Female genital cosmetic surgery: Investigating the role of the general practitioner

Aust Fam Physician. 2015;44(11):822-5.


Background: Labiaplasty, the surgical reduction of the labia minora, has significantly increased in demand in Australia. Although general practice is one gatekeeper for patients requesting labiaplasty, as a referral is necessary to claim Medicare entitlements, there is little information available to assist general practitioners (GPs) in managing these requests for female genital cosmetic surgery.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health professionals, including GPs, gynaecologists and plastic surgeons. Participants were recruited through the Victorian Primary Care Practice-based Research Network (VicReN), clinical teaching hospitals and snowball sampling. All interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analysed using content and thematic analysis.

Results: Twenty-seven interviews were conducted. All participants were aware of genital labiaplasty; many had patients who were concerned about genital appearance, for which information had often been sought opportunistically. All participants agreed on the need for resources to inform women of normal genital appearance.

Discussion: This novel study demonstrates a need for clinical resources for GPs managing requests for genital labiaplasty.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • General Practice / methods*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Genitalia, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Victoria