Labiaplasty Alternatives: What are they and do they work?
For as long as the procedure has been available, labiaplasty has been the leading treatment option for women who are concerned by their large or irregular labia.
Commonly performed to address a range of physiological issues such as discomfort when wearing tight pants or pain experienced during intercourse, many patients opt for a labiaplasty procedure purely because they’re unhappy with the size or shape of their labia.
While labiaplasty is a highly effective method of labia reduction, like any surgical procedure, it does carry some risk and patients need to account for the associated recovery period.
For patients who are unhappy with their labia and searching for an alternative treatment option to conventional labiaplasty surgery, you may want to consider some of the newer treatment options such as Radio Frequency (RF) labiaplasty and laser labiaplasty that may be able to achieve a similar result.
Radio Frequency (RF) Labiaplasty
As an entirely non-invasive alternative to labiaplasty, RF vaginal rejuvenation can achieve a significant improvement to the size and appearance of the labia.
The technology, which is also commonly used to tighten skin and treat wrinkles on the face, neck and other areas of the body, works by gently heating the skin to trigger the body’s natural rejuvenation processes. Using a slim handheld device, RF electrodes are emitted a few millimetres into the skin to activate fibroblasts (the cells in connective tissue responsible for the production of collagen), which works to both shrink and tighten the labial skin.
Treatments can be performed in around 30 minutes without the need for any form of anaesthesia. Temperature is also controlled to ensure the procedure is completely safe from risk of overheating.
After several treatment sessions (which should be spaced at least one month apart), patients typically see a significant improvement in the firmness and elasticity around the treatment area, along with softer, smoother skin.
The obvious benefits of the treatment are that the results are usually noticeable within 1-2 days, it doesn’t require any downtime (patients are even able to resume sexual activity the same day) and the result is entirely scar-free, however the outcome can vary between patients.
While the treatment can have a positive impact on labial laxity, the final result is unlikely to be as effective as a conventional labiaplasty procedure, particularly in cases where there is significant tissue laxity or sagging. Patients will also need to undergo an additional maintenance treatment approximately once a year.
Commonly referred to as vaginal laser resurfacing, laser technology can also be used as a minimally invasive alternative to labiaplasty surgery.
Using a CO2 or Erbium laser, laser labiaplasty works in a similar way to RF labiaplasty, heating the skin to cause tissue fibres to contract and trigger the formation of new collagen to restore elasticity and shrink and tighten the labia without the need to remove any skin or tissue.
As a straightforward procedure, laser labiaplasty can be performed in less than one hour without with minimal risk of complications. Multiple treatments will be required before you’ll be able to see a discernible improvement.
While the procedure doesn’t require any surgical incisions, as it is minimally invasive, patients will still need to allow a week or so the skin to heal and recover before resuming their regular activities including sexual intercourse. When compared to the 6-8 weeks required to make a full recovery following a conventional labiaplasty procedure, the recovery period is still relatively short.
Like RF labiaplasty, the results of laser labiaplasty treatment can be effective for some patients, however they may not be suitable for patients suffering from more significant tissue laxity or labial sagging.
Which type of labiaplasty is best?
As each patient's condition and requirements are different, the best way to find out which type of labiaplasty treatment will be most suitable for you is to seek the advice of an experienced cosmetic surgeon.
At Me Clinic, our surgeons have more than 35 years of cosmetic surgery and medicine experience to share with you, making us one of the most experienced clinics in Australia. We provide a discreet and welcoming environment so you feel comfortable to explore the available treatment options and decide which labiaplasty treatment is right for you.