Labiaplasty Revision Overview

Undergoing a secondary procedure to remedy issues with the first can be an extremely frustrating and discouraging experience. But living with an undesirable result from your first labiaplasty and the emotional drain of feeling disfigured can take a severe toll on anyone.

Dr. Gary Alter is a world-renowned plastic surgeon and expert in female genital reconstruction procedures, including labiaplasty revision. You don’t have to live with the emotional and physical discomfort of a botched labiaplasty any longer as a secondary procedure under the diligent care of Dr. Alter can restore the aesthetics of your labia, improving your confidence and emotional well-being.

What Is Labiaplasty Revision?

Labiaplasty revision, or corrective labiaplasty, is a secondary cosmetic procedure that is performed to remedy an undesirable result from an initial or primary labiaplasty. As labiaplasty increases in popularity, it's becoming more common for inexperienced or underqualified surgeons and gynecologists to perform this procedure, creating suboptimal results.

Labiaplasty revision is highly individualized based on the patient's needs, the extent of necessary revision, and the specific concerns that must be addressed. Because of the nuanced nature of this secondary procedure, it is best undergone by a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Alter.

How Is Labiaplasty Revision Different from Labiaplasty?

A primary difference between labiaplasty and labiaplasty revision is in the goal of each procedure. An initial labiaplasty aims to reduce the size, length, or protrusion of the labia minora (inner lips).

Labiaplasty revision, however, has variable goals that depend on the patient's concerns. For some, the labia minora were overly excised during their first surgery, leaving the patient with little or no labia. For others, scalloped edges or painful scars detract from the appearance of the labia and even cause physical discomfort.

A secondary procedure may be necessary if the patient is unhappy with the appearance or function of their labia minora after an initial labiaplasty procedure.

Am I a Candidate for Labiaplasty Revision?

If you are considering labiaplasty revision, you most likely have an undesirable result from a primary labiaplasty that you would like to correct. For too many women, a secondary procedure becomes necessary as their results are too uncomfortable to live with. Even for patients who might not experience physical discomfort from a botched labiaplasty, emotional and mental distress can take a toll.

Good candidates for labiaplasty revision are women suffering from a botched labiaplasty who would like to improve the appearance and physical comfort of their labia minora through a secondary procedure.

Candidates for labiaplasty revision:

  • Should be generally in good health
  • Have reasonable expectations for results
  • Are nonsmokers, or are willing to quit
  • Are fully healed from their initial surgery

Does Dr. Alter Take Out-of-Town Patients?

You may still be a candidate for labiaplasty revision surgery if you are not local to Dr. Alter’s Beverly Hills or New York offices.

As the leading labiaplasty revision expert, Dr. Alter is happy to make accommodations for his out-of-town patients. He and his staff understand how important it is to provide care for patients who are unhappy with their labiaplasty results, so Dr. Alter offers virtual consultations and other accommodation services to help non-local patients best.

For more information on traveling for your labiaplasty revision, we discuss the topic at length in this blog.

How Long Should Women Wait Post-Botched Labiaplasty?

Women usually need at least five months after a failed labiaplasty to allow for healing, new blood supply, and swelling to go down. Too often, patients and surgeons rush to fix a botched labiaplasty by operating too soon or removing more tissue. To ensure you get the most out of your reconstruction, you must allow your body time to heal before proceeding with more treatment.

What Is the Labiaplasty Revision Procedure?

Each revision labiaplasty will vary greatly, as the surgical technique used will depend on the extent of the necessary revision, the amount of remaining labial tissue, and the patient's goals.

To understand the best way to revise a botched labia reduction, it’s essential to know the common techniques used in labiaplasty (labioplasy), and why botched labiaplasties happen in the first place.

The two most popular labiaplasty approaches used today are the trimming and central wedge technique (invented by Dr. Alter in 1995 and also referred to as the “V” technique or the Alter labiaplasty).

The Central Wedge Technique

Dr. Alter’s central wedge technique reduces the labia minora while maintaining the normal appearance and anatomy of the labia and labial edge. When performed correctly, it prevents over-removal and causes less post-operative discomfort than other techniques. The disadvantages of the central wedge are that it requires more surgical skill and a longer surgery time.

The Trimming Technique

The trimming technique is the quicker, more common labiaplasty surgery used by gynecologists and most plastic surgeons. The labial edges are trimmed with a scalpel, scissors, knife, clamp, or laser. The disadvantages of this method are the risks of partial or over-removal, asymmetry, unnatural appearance along the suture line, scar discomfort and pain, and distortion of the clitoris, clitoral hood, and labium.

If you have a botched labiaplasty, your surgeon may have used the trim method. However, the trim method does not always necessitate a botched result–other factors, such as poor healing, incompatible anatomy, or imprecise surgical techniques, can cause an undesirable outcome.

What Can I Expect During the Revision Labiaplasty Procedure?

The deformities from the various labia reductions can often be reconstructed using a wide assortment of plastic surgical techniques to give a normal or near-normal appearance. Dr. Alter created and refined these labiaplasty reconstruction and revision techniques over a decade of reconstructing multiple labia minora and clitoral hood deformities utilizing a wide variety of methods.

A successful labiaplasty revision and reconstruction typically depends on the amount of labia minora and clitoral hood tissue remaining. A good surgeon will require as much labia and clitoral hood as possible to fix the labia properly to ensure an optimal cosmetic vaginal surgical outcome.

Possible Techniques for Revision Labiaplasty

Dr. Alter will utilize one or multiple techniques during your labiaplasty revision surgery as determined by your anatomy and remaining tissue. Because each patient is different, surgical plans will vary greatly. After your consultation, Dr. Alter will give you a much more detailed idea of your specific surgical plan.

  • Use of remaining clitoral hood or labial tissue to reconstruct the deformed or absent labium caused by a botched labiaplasty. These are very complex plastic surgical techniques for moving tissues around without injuring the blood supply. However, it can yield a very successful restoration of labial tissue.
  • To correct the gap in an overly removed labium, Dr. Alter cuts the gap out and brings the normal-sized edges together, suturing precisely to avoid painful scarring.
  • If one or both labia are totally absent, Dr. Alter can often make new labia out of the clitoral hood. He invented this complicated technique, which is frequently the only good option to create a normal labium.
  • To improve scalloped or scarred labial edges, Dr. Alter may cut out the scarring and resuture the edge more accurately for a smoother result.
  • To fix a minor deformity, Dr. Alter can inject fat into the labium using a fat grafting technique.
  • Reattach the hanging clitoral hood to a normal position.
  • Reduce a large clitoral hood by re-positioning the clitoris (clitoropexy) and removing the extra skin.

Dr. Alter will happily review your botched labiaplasty and work with you to create a plan that will achieve the best possible outcome.

How Should I Prepare for Labiaplasty Revision?

There is very little difference between preparation for labiaplasty revision and other cosmetic surgeries, save for the importance of allowing time for your labia to fully heal before undergoing a secondary procedure.

While you must wait at least five months to undergo your secondary procedure, he can still clear you for candidacy before that time through a consultation. After your consultation with Dr. Alter, he will discuss your options for surgery, as well as provide you with specific instructions based on your medical history. Some tips for preparing for this procedure include:

  • Stop or pause any conflicting medications, including supplements, vitamins, and blood-thinning medications, as per Dr. Alter's instructions.
  • Find a friend or family member who can pick you up from your surgery and can help you for the first 24 hours.
  • Get together any childcare or schedule a few days off of work, depending on your job. While recovery from labiaplasty revision is relatively minor, some patients may benefit from taking time off. Dr. Alter will discuss your options with you in-depth and can help advise you on this.

Labiaplasty revision can be intimidating, especially when you have had a bad experience in the past. Dr. Alter and our team understand how delicate this process can be, so we’ve compiled some more comprehensive information about preparing, physically and mentally, for labiaplasty revision in this blog.

What Can I Expect from Revision Labiaplasty Recovery?

Recovery from corrective labiaplasty is very similar to your initial procedure, with some variation accounting for the varied techniques that may be used to restore the appearance of your labia. As with most cosmetic procedures, it’s important to follow all of Dr. Alter’s aftercare instructions closely. You may be advised to:

  • Avoid strenuous exercise
  • Refrain from sex for at least six weeks
  • Wear loose, breathable clothing and undergarments
  • Protect your surgical site
  • Avoid submerging your surgical site in water

However, each patient is different, and Dr. Alter will provide more personalized instructions as per your surgical plan. Labiaplasty revision recovery is generally quite manageable, with very minimal discomfort, as Dr. Alter uses precise techniques that aim to improve comfort.

Most patients can return to normal activities a few days after surgery.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step and Restore Your Labia Minora with Labiaplasty Revision?

Dr. Alter and our team are ready to help you feel like yourself again. Call either our Beverly Hills, CA, office at (310) 275-5566 or our New York, NY, office at (212) 321-0749 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

We also offer virtual consultations for out-of-town patients via email or phone. Just fill out our online contact form to get started.

Labiaplasty Revision FAQs

Why should I pick Gary Alter for my botched labiaplasty revision and/or reconstruction?

Dr. Alter is widely hailed as the preeminent leader in labia reconstruction and female genital aesthetic surgery. Board Certified in both Plastic Surgeon and Urology, Dr. Alter uses many sophisticated plastic surgical principles to perform the botched labiaplasty repair. These principles are uniquely taught to plastic surgeons during their extensive training whereas gynecologists and urologists are not trained in these surgical skills and anatomic knowledge. Dr. Alter took these plastic skills and added them to his knowledge of genitalia from his urological training to invent multiple female genital surgical procedures—both for primary surgeries and for reconstruction of botched labiaplasties. In the mid-90s, Dr. Alter invented the central wedge or Alter “V” labiaplasty procedure, which is generally hailed as the best technique for labiaplasty surgery (labia minora surgery).

Dr. Alter published the first and only extensive medical paper on reconstructing botched labiaplasties in the prestigious journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2011. This paper introduced new operations including the use of the clitoral hood to reconstruct labia minora. Patients from around the world seek Dr. Alter’s expert surgical expertise for labia and clitoral hood reduction and for botched labiaplasty repair.

How long does labiaplasty reconstruction take?

The length of the labiaplasty revision or reconstruction surgery depends on your deformity and the required procedures. This surgery can take as little as an hour or as long as 4-5 hours. The revision of a botched labiaplasty is much more difficult than the initial labia reduction, so the time for labiaplasty reconstruction surgery may take much longer. The important decisions are choosing the correct labiaplasty reconstruction procedures and the plastic surgeon with the best skills to perform them. Length of surgery should not influence this decision.

I have a lot of painful areas after my first botched labiaplasty surgery. Will I be pain-free after reconstructive surgery?

Most of the painful areas after a labiaplasty are due to tender scars. Most surgeons perform a trimming labiaplasty in which the entire labial edge is cut back with a scalpel, scissors, or laser. Therefore, the entire labial edge is a scar, which has a much higher chance of painful areas in contrast to the Alter “wedge” technique. With labiaplasty reconstruction, Dr. Alter can almost always remove the painful scars with his sophisticated labiaplasty revision techniques and eliminate, or markedly reduce, the pain.

How much does botched labiaplasty repair surgery cost? Does insurance cover the botched labiaplasty reconstruction when it was the fault of my first surgeon?

The cost of reconstruction varies depending on what needs to be done. Fortunately, insurance will often cover part of the expense for the botched labiaplasty repair, because the surgery is a reconstruction of a normal body part and not cosmetic. At times, an PPO will even cover the cost to fix your botched labiaplasty, because the PPO often recognizes Dr. Alter’s unique skills and qualifications. Our staff will negotiate directly with the insurance company or PPO on your behalf to try to get your surgery approved. We also work with several finance companies.

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Labiaplasty Reconstruction Surgery

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Gary J. Alter M.D.

A pioneer in genital reconstruction, Dr. Alter has helped hundreds of women with his extensive knowledge of genital anatomy as well as expertise in minimizing scars, transferring tissue, and improving cosmetic appearance.

416 N. Bedford Dr. Suite # 400,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: +1(310) 275-5566


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