Is labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation the same thing?

You’d be forgiven for simply asking: what is vaginal rejuvenation? This set of procedures is designed to do precisely what it sounds like: rejuvenate the vaginal area. Because there are all kinds of things that cause excess skin or other issues for women. The problem is that these procedures can sometimes be difficult to talk about, and that lack of communication can lead to some misconceptions.

In the world of plastic and cosmetic surgery, vaginal rejuvenation is a broad term for a wide variety of procedures. There is no single vaginal rejuvenation procedure. Plastic surgeons may offer labiaplasty, for example, while cosmetic surgeons might offer various laser procedures designed to rejuvenate the vaginal canal.

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation and Why is it Popular?

Despite their sensitive nature, vaginal rejuvenation procedures have been steadily gaining in popularity, becoming one of plastic surgery’s best kept secrets. The problem is that this procedure doesn’t do any good for anyone who doesn’t know about it.

So there’s definitely some value in discussing vaginal rejuvenation procedures in a more open light, especially since the procedures are not quite as straightforward as one might expect. And by that I simply mean that there’s actually quite a bit of nuance to this set of procedures–nuance it might be useful and helpful for patients to know about. If you want to know more about how vaginal rejuvenation procedures might apply to you and your body, contact your local plastic surgeon to request a consultation. Your surgeon should be able to tell you everything you need to know about this set of procedures.

Procedures Included in the Vaginal Rejuvenation Category

There are several procedures included in the vaginal rejuvenation category of plastic surgery, the most popular of which is known as labiaplasty. As women age, they will often begin to notice a significant amount of excess tissue around the labia–and this tissue can become uncomfortable in many different ways.

Another popular vaginal rejuvenation procedure is often, confusingly, simply referred to as “vaginal rejuvenation”–though, the same fits. This procedure aims to restore the vaginal wall, addressing issues that arise due to childbirth.

Each and every woman is going to have personal reasons for undergoing any vaginal rejuvenation procedure. And it’s never quite an easy decision to make–the relief patients feel afterward must be substantial in order to consider going through with the procedure in the first place. But these are usually decisions that are best left between you and your surgeon, so the risks and drawbacks of these procedures are usually discussed in depth during your consultation.

Risks of Laser Procedures

It’s important to discuss all of the risks involved in vaginal rejuvenation procedures. For plastic surgery procedures, those risks are tiny but fairly consistent: any surgical procedure is going to involve inherent risks.

If you’re thinking about a laser procedure designed for vaginal rejuvenation, even more caution is warranted. In April of 2018, the FDA released warnings about energy-driven devices (such as lasers) being used for vaginal rejuvenation and the unintended and unwanted results from those procedures.

That doesn’t mean that every laser vaginal rejuvenation procedure is suspect, simply that patients and surgeons should both proceed with a little extra caution (this is not medical advice–only your surgeon should be giving you medical advice). That said, this warning from the FDA should definitely be taken seriously.

Motivations

Surgery to remove excess skin around the labia can sound kind of extreme at first–and that’s certainly how it’s reported in the news media (there’s always some bit of sensationalism attached to reporting about vaginal rejuvenation). However, the basic principle of that isn’t all that different from any other plastic surgery procedure.

That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that the motivations behind vaginal rejuvenation also aren’t terribly different from other plastic surgery procedure. Primarily, patients mostly want to be comfortable.

What that comfort actually means will change from patient to patient. But many patients will report:

  • Discomfort caused by excess labial tissue when exercising.
  • Discomfort caused by excess labial tissue when wearing tight-fitting clothing.
  • Daily activities causing additional discomfort.
  • Diminished sensitivity (especially during sexual activity).

Ultimately, patients who undergo vaginal rejuvenation are simply looking to feel more youthful–more like their old selves. This excess tissue around the labia can develop for all kinds of reasons, from aging, to genetics, to childbirth–so patients tend to be quite varied.

What’s the Future for Vaginal Rejuvenation?

There will come a point where vaginal rejuvenation gets as popular as it can without some retooling. That retooling doesn’t necessarily have to be with the procedure itself–rather, with the messaging. A retooling of the messaging around vaginal rejuvenation will allow the procedure to gain wider appeal.

That way, people can stop asking, “what is vaginal rejuvenation,” and, instead, simply know about the procedure they want. For this set of procedures, that’s not such a bad future.


About the Author: Nick Engebretson has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures for nearly twenty years. He is constantly in communication with surgeons in order to ensure he’s using the latest and most up to date information.

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