Labiaplasty

A labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora – the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening. ... Some women want a labiaplasty because they do not like the look of their labia. But it's completely normal to have noticeable skin folds around the opening of your vagina.

Reasons for a labiaplasty

There are a host of reasons females have enlarged labia, including childbirth, aging, sexual activity and genetics. Females choose to have surgery for several reasons. First, there are several functional benefits when electing for a labiaplasty. Many females who suffer from an enlarged labia experience difficulty with exercise, hygiene, urinary tract infections, sexual activity and other physical activity.

Procedures

Trim procedure

It is the original technique and is most natural to perform. It is also the most widely used technique used by surgeons. In this procedure, the excess part of labia minora is removed and sutured so that it is symmetrical with the labia majora.

Wedge procedure

In this procedure, a partial thickness wedge is removed from the thickest part of the labia minora. The submucosa (layer tissue beneath a mucous membrane) must be left intact by removing only a partial thickness. This procedure gives the vagina a natural look after the surgery as well, preserving the wrinkled edges.

There are several other techniques for reducing the labia minora, and all these techniques have certain advantages and disadvantages. If you are considering a labiaplasty, the key to ensure appropriate outcomes is to make sure you are going to a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in this procedure.

Prepare 

Labiaplasty is an outpatient surgery. The procedure can be performed within an hour, either individually or with other cosmetic surgery. It can be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the treatment plan discussed with your plastic surgeon.

Recovering from a labiaplasty

Most patients take a week off from work, during which they can reduce swelling and pain by icing with a cold pack sandwiched between the patient's underpants and an elastic garment, like Spanx. This can be done "twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off." The patient can also lie with her bottom elevated to reduce swelling.

Patients can resume wearing tampons or having intercourse after four to six weeks. Trim labiaplasty generally allows for a quicker recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is labiaplasty performed?

Labiaplasty is performed to decrease the size of the labia minora (the inner folds of the skin on either side of the vaginal opening). The goal is for the labia minora not to extend past the labia majora (the outer folds of skin on either side of the vaginal opening).

What causes a woman to have enlarged labia?

Women may have enlarged labia due to aging, sexual activity, childbirth or simply genetic reasons.

How long does labiaplasty take?

Labiaplasty takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to perform.

Does labiaplasty hurt?

General or local anesthesia is used to prevent any pain or discomfort during surgery.

Does labiaplasty leave visible scars?

When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, labiaplasty does not leave visible scarring. The scars from the incision should be concealed within the natural creases of the skin.