How Much Is a Labiaplasty Surgery in Australia?
Labiaplasty is a popular surgical procedure that is designed to alter the appearance of your labia minora/vaginal lips. Women undergo this procedure due to both aesthetic and functional reasons such as to correct naturally large labia, restore labia post-childbirth, and prevent discomfort and irritation caused by enlarged labia. In this article, we will discuss the cost of labiaplasty surgery in Australia in detail and the different factors that influence it.
Different Types of Labiaplasty Surgery
Labiaplasty surgery can be categorised into three main types: trim, wedge, and de-epithelialization labiaplasty. Sometimes, different techniques can be combined to achieve the best outcome. The right type of labiaplasty procedure for your particular case can only be recommended by the plastic surgeon after having a consultation. Depending on the type of procedure recommended, you will also get a cost estimate for your surgery.
Labiaplasty Surgery Prices in Australia
Labiaplasty surgery cost varies from $5,000 to $12,000. This is a big variation that can be attributed to different factors that influence the cost of the surgery which we will discuss in detail. Generally speaking, the factors influencing the cost are experience of the plastic surgeon, location, the choice of anaesthesia, and a couple of other elements.
Choosing the plastic surgeon with the cheaper rates is never a good idea when it comes to getting a labiaplasty intervention. The area treated with the procedure is delicate and the surgery is complex. An experienced and talented plastic surgeon can make the difference between a successful plastic surgery and botched results.
Major factors that influence the price include:
- The complexity of the procedure
- Experience and expertise of the surgeon
- Type of anaesthetic
- Hospital fees
- Geographical location
What Is Included In the Cost of Labiaplasty?
The costs included in your labiaplasty fee will depend on what procedure you are having, where you have it, and the kind of post-op care you will be receiving.
Typically, an all-inclusive price for a labiaplasty surgery will include the following:
- Surgeon fee
- Hospital fee
- Anaesthetist fee
- Post-op care
- Prescription costs
- Scans and medical tests
- Additional garments if required
- Scar treatments
Variation in Prices of Labiaplasty
The variation in the prices of labiaplasty surgery is generally based on the following factors:
· The experience of the surgeon
The plastic surgeon performing the procedure can make all the difference, both in terms of results you can achieve and in terms of cost. The surgeon’s fee is reflected in the cost estimate of the labiaplasty surgery. A higher fee is usually equivalent with a surgeon who performs the procedure routinely. An experienced surgeon can guide you through the whole process and can minimise the risks associated with the procedure.
· What type of Labiaplasty surgery is being performed?
The technique of the labiaplasty surgery will also determine the complexity of the procedure as well as the cost. Some patients require major changes in their labia while others require minor changes. The surgeon will select a suitable technique based on your requirements and this will affect the overall cost.
· Where is the surgery performed?
A well-accredited facility filled with all the right equipment will definitely cost you more than a backroom clinic. The geographical location of the facility will also impact the cost of the surgery.
· Why is the surgery being performed?
When the surgery is performed for medical reasons, you might be able to get some of the cost covered by Medicare.
Different Price Ranges For A Labiaplasty
The difference in price between a $5.000 labiaplasty and a $12.000 labiaplasty mostly depends on the expertise of your surgeon. Remember, a cheaper surgical price tag is not necessarily a “good deal”. The surgeon’s expertise and ability to give you results that you are happy with is even more important than the price.
Procedures at the low end of this price range ($5.000 – $8.000) will be:
- Usually performed by a Cosmetic Surgeon, not a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
- Sometimes performed by a junior Plastic Surgeon
- Carried out in a day surgery or the surgeon’s own clinic
Procedures in the middle of the price range ($8.000 – $10.000) will be:
- Usually performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
- Carried out in an Accredited Private Hospital or an Accredited day surgery
Procedures at the high end of the price range ($10.000 – $12.000) will be:
- Performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is highly experienced and regularly performs labiaplasty procedures
- Carried out in an Accredited Private Hospital
How To Finance Your Labiaplasty
The best option for financing your labiaplasty procedure depends on your financial situation, financial goals, and the reasons that you are considering plastic surgery.
Options for financing your labiaplasty surgery include:
- Paying costs out of pocket
- Early withdrawal of your SuperFund if eligible
- Medicare cover if eligible
- Taking out a personal loan
- Using a payment plan
Does Medicare Cover a Labiaplasty?
You may be able to get Medicare cover for a labiaplasty procedure if the procedure is medically indicated. In other words, Medicare doesn’t cover plastic surgery performed for purely cosmetic reasons. These are the MBS item numbers for labiaplasty:
- 35533 – Vulvoplasty or labioplasty, for repair of:
(a) female genital mutilation; or
(b) an anomaly associated with a major congenital anomaly of the uro-gynaecological tract
other than a service associated with a service to which item 35536, 37836, 37050, 37842, 37851 or 43882 applies
- 35534 — Vulvoplasty or labioplasty, in a patient aged 18 years or more, performed by a specialist in the practice of the specialist’s specialty, for a structural abnormality that is causing significant functional impairment, if the patient’s labium extends more than 8 cm below the vaginal introitus while the patient is in a standing resting position
Using SuperFund To Pay For Labiaplasty Surgery
Sometimes, patients are able to access Superannuation funds early to cover the costs of surgery by applying to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through a process called compassionate release.
You might be able to access your SuperFund to cover the costs of a labiaplasty if:
- You are unable to pay for the surgery yourself
- You cannot have the surgery performed through the public healthcare system
- Your cosmetic condition is causing pain or discomfort
If you are considering a labiaplasty for purely cosmetic reasons and not because of pain or discomfort, you will not be eligible for early release of Super funds.
Choosing the Best Labiaplasty Surgeon
Fortunately or unfortunately, your surgery is as good as your surgeon’s. If you want perfect results, you need to spend some time selecting the right surgeon. Here are a few steps that can help:
1. Do your research
Before scheduling your procedure, you should take some time and check plastic surgeons in your area (and other areas around you) and see which one is more experienced in performing the procedure you are interested in. You can check their websites, check online reviews and even schedule appointments to see how well you can communicate face to face.
2. Credentials and experience
Both credits and experience of the surgeon are of utmost importance. Narrow down your list based on these two factors. Ensure, that the surgeon is a member of ASPS. Don’t look at the total number of surgeries performed by the surgeon or your years of experience only. Ensure that labiaplasty is one of their major procedures. Someone could have easily performed 1000 surgeries altogether and only 1 of them could be labiaplasty. Hence, you need to dig deeper.
3. Before and After Pictures
Generally speaking, it is rather unlikely that you will find before and after photos of labiaplasty patients online (on the surgeon’s site). However, you can ask for before and after pics during the consultation with the plastic surgeon. If a surgeon is unable to provide any pictures at all, this might be a red flag. At the same time, it is important to understand that your results depend on your anatomy, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will achieve similar results with other patients. However, these pictures can give you a fairly realistic idea of what to expect.
4. Book more consultations
It could be a good idea to book multiple consultations with different plastic surgeons, if you have more options in your area. This should give you a better idea about what to expect after the surgery and can help you choose a surgeon that you are comfortable with performing the procedure.