Labiaplasty Under 18

Labiaplasty for individuals under the age of 18 is a complex and controversial topic. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that involves altering the size or shape of the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva) or the labia majora (the outer folds). It is generally considered an elective or cosmetic procedure when performed for aesthetic reasons.

Here are some important considerations regarding labiaplasty for individuals under 18:

  1. Medical Necessity: Labiaplasty for individuals under 18 is typically only considered when there is a genuine medical necessity. Medical reasons might include congenital anomalies, significant physical discomfort, recurrent infections, or other health issues related to the labia. In such cases, the procedure is performed to address a medical problem, not for cosmetic reasons.
  2. Physical Development: The labia continue to develop during adolescence, and what may appear as an issue at a younger age may change as the individual matures. Surgeons are often cautious about performing irreversible procedures on adolescents due to the potential for changing anatomy.
  3. Psychological Evaluation: Before considering labiaplasty for a minor, a thorough psychological evaluation is often recommended to assess the teenager’s mental and emotional well-being. Body image concerns and self-esteem issues should be addressed with a mental health professional.
  4. Parental Consent: In most cases, parental consent is required for minors to undergo elective surgeries, including labiaplasty. Parents should be actively involved in the decision-making process and have a clear understanding of the procedure and its potential risks.
  5. Ethical Considerations: The ethical aspects of performing cosmetic surgery on minors are a topic of debate within the medical community. Surgeons and healthcare providers should approach such cases with great caution, always prioritizing the best interests of the teenager.
  6. Alternatives: In some cases, there may be non-surgical alternatives to address the concerns, such as counseling, physical therapy, or other medical treatments. These options should be explored before considering surgery.
  7. Surgeon Selection: If a labiaplasty is deemed medically necessary for a minor, it is crucial to select a highly experienced, board-certified surgeon with expertise in pediatric or adolescent gynecology.
  8. Informed Consent: The teenager and their parents or legal guardians must be fully informed about the procedure, its potential risks, and the expected outcomes. Informed consent is a critical component of any surgical procedure.

It’s important to emphasize that labiaplasty for purely cosmetic reasons in minors is generally discouraged by medical professionals and ethical guidelines. The decision to pursue this procedure should be made cautiously and with a strong focus on the teenager’s physical and psychological well-being.

If you have concerns about labial appearance or discomfort in a teenager, it is advisable to consult with a pediatric or adolescent gynecologist who can provide guidance on the best course of action for the specific situation, considering both medical and emotional factors.

About the Author

Dr Richard Young

Dr. Richard Young is a board certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon

As one of the nation’s leading innovators in aesthetic surgery of the face, hand, breast and body, and a pioneer of reconstructive surgery and stem cell procedures, Dr. Richard Young is certified by the Board of Plastic Surgery and the Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

by Richard Young
Reviewed by Richard Young
approved by Richard Young

Written by Dr Richard Young. The article was written and approved by Dr Richard Young, who specializes in plastic surgery.

The web page content is prepared to inform the visitor. The information on the page can never replace a physician's treatment or consultation. The content was prepared and published by Dr Richard Young, who is trained and specialized in plastic surgery. The content is based on the education and experience of Dr Richard Young. Copying the content is prohibited.

Dr. Richard Young

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