What It’s Really Like To Get Monsplasty

For those looking to refine the appearance of the mons pubis, monsplasty to remove excess skin and/or fat may be the solution. A plastic surgeon and two patients break down everything you need to know.
Patient Perspective
Written by India Bottomley
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What It’s Really Like To Get MonsplastyAnna Tarazevich/Unsplash

When it comes to vaginal rejuvenation, we’ve talked about vaginoplasty to tighten the vaginal canal, labiaplasty to address the labia majora and/or minora, and even O-Shot to increase pleasure. But what about the mons pubis? While both males and females have a mons pubis, it is more prominent in females — and a variety of factors can impact its fullness.

Sometimes referred to as ‘FUPA’ (a.k.a. Fat Upper Pubic Area), excess skin and fat can occur as a result of weight fluctuations, pregnancy, hormonal changes, or genetics, leading to aesthetic and functional concerns. For those looking to refine the appearance of the mons pubis, monsplasty may be the solution. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Monsplasty?

Also known as a mons pubis reduction or pubic lift, monsplasty can remove excess skin and/or fat for a firmer and more contoured mons pubis (i.e. the area of fatty tissue located directly in front of the pubic bone). “Mons pubis reduction is more common than you may think,” says David Shafer, MD, a double board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City. “There are even acronyms such as FUPA — Fat Upper Pubic Area — to describe the condition.”

As he explains, such patients report “an unsightly or uncomfortable fullness in the pubic area, which is disproportionate to the rest of their body.” That fullness can show through clothes, make wearing tight garments difficult, and, in some cases, interfere with sexual intercourse or urination. “Good candidates for mons pubis reduction are those that are otherwise healthy and in shape but have concerns about their pubic area fullness,” Dr. Shafer notes.

Benefits of Monsplasty

Monsplasty can involve liposuction (to remove fat), surgical excision (to remove skin), or a combination of the two. “The planned procedure depends on the patient's anatomy and expectations from surgery,” Dr. Shafer shares. For patients who are concerned about “localized fullness,” he says liposuction is often enough. If skin laxity is a concern, surgical excision may be necessary.

Because the mons pubis sits just below the lower abdomen, patients may wish to address both areas at once. “If the patient's lower abdomen is also protuberan or if there is a step off or bulge between the lower abdomen and pubis, then a mini-abdominoplasty may be the best option to give the smoothest result,” Dr. Shafer explains.

While tummy tucks and liposuction (back and/or abdominal) are often combined with monsplasty to improve the final result, they are not the only pairings. At his practice, “patients also take the opportunity to get other procedures done while in the operating room – such as breast augmentation or breast reduction,” Dr. Shafer adds.

Monsplasty Procedure

Depending on the technique employed, a monsplasty surgery can last one to two hours. In the case of a lipo-only procedure, tiny incisions are made and the fat is removed via a liposuction cannula. The outpatient procedure takes about an hour. If a surgical excision is required or if a tummy tuck is being performed in tandem, the procedure may be closer to two hours. An incision is made in the hairline of the pubic mound (around where a c-section incision is usually located). Excess skin and fatty tissue is removed before the site is closed with sutures.

In both cases, surgical drains may be placed to help reduce swelling and discomfort. They will be removed a few days later during a follow-up appointment.

Monsplasty Recovery & Results

While the type of anesthesia you receive will depend on your surgeon and preferences, you should plan to have someone help you get home after surgery. The recovery process will largely depend on the type of monsplasty procedure performed. “If treated with liposuction, the patient can expect a few days of downtime but a quick return to normal activities and work,” Dr. Shafer says.

Excision and tummy tuck patients will need to take it easy a bit longer and should anticipate about a week of downtime before heading back to school or work. From there, it’ll be at least a month before a full resumption of normal activities. “Returning to exercise and other strenuous activities can take four to six weeks to allow time for healing,” he explains.

As with any surgery, swelling is one of the most common post-op side effects, and it may cause the pubic area to look even fuller than it did before. But, not to worry, the swelling will significantly subside in the first few weeks and then continue to resolve over three to six months. Incision site scarring should fade over the course of a year. The results of monsplasty are considered permanent (assuming there are no large fluctuations in weight), though the skin will continue to age naturally.

Patient Perspective

Now that you generally know what monsplasty entails, you may be wondering what it’s really like to undergo the procedure. Below, two patients share their experience and offer tips on what to expect before and after treatment.

Joan, 27, New York, NY

Joan had been self conscious about her mons pubis since her late teens, so she decided to undergo monsplasty to improve the contour of the area and her confidence.

The AEDITION: Why did you have a monsplasty?

Joan: I had been unhappy with the appearance of my pubic area for years. I think the insecurity began when I was in my late teens and got worse through college when I put on weight. It reached a point where it was affecting my relationships, but I didn’t know there was any real solution. I had lost weight, I worked out, and I still had the same problem. I ended up googling it when I couldn’t sleep one night and realized that I wasn’t the only one with the problem. Better still, there was a procedure available that could help sort it out once and for all. It seemed pretty minimally invasive and didn’t require me to take weeks off from work, so I arranged a couple of consultations.

The AEDITION: How was your consultation process?

Joan: I had researched a fair bit and seen a lot of before and after patient photos, so I knew that results could vary quite a lot. I was mostly concerned about if I would be a good candidate for the procedure and if the results would be worthwhile. I explained what I hoped to achieve with the surgery, and my surgeon helped to manage my expectations very well. I mainly just wanted to feel more confident in how I looked, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like specifically. My side profile bothered me most, especially during the summer months when I would go to the beach with friends. I felt so self-conscious. My surgeon explained the possibilities but also the limitations of the procedure, and I felt like I knew what I was going into before agreeing to move forward with the procedure.

The AEDITION: What was your recovery like?

Joan: It was my first surgery ever, so I had zero clue what to expect. I was sedated and felt a little groggy afterward, so I spent most of the day sleeping when I got home. The second day, I had some nausea, but it wasn’t bad. I was able to move around pretty easily from there on out. I would get some twinges in my lower stomach area — more than where the incision was — but the pain went away gradually. I didn’t have any discomfort at all after around six weeks post-procedure. It was straightforward enough for me to feel confident that, if I wanted another surgical procedure in the future, I would go ahead without hesitation. The scar has healed very well. It’s now a couple of years on, and the scar is barely noticeable.

The AEDITION: Is there anything you wish you’d known before the procedure?

Joan: I think this is mostly because I hadn’t had surgery before, but I didn’t realize how much help I would need just to function in those first couple of days post-op. I was lucky to have a friend who could help me out and take care of getting food in. I think if anyone’s considering having the procedure, make sure you plan for your recovery properly.

Sienna, 40, Long Island, NY

After having children, Sienna noticed that her mons and lower abdomen had changed. She combined a tummy tuck and monsplasty to address both areas.

The AEDITION: Why did you have a monsplasty?

Sienna: My body changed a lot during my pregnancies, and I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I wanted to take back control, and, for me, that involved having some procedures to make me feel more like myself again. My lower stomach and FUPA bothered me a lot, so I had a tummy tuck and pubic lift combined in one procedure. It was something I took a long time considering, but I came to the decision that I deserved to look after myself and should be able to like what I see in the mirror every day.

The AEDITION: How was your consultation process?

Sienna: I had a friend who told me about her experience — that’s how I learned about the specific procedure I ended up having. She told me (in great detail!) about how the procedure had helped her. In all honesty, I had some big expectations when I first consulted. The surgeon I went to took time to explain how the procedure would be able to help me and also what it couldn’t achieve. I hadn’t seen any before and after photos ahead of that consultation, but she showed me a few from previous patients and explained how my results would be similar or different from each of them.

The AEDITION: What was your recovery like?

Sienna: I have had a couple of other procedures previously, so I had an idea of what to expect. The pain levels with this — keeping in mind I also had a tummy tuck — were bearable. I can’t say it was pleasant for the first few days, but the results outweigh the discomfort. The pain in my mons pubis area was much less than in my stomach, so it’s difficult to tell which part of me was hurting and why. I remember everything feeling quite tight for just under a week or so, and then I became increasingly comfortable with how my body felt as swelling went down and I was able to move around more.

The AEDITION: Is there anything you wish you’d known before the procedure?

Sienna: Cold compresses. In all honesty, they felt like a life-saver the first night after surgery. I cleared my diary for two weeks after the procedure, but I felt well enough after a week to get back to relative normality. The downtime is certainly manageable, which is always helpful to keep in mind as well.

The Takeaway

For patients who have excess skin and/or fat in the pubic area that interferes with their quality of life, monsplasty can remove excess tissue and refine the appearance of the mons pubis via liposuction, surgical excision, or some combination of the two. When paired with a tummy tuck, the surgery can offer additional benefits that address abdominal protrusion. Consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon will ensure you get the best treatment for your aesthetic concerns and goals.

*Patient names have been changed

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INDIA BOTTOMLEYis a contributing writer for AEDIT.

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