Want to know if labiaplasty will be covered by insurance?
Women consider labiaplasty for many reasons. Labiaplasty is a procedure that reduces the excess skin of the vaginal area, known as the labia. Studies have shown that the most common reason for having labiaplasty surgery is to correct enlarged or elongated labia that can occur following childbirth or with aging. For some women, concern about the size of their labia may have started in puberty or after successfully losing a large amount of weight with a weight loss procedure or diet & exercise. No matter what the reason you may be considering labiaplasty, a common question is whether insurance will cover the costs.
Indications for Labiaplasty
Although the reasons for labiaplasty are important and a motivating factor in women seeking this surgery, many women are scared or intimidated to ask their primary care provider if there is a solution and if it is potentially covered by insurance. We know it can be an uncomfortable topic to bring up and the team at Restore SD Plastic Surgery is here to provide as much information as possible.
Unfortunately, in most cases insurance will not cover or approve labiaplasty surgery. Insurance companies look at a procedure and determine if it is “medically necessary”. They do this in a couple of different ways. One way is to define surgery as reconstructive or cosmetic. Reconstructive surgery is defined as a procedure to correct abnormal structure (like a birth defect or after a traumatic injury) to improve function or appearance. Cosmetic surgery is generally defined is the reshaping or improving of normal structures. This includes surgery done to improve the self-esteem or physical appearance of the patient. Because labia come in many different sizes and shapes, and the labiaplasty is improving the shape or appearance of a normal body part, insurance companies will almost classify the procedure as cosmetic and not “medically necessary”.
Sometimes insurance companies will take into consideration the impact the issue has on daily life. For example, with breast reduction surgery having large, heavy breasts can cause ongoing upper back and neck pain. Documenting the impact of the upper back and neck pain will be one component of how the insurance company determines whether the surgery is covered or considered cosmetic. Because of the enlarged labia women seeking labiaplasty complain of irritation with certain activities like riding a bike or may feel uncomfortable in tight clothing like yoga pants or swimsuits. The skin in this fragile area can be chafed and create a frequent source of discomfort. Although this can negatively affect your day to day, insurance carriers are looking for provable health issues versus a source of discomfort. While every insurance policy is different most will still consider labiaplasty an aesthetic procedure.
Options for Labiaplasty
Despite the reality of insurance not covering labiaplasty, many women will go on to have this surgery. If your symptoms and concerns are impacting your health and lifestyle, you should consider this procedure. The cost of labiaplasty is not as expensive as many other cosmetic procedures and at Restore SD Plastic Surgery we offer financing options to allow for smaller monthly payments through our partnerships with Care Credit and Alphaeon. Labiaplasty surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and most women can return to work after a week or less. If you are considering having labiaplasty we encourage you to read more about the procedure here and reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.