Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that reshapes the labia and enhances their aesthetic appearance. Although not openly discussed, many women are displeased with the appearance of their vulva. Because of this taboo, few women realize that labiaplasty can correct their cosmetic concerns and help them regain their confidence

Women of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from labiaplasty. It can improve the look of the labia minora after childbirth or for those women who have naturally large labia minora. To find out more about labiaplasty, feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Joseph Michaels, one of Maryland and Virginia’s top board-certified plastic surgeons. You may also call us directly at our offices conveniently located near Washington, DC:

(301) 468-5991: Rockville, MD

(703) 957-8610: Fairfax, VA

All About Labiaplasty

The labia majora are the larger folds that protect the outside of the vulva and the labia minora are the pinkish inner folds that lead directly into the vaginal canal. While there is no “standard” or “perfect” vagina, it is a common belief in society that the labia minora should lay neatly hidden within the labia majora. When the labia minora are large, it can not only be physically problematic, but it can also be a source of embarrassment. Enlarged and stretched labia minora may create an unattractive bulge when wearing tight clothing (e.g. bathing suits or workout apparel), become easily irritated while exercising, or cause pain or embarrassment during sexual intercourse. This can lead to low self-esteem or loss of libido (sex drive). Some women may even have trouble with hygiene as a result of enlarged or stretched labia.

About Labial Hypertrophy

Women come in all different shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to the shape and size of their labia. For some women, their labia minora hide within the labia majora while for other women, the labia minora extend beyond them. Enlarged inner lips are a cosmetic condition referred to as labial hypertrophy. It is a very common occurrence for women to naturally have different-sized or disproportionate labia minora and/or majora. (1)

Labial hypertrophy can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Estrogen or other hormone imbalances after puberty
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Infection or trauma

Labial hypertrophy can be mild or extremely visible, but it is not considered harmful. However, women who have enlarged labia may experience pain or discomfort, irritation, and/or hygiene problems, leading them to consider labiaplasty to resolve these issues. (2)

Regardless of why you are seeking out this procedure, Dr. Michaels can help. There are several labiaplasty techniques and Dr. Michaels will discuss the best one suited to achieve your desired results. 

Benefits of Labiaplasty

Women who are self-conscious about the appearance of their labia may be good candidates for labiaplasty. Dr. Joseph Michaels has helped many women who share these concerns. 

Labiaplasty candidates typically feel that their labia minora or majora are disproportionately large, asymmetrical, droopy, stretched, or look “deflated.” (2) Dr. Michaels performs correction of both the labia majora and minora, allowing women to feel more confident about their bodies. 

The majority of patients presenting for this procedure do not like the fact that they have elongated labia minora that extend past the borders of the labia majora. Others complain that the size of their labia causes a bulge when they wear certain clothing. The largest group of patients that Dr. Michaels treats are athletic women who complain of irritation and friction when running, cycling (including spin classes) or horseback riding. Dr. Michaels also treats women who have congenital asymmetry of their labia which makes them feel self-conscious. Lastly, some patients are referred for labiaplasty by their gynecologists for the medical treatment of benign conditions, such as polyps or leukoplakia on the labia.

Ideal Candidates

In general, patients looking into labiaplasty should be in good health and free of any chronic, uncontrolled medical conditions. You should have realistic expectations of the procedure, seeking improvement, not necessarily perfection. 

Some patients are concerned that labiaplasty may decrease their sensation during sexual intercourse. Since this procedure does not directly alter the clitoris, the female structure most commonly associated with sensory pleasure, this should not be the case. As Dr. Michaels removes labial tissue from the areas around the clitoris, you may actually experience increased sexual stimulation following the procedure.

If you are interested in learning more about labiaplasty, vaginal rejuvenation, and other cosmetic surgeries Dr. Michaels performs, be sure to check out our blog.

Personal Consultation

Dr. Michaels understands that discussing intimate areas may be a sensitive issue for some women. When coming in for a consultation, you and the doctor will first meet to privately discuss your aesthetic concerns and what you are looking to achieve through the labiaplasty procedure. Dr. Michaels will then review your medical history, going over any routine medications, health conditions, and previous gynecological procedures

With a female chaperone in the examination room, he will then perform a physical examination. Following your consultation, Dr. Michaels will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for labiaplasty and he will then create a customized treatment plan

In cases where there is a benign condition involving the labia that has been documented by your gynecologist, labiaplasty may be covered by your insurance plan. Dr. Michaels will be happy to get you pre-authorized with your insurance carrier if this is indicated.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Michaels to learn more about your surgical options, we ask that you contact our office and speak with one of our helpful staff members.


In the weeks leading up to the labiaplasty procedure, Dr. Michaels will provide you with a list of preparatory instructions to follow. You should make prior arrangements for a ride home following your surgery, as you will be unable to drive. He also advises you to avoid taking any anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before surgery. 

Patients who smoke must quit three weeks before their procedure because it can negatively impact their ability to heal and the final results. During this time, our knowledgeable staff is here to answer any questions or assist in any way possible.

Labiaplasty Procedure

Labiaplasty typically takes 90 minutes to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia to ensure that you feel no discomfort during the surgery. Once you are comfortably asleep, the doctor will make the necessary incisions for the procedure. 

Dr. Michaels prefers to use a “wedge” technique when performing this procedure. This removes a “V” shaped segment of tissue from the middle of the labia minora and allows the natural borders of the labia to be brought together. The two ends will be joined using sutures, providing a neater and more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Additional tissue is also removed from the lateral and superior aspects of the clitoral hood as necessary. (1)

This particular incision technique leaves the smallest possible scar on the visible portion of the labia. Another benefit of this procedure is that it preserves the normal anatomic border of the labia minora as well as the natural shape and color of the labia. Dr. Michaels uses dissolvable sutures that do not need to be removed. He also performs the trim technique in select patients when their anatomy favors this approach.

Quick Recovery 

Once the procedure is finished, we will take you to the recovery area where you will be monitored for a couple of hours by the nursing staff before being released to go home. After the procedure, you may experience slight discomfort in the genital area, which can be treated with over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol. However, Dr. Michaels will provide you with a prescription for an oral medication to reduce any pain, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. He will also instruct you to purchase an anesthetic spray to help with further postoperative discomfort.

You may have bruising and swelling in your labia right after surgery but this will subside after several weeks. Dr. Michaels suggests that you wear boxer briefs or loose boy shorts to stay comfortable while healing. The use of cold compresses can help reduce swelling and bruising. You will also need to wear a pad for several days after surgery.

Every patient recovers at a different pace; however, most patients are able to return to work within one week after surgery. Dr. Michaels will advise you when it is safe to start exercising and having sex again during your post-operative appointment.

How Much Does Labiaplasty Cost Near Washington, DC?

The cost of a labiaplasty procedure will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of treatment that is needed and if additional procedures are necessary to achieve your aesthetic goals. Upon evaluation, Dr. Michaels will assess your particular case and work with you to construct an individualized treatment plan tailored to your exact needs. Through this, he will be able to provide you with an accurate labiaplasty quote. 

To obtain a custom quote, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Michaels. Call your closest location today:

(301) 468-5991: Rockville, MD

(703) 957-8610: Fairfax, VA


How long will the results of my labiaplasty last?

Although labiaplasty results are considered permanent, every patient’s results are different and their longevity is not always guaranteed. Events like traumatic childbirth or other experiences could affect your results.

What is the difference between labiaplasty and vaginoplasty?

The difference between these surgeries has to do with what body part they are performed on. A labiaplasty changes the shape of the labia and does not involve the vagina. A vaginoplasty is performed to tighten the vaginal canal and does not address the vulva.

Are there any complimentary procedures that pair well with labiaplasty? 

Certain labiaplasty candidates may also require labia majora reduction and/or mons rejuvenation to contour and lift the entire pubic region. These procedures can be safely combined and may be something that Dr. Michaels recommends. Combining procedures shortens your overall downtime and is a more cost-effective option.


  1. Furnas HJ, Canales FL, Pedreira RA, Comer C, Lin SJ, Banwell PE. The Safe Practice of Female Genital Plastic Surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open. 2021;9(7):e3660. doi:
  2. Hunter JG. Labia Minora, Labia Majora, and Clitoral Hood Alteration: Experience-Based Recommendations. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2016;36(1):71-79. doi: