As plastic surgery continues to increase in popularity, women are getting a nip and a tuck everywhere— including their genitals. According to USA Today, labiaplasty is becoming a coveted surgical procedure. Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows a 39% increase in labiaplasty surgeries in 2016.
Debra Johnson, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, says the 12,000 or so procedures last year could be related to women concerned about how they look down there. “People used to not really see their parts down there, but nowadays with so many women waxing and shaving, they are just much more aware of what they look like, and so sometimes they feel self-conscious,” she said.
Social media is also a big factor in learning about (and sharing success stories) of the surgery. “Social media plays a huge role,” she says. “Many times a person will start with a Google search to see if anyone else out there has the same problem, and you have a whole cadre of people who have the same concerns…and it allows you to hear about other stories and what they did and their experience.”
Women interested in labiaplasty can get a consultation with a surgeon to talk about their aesthetic goals but doctors advise that there's really no such thing as a normal vagina. “To me, it really has to be driven by the woman herself that she is doing it for herself because she wants to feel more comfortable,” Johnson says. “There are some women I turn away because I say there is nothing wrong with your labia, so we try to make sure the people who are seeking the operation are educated and counseled.”
Shape revealed that one popular look is called the "Barbie." Yikes.
The procedure itself can cost from $2500 to more than $6000, per USA Today. As for the surgery, it involves lifting or trimming the labia or injecting fat or filler into the area. Ouch.