Labiaplasty and buttock augmentation: The new contenders on the block

Labiaplasty and buttock augmentation: The new contenders on the block

Each year the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) tabulates annual national statistics, indicating, among other things, the procedures that were most frequently performed during the preceding year. Right now, statisticians are collecting data for 2013.

On February 25th ASAPS issued a press release, previewing some 2013 statistics that may surprise you. Your female friends, co-workers and close family members may be undergoing plastic surgery procedures that you will most likely never see or be aware of. Labiaplasty refers to the trimming of the labia minora (inner lips) of the vulva. Other than a reduction in length, other forms of vaginal rejuvenation involve injecting the aging labia majora with fat and fillers for aesthetic improvement. Some women also opt to have clitoral hood reduction to improve their sexual sensation.

ASAPS had an inkling of the growing labiaplasty trend at their Annual Meeting in 2013. In fact, a panel of experts discussed the latest in female cosmetic genital surgery. A Duxbury, MA plastic surgeon said it all: "Since the advent of Brazilian waxing, women have become more conscious of the vaginal area. Today, they prefer a clean look with no pubic hair and no dangling of the labia minora." Results: Over the course of 2013, labiaplasty procedures increased by 44 percent.

Another growing trend, even more pronounced but already familiar, is buttock augmentation, which increased 58 percent in 2013. Over the past ten years, there's been a steady interest in having a rounder and larger rear. In the "Brazilian buttock lift," a plastic surgeon removes fat from where you don't want it and transfers it to the buttock area where it is shaped and molded after buttock icons Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez.

In spite of these trends, it is important to realize that labiaplasty and buttock augmentation are not among the most popular plastic surgery procedures. For years, breast augmentation and lipoplasty have had a close race in the plastic surgery Olympics for top procedures. So, the below the belt procedures are still minor players in the total income of a plastic surgeon. However, they are very significant in that they reflect recent cultural trends.