A labiaplasty is an elective surgical procedure that is designed to reduce the size of or reshape the labia minora, improving the overall appearance of the area. The labia minora are the two small folds of skin that extend backward on each side of the opening into the vagina. They can be found inside the labia majora which are the larger lips that cover the entire vaginal area.
Why would someone want a labiaplasty?
The various elements of the vagina are all entirely unique to each individual woman. What is normal to you may be entirely unusual for someone else, and there is no ‘right’ way for the area to look. Nevertheless, some people feel that a very ‘tidy’ and symmetrical appearance is the most attractive and if they have any features that mean that their vaginal area looks different, they may want to seek surgical assistance to address it. Some of the main issues that someone might experience with the inner vaginal lips include:
Prominent inner lips. This is where the labia minora are longer than the majora, causing them to extend below them and be visible. The extent to which they protrude could be a little or significant.
Asymmetrical inner lips. This is where one side of the labia minora is longer than the other and may extend beyond the labia majora.
Visible inner lips. This doesn’t occur because the labia minora are too long, but because the outer folds naturally sit or pull outwards towards either side, meaning that they can be seen from the top to the bottom of your outer lips.
If you are interested in a labiaplasty, your surgeon will undertake a physical assessment of the area to ascertain your concerns and determine if a labiaplasty is the best course of action to address them.
What is involved in a labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is a simple, straightforward surgery that can either be carried out under local anesthetic with sedation to keep you calm and comfortable, or a general anesthetic. If you require general anesthetic, you will need to have your risks for this assessed before you can undergo the procedure.
Once you are suitably anesthetized, your surgeon will access the labia minora and make the cosmetic changes that are required to create improved symmetry and ensure that the folds are tucked neatly into the labia majora. This is done using a scalpel, removing any hanging or excess skin. Any wounds are closed using sutures that will dissolve once the area has healed. If you have had your procedure using general anesthetic, you will be moved into recovery and given time to come around from the anesthetic before you can go home.
As you might expect, some swelling and discomfort is to be expected following the procedure, and you may be given prescription pain relief if you require it. However, you may be able to manage perfectly well with over-the-counter relief. You will also be given specific advice for caring for the area to ensure that you minimize the risk of any post-surgical complications. However, you can expect to need to schedule several days off of work to begin your recovery, and you will be asked to abstain from vaginal sexual intercourse for up to four weeks.
If you have any further questions about what is involved in a labiaplasty, or to schedule your confidential consultation to discuss this procedure with our discreet team, please contact our plastic surgery clinic.