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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What should I know before having a labiaplasty?

    Related Topic
    I am investigating having a labiaplasty because I don't like the way I look down there. What questions should I ask the surgeon? What can I expect?
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    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    Thank you for your question. I strongly recommend that any woman who is considering a labiaplasty investigate the broad range of “normal” in female genitals. I support my patients in their decision to undergo a labiaplasty, but as all surgery has risks it's important to be fully informed before surgery.

    Many women believe that it's abnormal to have a visible labia minora, but in fact 50% of women have a labia minora that is visible past the labia majora. Often when you see a picture of a woman's genitals in the media it has been airbrushed to meet Classification Guidelines, which require that no “genital detail” be shown. Brazilian waxing can also make your labia appear more evident.

    Questions that you should ask your surgeon include:

    • is the appearance of my genitals abnormal?
    • what are the short and long term risks or possible complications of surgery?
    • what can I expect during the procedure and recovery?
    • what experience do you have with this procedure?
    • how will you do the surgery and why do you recommend doing it this way?
    More information about labiaplasty is available at my website, including the expected recovery time, success rates and complications. Good luck with your investigations and be sure to ask plenty of questions!

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