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Are Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty Safe?

Clients come to the office frequently anxious about considering surgery of their genitals. Many are understandably worried as the impressions online from those having elective genital surgery vary enormously. Some had had a great experience and others warn of the “dangers.” Not all surgery of the genitals is performed the same way and the results vary with the technique. Then again you can’t expect all operations done “down there” to address the same issues.

As I have written here before, I limit the operations I do in the genitalia to labiaplasty, specifically modification of the outer structures. These are usually reductions. Some are designed to reduce the discomfort of patients with larger lips (usually the Labia minora) and others are for more cosmetic issues like “evenness.” Vaginoplasty refers to operations on the inside of the vagina. These are frequently designed to tighten things internally. Some labiaplasty patients report increased “tightness” after surgery, but this is not usually the case.

My personal opinion is that vaginoplasty operations are higher risk…risk to internal structures and often the nerves. Long standing pain after vaginoplasty is not as uncommon as it is in properly performed labiaplasty surgery. My patients tend to have a pretty good experience.

Be sure if you are to consider an operation of your genitalia, that you review the risk and benefit of your specific operation before you decide to proceed. Realize that not all operations “down there” are the same and each one comes with its own risk/benefit profile. What different surgeons call “Labiaplasty” and “Vaginoplasty” also varies between surgeons. You need to ask an adequate number of questions beforehand to figure if the operation a particular surgeon is offering you might be right for you.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD


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