What are the risks of a labiaplasty?

labiaplasty risks

It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with any cosmetic procedure, some of which will be relatively safe while others carry significant risk. For those considering a labiaplasty, this procedure sits at the relatively safe end of the spectrum, as it is considered one of the simplest and safest surgical cosmetic procedures that women can undertake. This means that those opting for this type of operation tend to report high satisfaction with their surgery following the initial period of recovery.

Nevertheless, as no cosmetic procedure is 100% risk-free, here we outline the risks that are associated with choosing to have a labiaplasty.

Labiaplasty risks: problems with healing 

As you might expect, for any operation whereby incisions are made, there is always going to be a risk that the wound fails to heal, and can bleed excessively, struggle to heal or become infected. This area of the body benefits from a rich blood supply which means that incisions made during the labiaplasty usually heal extremely quickly and leave very little scarring.

Post-operatively, patients are given information on how best to aid their recovery, and some clear dos and don’ts. Following these guidelines is the easiest way to ensure you’re minimising your own risk, but sometimes you will just be unlucky. There are always going to be certain pockets of the population who are naturally at greater risk compared with others, for example, those who smoke are more likely to have problems when recovering/healing compared with non-smokers.

Labiaplasty risks: pain and discomfort

Some patients report that there is discomfort at the site of the incisions, although this is rarely a problem. Scarring from a labiaplasty is minimal as incisions are usually very small.

Labiaplasty risks: loss of sensation or numbness in the area

This is a surprisingly common side effect for a wide number of operations as anything that requires an incision runs the risk of causing a certain amount of nerve damage. For many operations, even major surgery, this loss of sensation is usually temporary. As the wound and nerves heal over time, sensation will return. Any numbness following a labiaplasty will probably be short term and minimal.

Trust the professionals – only the professionals

It is important to remember that operations such as the labiaplasty are only low risk when they are carried out by fully trained and regulated professionals. It is imperative that you make sure that you only ever consider using a qualified cosmetic surgeon, not a clinic or alternative environment which promises something cheaper or quicker, but who are not bona fide medical professionals.

How best to recover from a labiaplasty

labiaplasty recovery

The labiaplasty procedure is fast growing in popularity, but many women who are interested in finding out more about what it entails are naturally concerned with the recovery process after such intimate surgery.

During a labiaplasty, also known as a labial reduction, our plastic surgeon will reshape and/or resize the appearance of the inner labia or labia minora. It is typically performed under a short general anaesthetic as a day case so you will be discharged the same day all being well. Here’s a general guide to your recovery process once you return home, although every patient can have a slightly different experience.

Labiaplasty recovery: immediately after surgery

In the first few days after surgery, you should experience some mild pain and discomfort, but this should be easily controlled by the over-the-counter pain medication. There will also be moderate swelling and bruising to the area.

One side might feel more swollen than the other and you may experience discomfort when urinating, but this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. You may see ‘spotting’ which is blood from the incisions – a small amount of spotting immediately afterwards is fine, but excessive or continual bleeding isn’t and you should get in touch with the clinic immediately.

Our advice at Clarence Clinic is to rest well during those first two to three days and minimise walking.

Labiaplasty recovery: one to two weeks after surgery

Most patients find that they no longer require pain medication now and although there may still be some swelling and bruising, you should be able to resume normal physical activity and can return to work if you don’t have a particularly strenuous job.

The area may feel itchy as the incisions heal but it is essential that you don’t rub or scratch the area and you may want to use a cold compress to ease any discomfort, although don’t apply ice directly to your skin. We also advise you to wear clothes and underwear that is loose fitting for the first few weeks.

Labiaplasty recovery: up to a month after surgery

Our plastic surgeon uses dissolvable stitches and these should have all dissolved. You’ll have been seen by our plastic surgeon for a check-up to ensure all is healing well and he can advise you on when you can resume more active exercise.

Labiaplasty recovery: six weeks after surgery and onwards

You should be almost fully healed at this point and you can resume sexual intercourse and use tampons safely. By four to six months, all swelling and bruising will have completely disappeared and you can see the final results. Any scarring is usually well hidden in the naturally-occurring folds and creases.

If you have any further questions about the labiaplasty procedure, please call us on 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.

RealSelf release 2018 aesthetics trend including most researched cosmetic surgery ops

most researched cosmetic surgery procedures

Leading cosmetic surgery review site RealSelf has released its round-up of the most researched procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, in 2018 and also made some predictions for upcoming trends. Non-surgical aesthetic treatments are continuing to grow in popularity but interest in cosmetic surgery remains high.

Here, we take a look at the most researched cosmetic surgery ops last year:

#1 Breast Augmentation

As always, breast augmentation with implants remains the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure both in the UK and worldwide. It appeals to a wide range of women – from younger women who have always been dissatisfied with their breast size to older women that have seen a loss of volume after pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight fluctuations.

#2 Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty remains a highly popular procedure because, despite the surge in interest in non-surgical fat reduction treatments, only a surgical procedure can remove sagging, excess skin or tighten abdominal muscles that have become lax because of weight gain or pregnancy.

#3 Brazilian Butt Lift

It’s probably no surprise that the Brazilian Butt Lift, a relatively ‘new’ procedure, is so high on the list of most researched cosmetic surgery ops. On the one hand, we have Instagram and reality stars flaunting a body shape only achievable through surgery and, on the other, 2018 saw a number of stories of women dying after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift at a plastic surgery clinic abroad. Our advice is to consult a properly trained, qualified and experienced plastic surgeon as they will be able to advise you on whether this is an appropriate procedure for you as well as perform the procedure safely.

#4 Rhinoplasty

A rhinoplasty procedure can reshape or resize your nose so it is more in balance with your other facial features. Non-surgical nose reshaping using dermal fillers is becoming very popular although many patients decide afterwards that they’d like to undergo rhinoplasty surgery to produce a permanent enhancement. A surgical procedure can also improve nasal function which a non-surgical procedure can’t.

#5 Liposuction

Despite the growth in ‘minimally invasive’ fat reduction procedure such as cryolipolysis, liposuction still remains popular. Non-surgical alternatives to liposuction work by destroying the fat cells and then relying on the body’s natural elimination processes, whereas during liposuction, the fat is removed through a suction device. There are more potential risks associated with liposuction, but it can remove more fat in one session. The potential benefits and risks of liposuction will be discussed in full during your consultation. 

#6 Eyelid Surgery

Known as a blepharoplasty, an eyelid lift can remove sagging, excess skin on either the upper or lower lid as well as address bulges of fatty tissue below the eye. The eyes are often the first area of the face to show the signs of ageing and a blepharoplasty remains a fantastically effective facial rejuvenation procedure.

#7 Breast Reduction

For women suffering from overly large breasts for their frame, a breast reduction can have a hugely positive impact on quality of life. During the procedure, excess breast tissue will be removed and the breasts will be reshaped and repositioned. The nipples can also be repositioned on the breasts and made smaller if required. 

#8 Mommy Makeover

A Mommy Makeover is a term popularised by the media to cover cosmetic surgery procedures to improve the appearance of the body after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Typically, it involves a breast lift and a tummy tuck and our plastic surgeon can advise you on whether this is the appropriate combination of procedures to achieve the improvement you’re hoping for.

#9 Facelift

For men and women with mild to moderate facial ageing, non-surgical aesthetic treatments, such as injectables or laser skin rejuvenation, can be a fantastic way to target lines and wrinkles and restore volume loss. However, for patients that have more advanced ageing concerns, a facelift will often be the best option.

#10 Breast Lift

The last procedure on the list is another cosmetic breast surgery procedure. The breast lift or mastopexy addresses sagging or ptosis of the breasts and your surgeon will reshape and reposition the breasts to produce a more youthful and pert appearance.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these cosmetic surgery procedures, call us on 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.

Nearly 1,000 complaints about botched aesthetic procedures lodged last year

facial fillers

According to a new report published by HuffPost UK, in the past year alone there have been over one thousand complaints made in the UK as a result of Botox and filler treatments that have caused problems for patients who have opted for these procedures.

The results have been complied by an organisation called Save Face, which is the largest register of accredited non-surgical practitioners in the UK. Their findings suggest that the most common problem patients have been left with is infections, but patients have also reported unexpected lumps and bumps where a smooth finish was expected, and also bruising and swelling that was far in excess of what was expected.

This worrying trend is reflective of the fact that in the midst of growing popularity for non-surgical procedures such as Botox, chemical peels and facial fillers, this industry has been plagued with non-regulated practitioners, unethical advertising and recovery claims that are simply not backed by science.

Jackie Doyle-Price, who is a Conservative Party Health Minister, shared her thoughts on this growing issue: “Too often people are duped by cowboys who are providing dodgy cosmetic procedures, with false promises about results and recovery times. The truth is, if not undertaken in a reputable place, by a trained professional, these procedures can be dangerous and potentially cause life-threatening complications.”

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

There is a great deal of spurious advertising of non-surgical procedures, some which offer very quick ‘lunchbreak’ offers, others that promise to have you looking like the stars following a startling quick recovery period. The advice is to be wary of these claims, and spend time researching a reputable practitioner for even the least invasive of procedures.

If a procedure is not carried out by a regulated professional, then you have no assurance that the products or machines they are using are of a good quality, nor do you know if they have undergone the appropriate training to be able to properly carry out the procedures they offer.

An example of this is facial filler injections. These are really popular at the moment, with consumers flooded with opportunities of where to obtain these from, and a seemingly endless line of celebrities who are benefitting from the results. The market for facial fillers is currently unregulated, which means that any high street ‘clinic’ can offer these, and the dangers to consumers are widespread. UK law firm Pennington Manches explains that “incorrect placement of facial fillers can cause swelling, pain, hard lumps beneath the skin and, when injected into the retinal artery, can even cause blindness and strokes. If fillers are injected into blood vessels or too much filler is injected around blood vessels, it can cause compression which stops the blood flow to surrounding tissue and causes the cells to die.”

In light of the growth of non-surgical cosmetic offers, it is important that consumers are not swayed by offers, promotions and promises that can lead them to make decisions that could leave them at risk. When researching where to choose for non-surgical procedures, the amount of care and attention given to a practitioner’s credentials, training, experience and skill needs to be aligned with the care you would take if you were opting for a surgical procedure.

Latest global cosmetic surgery statistics released

cosmetic surgery statistics

We are seeing a year on year upwards trend in the number of consumers who are opting for cosmetic surgery procedures, and this year is no exception. New figures that have been published by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) show that there has been another global increase in uptake of cosmetic surgery.

The results have been compiled from a survey distributed to around 35,000 plastic surgeons held within the ISAPS’ database and is the only global study of its kind currently undertaken.

Cosmetic surgery procedures maintaining popularity

Interestingly, the procedures that top the ranks in terms of overall uptake remain consistent, with breast augmentation retaining the top spot, liposuction in second place and eyelid surgery coming in third. Reflecting the growing interest in non-surgical procedures, facial injectables such as Botox remain the most sought-after temporary procedure.

Growing in popularity

Vaginal procedures continue to see a marked increase in interest, with the report indicating that, “in 2017, Vaginal Rejuvenation (including Labiaplasty) showed the largest increase in the number of procedures from 2016, with a 23% increase.”

This is also a trend seen here in the UK, with surgeons reporting a continued interest in labiaplasty procedures each year. This is a relatively newer cosmetic surgery procedure, one that is designed to change the size, shape and aesthetics of the labia. this could mean that it improves the overall symmetry of the labia, reduces it in size or removes darker coloured skin from the area. This was previously recommended if the labia were causing women discomfort, but increasingly is being sought for cosmetic reasons.

Who is driving these cosmetic surgery trends?

The countries with the greatest share of the cosmetic surgery industry are, in order:

  1. USA
  2. Brazil
  3. Japan
  4. Mexico
  5. Italy

Across these five countries, they account for a whopping 38.4% of the total market share. Interestingly, women still account for over three-quarters of the global demand for cosmetic surgery but the uptake from men is continuing to grow each year. Men are typically seeking different types of procedures, compared with women, in fact, the top three procedures requested by men, according to the ISAPS survey data, are eyelid surgery, male breast reduction and nose jobs.

Millennials driving interest in cosmetic surgery, according to new poll

interest in cosmetic surgery

Results from a new online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of RealSelf, have identified that two-fifths of UK adults are considering some form of cosmetic treatment over the next year or so. The poll, which was undertaken amongst a sample of over 1000 adults aged 18 and above, was conducted in July 2018 and focused on the likelihood of wanting cosmetic or non-cosmetic treatments over the course of the next 12 months.

Interestingly, it is millennials (those born after 1980 and before the end of the twentieth century) who are driving this trend, with 62% of survey respondents aged 18 to 34 considering a non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the next 12 months and just under half (44%) considering a surgical operation.

These findings support a growing trend amongst this age group, who have grown up with access to emerging technologies at their fingertips, new ways of approaching cosmetic surgery and greater expectations about what can be done to improve the way they look and feel thanks to what they see in the multitude of media outlets they are engaging with.

Drivers of this level of interest in cosmetic surgery

The key reasons cited for wanting to invest in surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures is to help improve self-confidence and improve self-esteem. Others suggest they are very keen to ensure they look as good as they feel or to help shift stubborn or unwanted pockets of fat they are struggling to remove via diet and exercise. Underpinning this enthusiasm are concerns that the results may not deliver against expectations or worse still, may not be what they are hoping for. The cost associated with some types of procedures is also prohibitive for some.

What are the cosmetic surgery trends suggesting?

In terms of non-surgical procedures, the areas of interest identified by this poll are as follows:

  1. Cosmetic dentistry (such as straightening, veneers, whitening)
  2. Laser hair removal
  3. Facial aesthetic treatments

Fillers also continue to be high on the wish list, and Wrinkle Relaxing Injections retain its popularity.

For those wishing to take more permanent steps to achieve the look they are seeking, the top three are:

  1. Tummy tuck
  2. Facelift
  3. Liposuction

Work on the facial region is high on the agenda, with neck and facelifts featuring highly and breast augmentation also creeping into the top five desired procedures.

All of these procedures are available at the Clarence Clinic so if these survey results have further piqued your interest then arrange a consultation to discuss which treatments, if any, are suitable for you and your expectations. It is important to talk in depth to an expert about what you’re expecting and any concerns, fears or challenges you have so that the best treatment for your circumstances can be recommended.

Breast augmentation adverts are banned by advertising watchdog

breast augmentation consultation

A huge 3.6 million of us in the UK tuned in to watch the live final of this year’s Love Island series, watching Danni and Jack crowned winners of this seriously addictive reality TV show. Although it has wide-ranging appeal and was great water cooler chat for many of us this summer, it is most appealing to younger viewers, with the Sun reporting: “Love Island’s final was the most watched programme in its slot across all channels and the most watched programme for 16-34s, with 1.6 million 16-34 [aged] viewers.”

At the time, there was a great deal of controversy – and complaints – about cosmetic surgery adverts being shown during Love Island ad breaks and now the TV advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has officially banned one of the adverts shown during the live final. Its final report is that the advert trivialised the breast augmentation process, making it seem simple, fun and frivolous, rather than being reflective of the major surgery that it actually entails.

The advert, for cosmetic surgery clinic MYA, showed young girls dancing and showing off their newly enhanced breasts, claiming that since they had decided to opt for this type of cosmetic surgery, they now felt amazing. Given the demographic likely to be watching the Love Island final, many viewers at home felt that it could lead to unrealistic expectations for young women about what to expect from breast augmentation surgery.

A spokesperson for BAAPS, the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, commented that “it is unethical to suggest that cosmetic surgery provides a solution to all problems, and irresponsible to trivialise surgical procedures such as breast augmentation by promoting them as an aspirational lifestyle or as a club that can be joined by going under the knife.

The importance of the breast augmentation consultation

All forms of cosmetic surgery carry risks; therefore, it is extremely important that these are understood and evaluated prior to making any decisions about whether or not to opt for surgery. Regulated medical professionals will ensure that they are satisfied that any prospective patients have weighed up the risks and fully weighed these up against the expected benefits.

BAAPS summarises the importance of this sentiment: “The decision to undertake cosmetic surgery is a very personal one, requiring careful thought, an understanding of the risks and benefits and a thorough clinical assessment by a bona fide plastic surgeon of the physical and psychological wellbeing of that individual prior to offering surgery.

“That this type of reckless messaging has drawn criticism is indicative of increased awareness to how it is damaging body image in young and vulnerable people.”

During your breast augmentation consultation at the Clarence Clinic, our plastic surgeon provides you with all the information you require to make an informed decision and provides expert, unbiased advice on whether cosmetic surgery is the right choice for you at this time.

Breast surgery and nipples: all the questions you wanted to ask

breast surgery and nipples

If you are planning on having cosmetic breast surgery one of the most common questions women ask is what will happen to their nipples. There are a number of things to consider before deciding the nature of the surgery that feels right for you, all of which should be considered thoroughly and discussed with your surgeon before you go under the knife.

Life stage and future life choices

If you wish to undergo a breast uplift, this has a big effect on your nipples as they are often repositioned as part of the operation. This is an important part of the aesthetics of the operation, as it is necessary to ensure that they are positioned in the correct place when the new size and shape of your breasts is determined. This can often affect woman’s ability to breastfeed as the tiny milk ducts can be damaged by this process. Depending on when you’re planning to start a family and whether you hope to breastfeed, you may choose to delay this procedure until later.

A breast uplift is the operation that carries the greatest risk to the chance of affecting the ability to breastfeed. Having breasts enhanced with implants does not mean you will not be able to feed a child, but this is something you need to discuss with your plastic surgeon when planning the procedure. 

The incision you choose and where the implant is placed in the chest area can have an impact – having the implant inserted in an ‘inframammary incision placement’ is best for women who wish to go on to breastfeed in the future. 

Nipples are likely to feel different after breast surgery

No matter what type of breast operation you have chosen, your nipples could feel different following your operation. Even if they have not been affected directly, if they are stretched over enlarged breasts due to a breast enhancement then the nerves that surround the nipples can be left feeling extremely tight and sensitive. This is perfectly natural and expected with operations of this nature, and it will settle down as your body adapts to the new size and shape of your breasts. 

Conversely, some women report a loss of nipple sensitivity after a breast uplift, reduction or augmentation. For most women, this is a temporary problem and it is a small minority of patients.

Breast surgery is a good opportunity to fix other problems

Some women suffer from inverted nipples, which isn’t always problematical from a medical perspective but can affect their self-confidence. Inverted nipple correction is a simple and quick procedure which involves a small incision and then the opportunity to turn the nipple to face outwards. It can be performed as a standalone procedure or planned as part of a more extensive cosmetic breast surgery operation.

Women are often dissatisfied with the appearance of their nipples – whether due to weight fluctuations, genetics, ageing or pregnancy and breastfeeding, they feel that they are too large and disproportionate or even misshapen or asymmetrical. Areola reduction or nipple reduction can also be performed as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with a breast uplift, reduction or augmentation.

During your consultation with our London plastic surgeon, every aspect of your cosmetic breast surgery procedure will be discussed in full.

Trim labiaplasty vs wedge labiaplasty

Trim labiaplasty vs wedge labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is becoming an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure – the size and shape of a woman’s labia can often affect how they feel about their body as a whole. If they feel it is larger or more elongated than normal then this can have two possible implications. Firstly, it can cause discomfort; causing pain during intercourse, during some sports and also sometimes if they are wearing too tight clothing. The other problem can be is that the look and feel of the labia can cause women to feel self-conscious. 

A plastic surgeon can help address both of these problems with a procedure known as a labiaplasty. This is where the labia can be reshaped so that it is smoother and smaller, directly targeting the physical issues they may be suffering from, as well as greatly boosting self-confidence. 

There are two ways in which this can be achieved: the ‘wedge’ approach and the ‘trim’ approach. 

Trim labiaplasty surgery

The trim technique is the most commonly practised. An incision is made into the outside of the inner labia and part of the skin is removed. This aligns the size and shape of the inner labia more closely with the outer labia and makes the area tidier. The part of the inner labia that is removed is often darker in colour too, which is one of the reasons some women report feeling self-conscious about this area. 

Any risks?

All surgeries carry a certain amount of risk and the main challenge with a trim labiaplasty is ensuring that the two sides of the inner and outer labia match up accurately and are nicely aligned. There are the usual risks of bleeding and infection after the operation, although the risks are small as the incision is not significant. Maintaining good personal hygiene while you’re healing and wearing loose fitting clothes to aid circulation are both advised.  There will also be a scar present along the length of the labia, but this is well hidden and most patients feel the scar is far less unsightly compared with overlylarge natural labia. 

Wedge labiaplasty surgery

This is a much newer technique and one that uses a very different approach. A ‘wedge’ is cut from the top of the labia which takes skin from both sides, reducing it in size and shape. The remaining area is then sewn back together to make the smoother, more compact finish that most are looking for from this procedure. This is often recommended if you have an uneven or imbalanced labia

Any risks?

As with the trim approach, care has to be taken when healing to ensure that the area is kept clean and dry. The other main difference is that this does not remove any of the darker colour to the labia, so some women may still be dissatisfied with the look of their labia, even when it has reduced in size. 

Which labiaplasty procedure is best for me?

As with any procedure, the clearer you are in explaining your expectations to your surgeon, the better the chance is that you will end with a result that you are happy with. Both techniques can yield satisfactory results and your surgeon will be able to recommend the best approach for you once they are clear about your own personal motivations and preferences. 

How quickly will I recover from a labiaplasty?

labiaplasty recovery

A labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery technique which changes the appearance of the folds of the skin that surround the vulva. There are two parts of the labia – the labia minora and the labia majora, both of which (or either) can be altered as part of the procedure. The operation is usually chosen to reduce the size of the labia, either because it is felt to be unsightly or because it causes pain or discomfort.

What to expect from the labiaplasty recovery phase

As far as cosmetic surgery procedures go, a labiaplasty is relatively straightforward and is typically an outpatient operation. In terms of recovery, the pelvic area will be most uncomfortable in the first 72 hours following the operation and, in addition to taking regular painkillers, you may wish to wrap ice in a towel and use this to soothe the area and to help reduce swelling. It’s important to remember that this is a sensitive area of the body anyway, so it is very normal to find that it sore after this kind of procedure.

It is generally recommended that you should wait 48 hours before taking a shower, just to allow the area to begin healing. Generally speaking, swelling should have gone down within two weeks after the procedure, and most patients can go back to work after two or three days.

Wearing loose-fitting clothing is recommended so that the area can heal without being rubbed. Loose, cotton underwear is also recommended as this is the most hygienic (compared with other man-made fabrics).

Labiaplasty recovery and returning to exercise

It is advised to refrain from sexual intercourse for at least six weeks to allow the area to heal. Gentle exercise can be resumed after a couple of weeks but anything that puts pressure on the affected area (such as horse riding or mountain biking) should be avoided for around six to eight weeks.

Once the bruising and swelling has gone, most women find that the wounds heal quickly and leave very little scarring. In time, it is often very hard to see where incisions have been made. Some report that this can be as quickly as a few weeks after the operation, whereas others take longer to heal, and it can be serval months.

As with any operation, allow yourself sufficient time to heal and be patient with your body as it adapts to the changes. Mr Paul Tulley will give you advice and guidance about how to heal effectively, so follow this and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any concerns about your recovery. If you have further questions about the labiaplasty procedure, call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation at the Clarence Clinic.