What is a Labiaplasty?
- Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to treat enlarged or asymmetrical labia minora (external folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening).
- It is also called labia minor reduction or labial reduction.
- It may be performed on one or both sides of the labia minora.
- The procedure reduces and reshapes the labia minora by removing the excess and often discolored tissue in order to provide a more symmetrical refined appearance.
- Significant enlargement of the labia minora may be due to genetic or hormonal reasons. It may also develop after injury, sexual intercourse, childbirth and aging.
- Women seek this procedure for functional or aesthetic reasons, or a combination of the two.
- Labiaplasty may be of benefit for women who experience discomfort and chaffing during sexual or sports activities if due to an enlarged labia minora.
How is a Labiaplasty performed?
- The excessive tissue is removed and the remaining tissue is repositioned to create a natural smaller and more aesthetic labia minora.
- Care must be taken to ensure that the exact proper amount if tissue is removed. Excessive tissue removal may result in tissue distortion, tissue dryness, unacceptable appearance or excessive pulling.
When is it the right time to consider a Labiaplasty?
- It is important to ensure that the labia are completely developed prior to considering surgery.
- Performing a labiaplasty prior to complete sexual development may only create the need for additional surgery in the future.
What are some of the long term effects of a Labiaplasty?
- In general, the changes achieved with labial reduction surgery are expected to be permanent.
- However, subsequent alterations in the labia tissues may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or other circumstances not related to labiaplasty surgery.
What can I expect after a Labiaplasty?
- For the first week after surgery, patients may experience slight pink drainage and minimal bleeding along the incisions. A feminine hygiene pad should be worn for comfort.
- Patients may shower the day after surgery.
- During the first week after surgery, it is important to clean the incisions by soaking in a bath tub 2 to 3 times daily.
- The suture line should be covered with an ointment like Aquaphor at all times as this helps with the discomfort and with wound healing.
- When lying in bed, it is helpful to keep the legs bent with a pillow under the knees as this alleviates some of the discomfort. When lying on one side, it is helpful to keep a small pillow between the knees to serve the same purpose.
- Ice compresses may be used for comfort. Ice should not be applied directly to the area; instead, it should be applied through a thin cloth to ensure comfort.
- Sexual intercourse may be resumed 4 to 6 weeks after surgery when it becomes comfortable to do so.
- Jogging, bicycling, swimming, contact sports or any aerobic/non-aerobic activity that places pressure on the surgical area should be avoided for the first 4 to 6 weeks.