Labiaplasty Gaining Popularity in America's Heartland, Plastic Surgeon Notes

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Oak Park, Ill., plastic surgeon and author Allan Parungao, MD, notes the increase in the number of women from all walks of life opting for labiaplasty, a plastic surgery procedure to reshape the labia minora, or inner vaginal lips.

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Women of all ages and backgrounds are seeking labiaplasty

New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveal that vaginal rejuvenation is one of the fastest-growing plastic surgery procedures in the U.S. -- increasing 30% between 2005 and 2006 alone. One of the most popular of these procedures is labiaplasty, a procedure to reduce and/or balance the size of the labia minora, or inner vaginal lips.

Although the trend may have started in LA and New York, it has clearly made its way into America's heartland. "Women of all ages and backgrounds are seeking labiaplasty," reports board-certified plastic surgeon Allan Parungao, MD, who practices in the Chicago area.

Several factors are contributing to the rising popularity of labiaplasty:

  • The overall increase in plastic surgery.
  • The popularity of bikini waxing -- making women more aware of how their genitals look.
  • The abundance of sexually explicit material on TV, online and in print -- giving women a standard of comparison for their genitals' appearance.

"Large or uneven vaginal lips can be caused by genetics, childbirth or hormonal changes," explains Dr. Parungao, author of A Woman's Guide to Cosmetic Breast Surgery and Body Contouring (Addicus Books, 2006).

"Labiaplasty can correct problems with both the appearance and functionality of a woman's genitals," says Dr. Parungao. "Some women are embarrassed because their large labia are noticeable when wearing a bathing suit or tight-fitting jeans. Others with large vaginal lips have pain or discomfort during sex or while exercising or riding a bicycle.

"Large or uneven labia can cause problems with urination and feminine hygiene. The extra skin is very prone to excessive moisture and infections," Dr. Parungao explains. "If the surgery is medically necessary, it may be covered by health insurance."

In some cases, women seek labiaplasty after their sexual partner has made a comment about their genitalia. But more often, the woman is motivated by her own physical and/or psychological discomfort with her body.

"Carol," a 26-year-old woman, came to Dr. Parungao for labiaplasty to correct her large, uneven labia.

"She had a two-inch flap of extra skin on one side, and a one-inch flap on the other," Dr. Parungao explains.

"It was very embarrassing in sexual situations," Carol admits.

After her labiaplasty, Carol was elated. "I love it!" she says. "I feel like a normal woman!"

For more information on labiaplasty, visit http://www.parungao.com/labiaplasty.

Allan Parungao, MD, is an Oak Park, Illinois plastic surgeon board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For more information, visit http://www.parungao.com.

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