Vaginoplasty & Other Surgical Procedures Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ
What is a Vaginoplasty?
To achieve highest standards in surgical female rejuvenation, Dr. Ong trained with Dr. Red Alinsod, a world-renowned urogynecologist at the Alinsod Institute for Aesthetic Vulvovaginal Surgery. His advanced surgical techniques in aesthetic labial procedures, utilizing radiosurgery, have taken more than 25 years to refine.
Dr. Ong combines the artistry and her plastic surgical experience to enhance her results in aesthetic labiaplasty. Most procedures are performed in the office under local anesthesia and mild sedation. She uses the Ellman Surgitron™ radiofrequency device, which allows for precise surgery and “resurfacing” capabilities. She also uses the regenerative capabilities of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a surgical tool and may sometimes combine non-surgical treatments to address specific concerns.
Surgical options can enhance the aesthetics of the area and can also help treat the common functional problems affecting women resulting from large and floppy labias.
This surgery is performed to remove excess, floppy, or uneven labia minora (smaller interior vaginal lips) that often cause chronic irritation, rubbing, or discomfort during physical activities or intercourse. Many women also request this surgery to improve self-confidence and to eliminate the appearance of a bulge with certain clothing such as tights. Labias can enlarge with estrogen stimulation at puberty and pregnancy and with the effects of gravity with aging. Labiaplasty is done in the operating room or in the office under local anesthesia.
The term “Labiaplasty” can also relate to the cosmetic surgery of the labia majora (larger outer lips) to make it less prominent and saggy. Socially described as “camel toes”, the broader outer lips of the vulva can be enlarged with excess or loose skin, and tissue. This enlargement can cause an embarrassing bulge in clothing (camel toes). The labia majora may be enlarged from birth, secondary to childbirth, or due to aging.
Many women also experience large and droopy labia majora after major weight loss. Dr. Ong performs the medial curvilinear labia majoraplasty technique to safely reduce the size of the labia majora by excising a crescent-shaped portion of the inner portion of the labia majora. The scar is hidden in the crease between the inner and outer labia.
Clitoral Hood Reduction
Excess skin on the sides of the clitoris often causes the clitoris to look enlarged or uneven. Genetics, estrogen, and testosterone exposure can make significant changes in the way the clitoral area appears. A labiaplasty itself may result in the appearance of a relatively larger clitoral area since the excess labia have been removed drawing the eyes to the clitoral region i.e. “top-heavy look”.
Dr. Ong offers a precise surgery for women seeking to improve the aesthetic appearance of their genital area by excising the extra folds of skin to the side of the clitoris. The clitoris itself and its nerves are never touched. This is NOT clitoral mutilation or clitoral un-hooding. Clitoral Hood Reduction is done in the office under local anesthesia and is commonly done in conjunction with a labiaplasty.
The visible area between the vagina and the rectum is called the perineum. This is the region where episiotomies are cut and where tears during childbirth are most common. Perineoplasty (or Perineorrhaphy) aims to make this region appear normal by excising excess skin, loose skin tags, and suturing the underlying muscles or the perineal body closer together to give a more snug feeling in the introitus or vaginal opening. This procedure is done commonly with a labiaplasty to produce a “cleaner” look.
This surgery is the reconstruction of the hymen. Cultural, religious, or social reasons predominate when this surgery is contemplated. Hymenoplasty is performed to make the patient appear virginal. It works for women who have not had vaginal deliveries, and preferably, in those who have never been pregnant. Precise incisions are made into the vagina and remnants of the hymeneal ring to bring them into close approximation to allow delicate sutures to hold the tissues in place. Once healed, the act of sexual intercourse can result in bleeding when the hymen is torn or stretched. Hymenoplasty is done in the office under local anesthesia.
RF “Laser” Resurfacing
The majority of aesthetic gynecology procedures at Ong Institute for Plastic Surgery & Health are done using the Ellman Surgitron™ RF device. This allows for precise surgery, and less tissue thermal damage with the presence of a cooling tip. It also has resurfacing capabilities that allows Dr. Ong to contour and shrink the tissues for improved “fine-tuning”. It is a great tool for a surgeon to sculpt and achieve the aesthetic look that they want to create.
3 Most Important Questions to Ask a Labiaplasty Surgeon
There are a few techniques developed for labiaplasty, and they are also doctors of different specialties performing labiaplasties. A labiaplasty procedure done well, can be a truly artistic procedure that enables women to obtain a petite, “clean” look. Many women choose to have the procedures for many reasons. The three most important questions to ask in my opinion are:
- The type of labiaplasty the surgeon would recommend. An experienced surgeon can discuss the different types of labiaplasty techniques, the anatomical area being treated and the ability to differentiate between the different parts i.e. Labia minoraplasty, majoraplasty, hood reduction etc.
- Able to show you pictures of the results.
- Be available and help guide you through the process of healing. This can be a time when your labia looks the worst and having a surgeon that is attentive to your needs and to be able to reassure and guide you throughout the process is crucial. I have seen many women post pictures of their postoperative outcomes online asking for help, you should be comfortable enough with your surgeon to trust them through this period.
Dr. Ong is a plastic surgeon with additional specialized training in aesthetic gynecology. Although there are exceptions to this rule, many plastic surgeons may lack the training for aesthetic labiaplasty since this is not a large core component in many plastic surgical residency programs. On the other hand, many gynecologists may lack the artistic touch of a plastic surgeon. You will be best served with a surgeon, either plastic or gynecology specifically trained in aesthetic vulvovaginal surgery. Dr. Ong trained at the Alinsod Institute for Aesthetic Vulvovaginal Surgery and worked closely with Dr. Alinsod learning best surgical practices to enhance and deliver the best results.
How is the procedure done?
Labiaplasty is performed to achieve your functional and artistic goals. Dr. Ong takes pride in discussing your goals and making sure we can achieve them. Depending on what was discussed in the consultation, the procedure is done either in the operating room under anesthesia or under oral sedation and local anesthetic.
90 percent of the labiaplasties that Dr. Ong performs is done using the latter, in the office. It is a very safe and effective method of surgery and the technique that she uses can accomplish the goals of the surgery, with minimal local anesthetic, and easy recovery. Patients are able to walk out of the procedure room without any anesthetic side effects.
The procedure may take a few hours since the procedure is done precisely and artistically. This is not the “simple” labiaplasty that is done to remove excess labial tissue. There are a few things that Dr. Ong does differently that help with the final outcome.
- Use of minimal amounts of local anesthetic to minimize swelling and distortion of tissues.
- Use of the Ellman Surgitron™ RF machine to perform the procedure. This is a device, which has a pinpoint tip for precise surgery, and attachments to allow for “laser sculpting“ of the tissue to help improve artistic outcomes without the heat associated with electrocautery. The use of less tissue trauma causes less swelling and improved outcomes.
- Use of platelet-rich plasma to help with surgical healing. The growth factors in platelets, which are the first cells to an injured area, can help the wound heal better and faster. The PRP we use has optimal platelet concentrations and growth factors, which can also be used for regeneration of areas in the vaginal area to help with incontinence, and improved sexual pleasure.
- Scars that are designed within the normal creases of the labia, which result in them being “hidden.”
- The use of fine suturing techniques.
What is the recovery like after a labiaplasty?
Full labiaplasty recovery is six weeks, which translates to no sex, and nothing in the vagina e.g. tampons etc. We will set you up well with everything you might need for the postoperative period. This includes topical anesthetic, estrogen cream, and other products that will help you through your healing stage. Everything is explained in detail at the time of your pre-operative appointment. Here is the typical healing process for a labiaplasty.
- First week: Expect discomfort and pain from recent surgery. Labia is bruised and swollen.
- Take pain meds and apply topical anesthetic for comfort. Ice is your ally during this time. Ice frequently to help with swelling and pain. Prescription medications given for this time period include an antibiotic, pain medications and stool softeners. Wear loose clothing. If you have your period, use a pad rather than a tampon.
- Second week: Expect itching, as things start to heal. The estrogen cream will help your tissues heal. Continue to use it daily. OTC products that will help ease some of the itching and irritation will be provided to you. You can also use Benadryl cream to help. Most patient go back to work during this time period. All sutures placed will eventually dissolve so as things start healing, they will fall out.
- Third week: Expect continued improvement in swelling and bruising. Your labia will not look “normal” for 6-8 weeks.
Will I Lose Sensation or Function After Labiaplasty?
The nerves supplying the clitoris come from deep within the pelvis. In addition, there are multiple branches supplying the area. Thus, the risk of loss of sensation after a labiaplasty is low. Even with a clitoral hood reduction where the loose skin around the clitoral body is removed, it is far superficial compared to where the origin of the nerves are located.
Loss of sensation usually results from pelvic or vaginal surgery. In summary, most of the surgery performed in a labiaplasty done in the right hands, has an overall low risk for loss of sensation or function.
In contrast, for women who desire an increase in sensation or sexual pleasure, the regenerative potential of the platelet-rich plasma placed in certain areas can help. The growth factors in PRP can help regenerate nerves in the area of the “G-spot” allowing for improved sensation. Some patients also choose to have the non-surgical radio frequency procedure ThermiVA™ after their labiaplasty to enhance sexual wellness.