labial symmetry, including a unilateral labiaplasty. Women who have asymmetric labia minora are often unaware that the condition is fairly common among healthy females.  This leads to a general sense of anxiety and embarrassment before a consultation.  

Unilateral labia minora reduction can be performed on an outpatient basis and requires local anesthesia for completion.  Dr. Karamanoukian believes that this procedure is a necessity for women who are concerned about the aesthetic appearance of the labia minora.  Treatment is relatively straightforward with minimal downtime after labiaplasty.


The clitoral hood is composed of sensate skin that covers the clitoris.  In some women, the clitoral hood begins to lengthen to the point that the clitoris itself is covered, providing little sensation during intimacy.  The excess skin also begins to interfere with daily activities as patients complain about pain and irritation along the area when sitting for long periods of time or being active. 

For those women who have clitoral hood lengthening and enlargement, an ideal procedure that can be incorporated into a Mommy Makeover procedure is known as a clitoral hood reduction.  This outpatient surgery removes excess skin and heightens sensation during intimacy as more of the clitoris is exposed.  The procedure can be performed in combination with other Mommy Makeover procedures and allows women to derive cosmetic, functional and self-esteem benefits.  Women often ask for a labiplasty procedure to be combined with a tummy tuck, liposuction, or breast enhancement procedure, although labiaplasty can also be performed alone.



  1. A study by Tricot et. al. from the Obstetrics-Gynecology and Reprductive Medicine Department in Clamart France studies the postoperative experience of women after labiaplasty and labia minora reduction surgery.  The paper was publised in the International Journal of Gynaecol Obstet Oct 2011 and showed that women who underwent labiaplasty had an overall satisfaction level with the procedure.  Noteworthy statistics include a mean rating score of 8.7 out of 10 women were satisfied; with 100% percent of sexually active patients who originally had physical or psychologic discomfort reported total disappearance of this symptom.
  2. A study by Miklos JR et. al. from the Atlanta Urogynecology group published in Journal os Sexual Medicine June 2008 researched the reasons why women choose labiaplasty.  The report revealed some interesting statistics, including the fact that in their study group, 37% of women undergoing labiaplasty did it for cosmetic reasons, 32% for functional reasons (pain and discomfort); and 31% had labiaplasty for a combination of functional and cosmetic reasons.




Recovery after labiaplasty is relatively quick with minimal limitation in normal activities of daily living.  Patients may experience mild swelling and discomfort associated with the surgery.  Typically, it will take about one week for all the sutures to heal over.  During this time, some of the sutures may fall out while the remainder will be removed during your postoperative visit.  It is imperative that you maintain good hygeine in the area with frequent warm baths and gentle lathering of the surgical site. Patients will notice some swelling and tenderness in the area after labiaplasty, particularly during the first menstrual cycle after surgery.  These changes in sensitivity are transient and the labia minora and labia majora will regain normal sensation thereafter. 


Incisions usually heal without delay and exercise is limited for up to 3 weeks after surgery.  Physical intimacy is not recommended for at least 4 weeks after your labiaplasty surgery.  The labia minora will likely be swollen after your procedure and Dr. Karamanoukian and his staff can help you in the recovery phase by recommending oral supplements that can reduce bruising, swelling, and discomfort associated with your labiaplasty.  The expected time to full recovery will depend on the individual, but most patients will resume normal activities about one month after their labiaplasty procedure.



Mommy makeover surgeries combine abdominoplasty, cosmetic breast surgery, liposuction, and sometimes labiaplasty in order to contour the body after pregnancy and labor.  Childbirth can dramatically change the appearance of the female body and lead to stretch marks, uneven weight accumulation, and droopiness of the breasts.  Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and can provide consultation and expertise in mommy makeover procedures that reshape the body.  Each patient will have their own set of desires and mommy makeover surgery individualizes cosmetic procedures of the breast, body, and private areas in order to address these individual problems. 


  1. What are some medical reasons to undergo labiaplasty? Some patients will want to undergo labiaplasty because of discomfort during normal activities with tight fitting clothes, pain or discomfort during intimacy, or poor hygeine resulting from labia minora overgrowth.  
  2. What are some common reasons to undergo labiaplasty? 
  3. Is labiaplasty performed on an outpatient basis? Most labiaplasty procedures are performed in an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.  However, if you are undergoing another cosmetic surgery procedure under anesthesia, this would be an ideal time to undergo labiaplasty during the same setting. 
  4. What is a labiaplasty? 
  5. What problems can be corrected with a labiaplasty? A labiaplasty can help rejuvenate the labia minora and pubic areas.  Patients who have overgrowth of their labia minora, including skin redundancy, excessive skin, stretching of the labia minora, and excessive hooding of the clitoris can benefit from a labiaplasty procedure.  If one side is longer or thicker than the other, a labiaplasty can also be performed to make the two labia minora similar in size and appearance.  Most patients who request labiaplasty have overgrowth of the labia minora caused by pubertal development or pregnancy. 
  6. What are some options for reducing the labia minora?
  7. Can I reduce a puffy pubic area?  
  8. Mons pubis reduction? The mons pubis is the fatty area of hair bearing skin on the front of the pubis.  In some women, the mons pubis may become enlarged.  In these patients, a pubis reduction can be performed with liposuction to reduce the excess fat that accumulates in the area.  A mons pubis reduction can be performed before or after a tummy tuck or body contouring procedure. 
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