Labiaplasty is a female genital cosmetic procedure performed by a plastic and reconstructive surgeon to correct the appearance of enlarged or extending labia minora, or “inner lips” of the vagina. The most common reason for women to request this operation is because the labia are perceived to be too large and aesthetically unpleasing.

A small number of women state that the large size of their labia makes them noticeable in tight clothing, or makes sports such as cycling uncomfortable. Others have problems with penetration.

Labiaplasty SURGERY – FACTS

Length of surgeryhours
AnaesthesiaGeneral anaesthetic or local anaesthetic
Hospital stayDay stay
Risks/complications of surgery

Frequent: Bruising, swelling, temporary numbness, discomfort on movement

Infrequent: Infection, bleeding (haematoma), asymmetry, under- or overcorrection


1 weeks until return to work and normal social engagements depending on area treated
3-4 weeks until swelling and bruising disappears
4 weeks until return to gym, other physical activities and sexual intercourse
2-3 weeks until full recovery

Driving1 weeks
Follow up1 week, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months
Duration of resultsPermanent



Any plastic surgery procedure is a very personal choice and understandably there are a number of questions that arise. This information sheet is a general guide for patients considering labiaplasty under the care of Dr Mackenzie. It should provide the answers to some questions that you may have.

Labiaplasty introduction

The labia minora (inner lips of the vagina) differ in size and shape. Patients may find very large labia physically uncomfortable or aesthetically displeasing. In some patients the labia minora may be too large and cause discomfort with underclothes and fitted jeans, difficulty with maintaining hygiene during menstruation and pain during and after intercourse. In some cases, large labia minora may be visible through underclothes and swimwear.

The procedure commonly called labial reduction is relatively simple, excising an area of the labia minora ( excess tissue ) using a variety of incisions; and can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. Careful placement of the scar is important, however, in order to prevent painful scar contracture along the rim of the labia.  Closure is usually done with dissolvable stitches. 

Who is a good candidate for labiaplasty?

Women opt for surgery for a variety of reasons:

  • Pain from twisting and tugging of the labial tissue when riding a bike
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Itching and irritation
  • Self-consciousness
  • If the contours of labia minora have altered and stretched over time
  • Reduce the size of labia

How much does labiaplasty cost in NZ?

Labiaplasty can be performed either under local or general anaesthetic. Dr Mackenzie will advise the best option for you. The local anaesthetic procedure is very well tolerated and the cost is approximately $6,000-7,000.