Monsplasty

Overview

What is a monsplasty?

A monsplasty is a surgical procedure that removes extra skin and fatty tissue from your mons pubis. Your mons pubis is the mound of tissue in front of your pubic bones, usually covered in pubic hair. A monsplasty is a cosmetic procedure. It lifts, tightens and reshapes the structure of your mons pubis to change its appearance. It may also improve function and comfort.

Another name for a monsplasty is a pubic lift.

Who is a good candidate for a monsplasty?

In general, you’re a good candidate for a monsplasty if you:

  • Have extra tissue or skin that hangs from your mons pubis over your genitals, making it difficult to clean the areas or causing rashes or infections.
  • Have difficulty peeing (urinating) or having sex because of a large mons pubis.
  • Don’t have a medical condition that affects your body’s healing ability.
  • Don’t have heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.
  • Don’t smoke or are able to quit smoking for at least four weeks (two weeks before the procedure and two weeks after the procedure).
  • Have realistic expectations.

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction don’t lift your pubic area. Your mons pubis may even be more noticeable after those procedures. Your healthcare provider may recommend getting a monsplasty at the same time as a tummy tuck or liposuction.

Why do people get monsplasty?

You may develop excess skin and fatty tissue in your mons pubis as a result of:

  • Age.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Significant weight loss.

Your skin contains collagen fibers that allow it to move, stretch and return to its normal shape (elasticity). If you gain weight, fat often builds in your mons pubis, and your skin over the area stretches out. When you carry that weight over long periods, the skin on your mons pubis may lose its elasticity and hang from the area.

Excess skin in that area can affect your mental health. It may affect you psychosocially (how society and groups affect your thoughts and emotions) and psychologically (how you think about yourself and your behavior), which may cause stress, anxiety and depression.

Procedure Details

What happens before a monsplasty?

Before your monsplasty, you’ll meet with your healthcare provider. They’ll evaluate your general health, including any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, and discuss your expectations with the procedure. Tell them about any previous surgeries you’ve had, as well as any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that you’re taking, including herbal supplements. Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and certain herbal supplements can increase your risk of bleeding.

Your healthcare provider will then examine your mons pubis while you’re standing. They can see how your skin and fatty tissue look on your body and how gravity affects the area from a standing position. They’ll use a marker to mark the area. The marks help your healthcare provider plan the procedure, including guiding cuts (incisions), creating an even shape (symmetry) and concealing or minimizing scars.

Your healthcare provider may take photographs of your body from the front and the side (profile) for your medical record.

What happens during a monsplasty?

During most monsplasties, you’re sedated (put under) with general anesthesia so you aren’t awake and won’t feel any pain. In some cases, your healthcare provider uses local anesthesia and an oral sedative. Local anesthesia numbs only your mons pubis and the surrounding areas. An oral sedative helps you relax to the point where you’re asleep but can be easily aroused or awakened.

Once you’re asleep or sedated, your surgeon will use a sharp, thin knife (scalpel) to make a horizontal incision across your mons pubis. Your surgeon will then use a scalpel or surgical scissors to cut off excess fatty tissue and skin. They’ll then use internal sutures to tighten and shape your muscles and other tissues.

Finally, your surgeon may place small silicone tubes in your mons pubis to drain any blood or fluid. They’ll stitch the tubes into place and stitch the incision closed.

What happens after a monsplasty?

After a monsplasty is complete, your healthcare provider will cover your incisions with bandages. They may also wrap the area with an elastic bandage or compression garment to help minimize swelling and support your mons pubis as it heals.

Your anesthesiologist will stop putting anesthesia into your body to keep you asleep.

You’ll move to a recovery room, where healthcare providers will wait for you to wake up and monitor your overall health.

Most monsplasties are outpatient procedures, so you can go home the same day you have the surgery. You may have to stay at the healthcare facility overnight if you have a monsplasty at the same time as a tummy tuck or liposuction.

Once your healthcare providers determine you no longer need monitoring, they’ll let you go home (discharge you). You must have a family member or friend drive you home and take care of you for at least the first 24 hours after your monsplasty.

Risks / Benefits

What are the advantages of a monsplasty?

There are many advantages to a monsplasty, including:

  • Self-esteem boost. Most people like the results of their monsplasty. They’re happy with how their body looks and how clothes fit.
  • Improved comfort. Peeing and having sex are easier.
  • Improved hygiene. Washing your stomach (abdomen), mons pubis and genitals is easier.
  • Permanence. Your body’s new shape (contour) will be permanent if your weight remains stable.
  • Safety. A monsplasty is a relatively safe procedure with a low risk of complications or side effects.

What are the risks of a monsplasty?

All surgical procedures carry some risk. Some risks of a monsplasty include:

  • Anesthesia risks.
  • Healing problems.
  • Infection.
  • Mass of clotted blood (hematoma) or an accumulation of fluid (seroma).
  • Numbness.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Swelling (edema).
  • Unfavorable scarring.
  • Your mons pubis isn’t symmetrical.
  • Your skin becomes loose again.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time after a monsplasty?

The first several days after a pubic lift are often the most painful. You may feel swollen, bruised and sore, and your incisions may bleed slightly.

After five to seven days, your pain and discomfort should decrease. Some people take either prescribed pain medication or over-the-counter (OTC) acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to manage pain. As always, discuss your allergies and complete medical history with your provider.

After one to two weeks, your swelling should reduce. You may still have some bruising and pain. You should be able to return to light daily activities, including desk work. However, you must avoid strenuous physical activity for at least four to six weeks.

It may take at least eight weeks for your incision to heal completely.

It’s important to remember that your body is unique, so recovery times may vary. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on managing your pain and discomfort throughout your recovery.

When can I go back to work or school?

Depending on your job, you should be able to go back to work or school about two weeks after a monsplasty. If you have a physically demanding job, you may need more time to recover before returning to work.

When can I exercise after a monsplasty?

You should be able to take slow, short walks two to three days after surgery.

After four to six weeks, you should be able to return to regular exercise.

When to Call the Doctor

When should I see my healthcare provider?

Schedule regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider will check your incision and take your stitches out after about a week. If you have deeper sutures, they’ll dissolve on their own.

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any abnormal symptoms after your monsplasty, including shortness of breath (dyspnea), chest pains or an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

Additional Details

Can men get monsplasty?

Anyone can get a monsplasty, including men and people assigned male at birth.

Is a monsplasty painful?

Pain, discomfort and bruising are common side effects of a monsplasty. Prescription or OTC pain relievers help to manage pain and discomfort.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?

  • Am I a good candidate for a monsplasty?
  • Should I get a monsplasty at the same time as a tummy tuck or liposuction?
  • How long do you expect my recovery to be?
  • How will my mons pubis look after I’ve healed?
  • Can I look at before-and-after photos of other patients?
  • What’s the complete list of risks?
  • How should I treat the swelling and pain?
  • When can I start participating in everyday activities and exercises again?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A monsplasty is a relatively safe procedure with the potential to boost your self-confidence and overall quality of life. The results of a monsplasty are often permanent, so long as you maintain a stable weight. However, the procedure won’t flatten your stomach. You may need a tummy tuck, liposuction or other procedures to achieve your desired results. Talk to your healthcare provider about your questions, concerns and goals, and learn more about the outcomes and risks.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/28/2022.

References

  • Alter GJ. Management of the mons pubis and labia majora in the massive weight loss patient. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19825476/) Aesthet Surg J. 2009; 29 (5): 432-442. Accessed 6/28/2022.
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What is a monsplasty? (https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/aesthetic-genital-plastic-surgery/monsplasty) Accessed 6/28/2022.
  • Bloom JM, Van Kouwenberg E, Davenport M, et al. Aesthetic and functional satisfaction after monsplasty in the massive weight loss population. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22942115/) Aesthet Surg J. 2012; 32 (7): 877-885. Accessed 6/28/2022.
  • Bykowski MR, Rubin JP, Gusenoff JA. The Impact of Abdominal Contouring with Monsplasty on Sexual Function and Urogenital Distress in Women Following Massive Weight Loss. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27780812/) Aesthet Surg J. 2017; 37 (1): 63-70. Accessed 6/28/2022.

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