Labiaplasty Health Vacations 101

What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty, a cosmetic surgery in which the stretched or oversized labia are reshaped or reduced in size, has gained popularity in the last few years, becoming a hot topic in medical tourism news. The surgery is usually completed within two hours and runs from $3,500 to $8,000 in the United States.

Even with the high cost of labiaplasty surgery, more and more women are flocking to have this procedure performed. Dr. Nancy Church, an ob-gyn in Chicago, tells WebMD that “there are plastic surgeons out there basing entire practices on labia-reduction surgery. People wouldn’t even have thought of worrying about such a thing until recently.” Dr. V. Leroy Young, the chairman of the emerging trends task force for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, also says the growing demand for the procedure is notable. “There’s remarkably amazing patient interest in this,” he told the New York Times, “This is at that early stage where there’s a lot of enthusiasm for it.”

Who Is Labiaplasty for?

Dr. Young reports that many women do not book the procedure for cosmetic reasons, remarking that tight pants or bicycle riding can be uncomfortable for women with large labia. The number of patients seeking the surgery for discomfort or pain relief could be larger than originally thought, according to the June meeting of the International Urogynecological Association in Cancun, Mexico. ABC News Medical Unit reports that Dr. John Miklos, the director of the Atlanta Urogynecology Associates, Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of Atlanta Medical Research Institute, presented a survey on the motivations of 135 women receiving labia reduction at the conference. Miklos reported that two-thirds of the women sought surgery in hopes of relieving pain or discomfort. A skim of recent medical tourism news will show that Clínica Las Condes Preventive Medicine Unit in Chile also reported similar findings in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.

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In Which Health Vacation Destinations Are Labiaplasty Available?

Labiaplasty, like many other cosmetic surgeries, is available in a wide variety of health vacation locations around the globe including India, Thailand, and other conventional medical tourism hotspots. The cost of a labiaplasty abroad is considerably less than in the United States, and the procedure is familiar to many doctors. For example, the Clínica Las Condes Preventive Medicine Unit in Santiago, Chile, where many international patients come for health vacations, performed 55 labiaplasties between October 2003 and November 2004. As the popularity of this procedure continues to grow, expect it to become even more widely available. However, don’t hold your breath if you’re hoping to find a cheap price Stateside. You might still need to travel to find the best deals.

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