Skip to main content


Welcome to the BAAPS dedicated Patients area. Be safe, be sure - are you looking to find out more about surgery or find a BAAPS surgeon?

Aesthetic Genital Surgery

Female Genital Aesthetic Surgery (Aesthetic Genital Surgery)

Aesthetic surgery of the female genitalia, includes a number of surgical procedures designed to alter, reshape and/or improve their appearance.


The most commonly requested procedures are labial reduction and reshaping ('labiaplasty') and vaginal tightening ('vaginaplasty') operations. Other procedures include liposuction to the mons pubis; fat injections to the labia majora or mons in order to rejuvenate the appearance of these areas; removal or reduction of skin around the clitoris ('hoodectomy' or ‘clitoral hood reduction), to improve clitoral sensitivity. Laser therapy has been described for the removal of labial wrinkles; and hair transplantation for hypotrichosis of the mons pubis. Please note that hymenoplasty (hymen repair or creation) surgery and virginity testing are illegal in the UK and are not supported by the BAAPS.

Women have genital plastic surgery for a variety of reasons. Whilst falling under the umbrella of aesthetic surgery, there can be many reasons for patients to seek treatment including physical discomfort and/or appearance concerns.


Labial reduction includes a number of operations designed to decrease the size and degree of protuberance of the labia minora ('inner lips') or the labia majora (‘outer lips) of the vulva (external female genitalia). A significant proportion of patients report physical symptoms as a primary reason for treatment such as discomfort or visibility of labia in tighter clothing or swimwear, discomfort during exercise, sitting for long periods or during intercourse and irritation in the labia folds. Women may also have appearance-related concerns and age or hormonal-related tissue atrophy or changes.

The procedure is relatively simple, excising an area of the labia minora using a variety of incisions; and can be performed under local anaesthetic. Careful planning of the tissue to be reduced and reshaped as well as placement of the scar is important, however, in order to prevent painful scar contracture along the rim of the labia or over reduction of the labial tissue.

Hoodectomy/clitoral hood reduction, or removal of the fold of skin around the clitoris, is performed when an excess of tissue is present around the front or clitoral hood area. It is commonly done as part of a labiaplasty but can be done in its own right as well. Care is needed to avoid over-exposure or damage to the clitoris.


Vaginal tightening operations are requested by some women who have noticed that their vagina has become lax following childbirth, or with age. As a consequence, intercourse is less satisfying for them. The procedure may involve reshaping or tightening at the introitus (vaginal opening), or may involve excising excess vaginal mucosa together with tightening the muscles of the posterior vaginal wall.

Perforation of the bowel is one of the more serious complications which may occur.


Liposuction or 'liposculpture' of the mons pubis may be an isolated procedure or performed in conjunction with liposuction of the abdomen or thighs. The appearance of the mons is enhanced by improving its definition. In contrast, fat injections to the mons or labia majora plump out these structures, giving them a more youthful appearance.

As with many aspects of human anatomy, there are a wide variety of shapes, sizes and appearances of the female genitalia, all of which are within the limits of normal. Before undergoing any surgery, it is important to determine whether there really is a problem with the genitalia or whether another solution would be more rewarding.

This website is designed to supply useful information but is not to be regarded as advice specific to any particular case. It does not replace the need for a thorough consultation and all prospective patients should seek the advice of a suitably qualified medical practitioner. The BAAPS accepts no liability for any decision taken by the reader in respect of the treatment they decide to undertake.

This procedure is also commonly known as...

  • “female genital plastic surgery”
  • “labia reshaping”
  • “labiaplasty”
  • “shortening of the labia”