A labiaplasty is the surgical procedure that involves the reduction and recontouring of the labia minora, also known as the inner lips of the vulva. It is largely misunderstood by the general public, many who consider it to be the ultimate frivolous cosmetic procedure.
As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, there are women who want to look better and the object of their dissatisfaction can be any body part no matter how small or hidden. A labiaplasty can directly and successfully address their concerns. However, there are many women who have real and significant problems that are directly related to substantially enlarged labia minora. For them, a labiaplasty can be considered to be a vital reconstructive procedure that will alleviate their issues and improve their quality of life.
- Could You Benefit from a Labia Minora Reduction (Labiaplasty)?
- Who Should be Performing Your Labiaplasty?
- Labiaplasty Procedure
- Recovery from a Labiaplasty
Could You Benefit from a Labia Minora Reduction (Labiaplasty)?
Though most people either don’t really think about it or can’t imagine it, abnormally enlarged labia can create real and substantial issues of both a physical and mental nature. Oversized labia minora can be painfully compressed, irritated and stretched during a diversity of physical activities, most notably horseback riding, bicycle riding and sex. There can be significant skin breakdown along with intermittent or chronic infections and other hygienic issues.
Women with enlarged labia minora may have lowered self-esteem and often experience embarrassment when seen in public as they feel that their anatomy is inferior and unattractive. This variant can also adversely impact their sex lives and desire for intimacy, largely from an emotional angle but also to a lesser extent from a physical one as they often are “in the way”. Tight, form fitting clothes can make their oversized labia quite evident as a bulge. Some women even have problems keeping them from protruding out of their bathing suits.
Who Should be Performing Your Labiaplasty?
Many cosmetic surgery procedures will often attract individuals who are unqualified, poorly trained, of marginal morals and/or who are in it solely for the money and labiaplasty is no exception. Many of these individuals will engage in slick, alluring marketing including websites dedicated to this procedure that promote them as the sole, well-trained experts in the field. Like many other things, “buyer beware”!
You may think that an obstetricians/gynecologist would be the sensible choice for performing this procedure. After all, they are working in this area much of the time and there are some who may be eminently qualified and technically proficient but this see. Unfortunately, most do not have the combination of training, precise technique and understanding of the implications of wound healing and scarring which can be of utmost importance in an area that may see a lot of action. A painful or restrictive scar in this area can significantly impede, doom or make sexual activity quite unpleasant.
In general, a plastic surgeon experienced in labiaplasty surgery can offer you more refined procedures that help minimize the risk of unwanted complications in an area that is …well, vital and irreplaceable. Combined with precise surgical techniques and wound healing expertise, a plastic surgeon can provide you with the opportunity to obtain the best possible result.
The Labiaplasty Procedure
There are several different techniques that are used for labia minora reduction and sculpting with some providing better results on average than others. These can be classified into direct excision (amputation), flap and wedge resections and deepithelialization reduction.
The direct excision is the simplest, easiest and most direct to perform and involves cutting off the excess labia. It is, in essence, somewhat of an amputation. Though one of the concerns about this procedure involves issues with color along the edges, a far greater problem is the potential to develop a firm, restrictive and occasionally painful scar right along the edge where the suture line was. This could result in experiencing pain or discomfort during a variety of activities including with sex.
Flap and wedge resections and deepithelialization reduction techniques require more surgical planning and refined techniques by the plastic surgeon – for your benefit. They preserve the free edge of the labia therefore completely avoiding the risk of a painful, restrictive scar here yet allow for the desired reduction.
A labiaplasty is most often performed by plastic surgeons either under general anesthesia or with sedation (twilight sleep) to provide you with maximum comfort for a very sensitive area though using just local anesthesia is also an option. The surgery can be done either alone or along with other cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
Recovery from a Labiaplasty
Your labia will be moderately swollen and there will be soreness to some extent for several days that is usually effective addressed by oral pain medications. An oral antibiotic is taken following surgery and a topical antibiotic ointment is applied for several days. You can shower the next day.
If you work or go to school, you may be able to return within several days. It is recommended to avoid working out at around two and a half weeks, wearing very tight clothes for around four weeks and vaginal intercourse for approximately six weeks.
For more information about labiaplasty surgery, you can contact our office at 480-451-3000.