Labiaplasty, or labia reduction is surgery to the correct and define the appearance of the inner labia, also known as the labia minora.
It is extremely common for women to have concerns about the size and shape of their labia. Labiaplasty can help a lot of women get over the embarrassment and distress they feel, perhaps with a sexual partner, or just to restore confidence.
The size and shape of labia do vary quite widely, but problems can arise when the labia minora are enlarged, uneven or distorted including:
– Lack of sexual confidence due to concern about the size/shape/appearance of the labia
– Getting in the way during intercourse
– Protrusion of labia underneath clothing, such as swimwear, or chafe on everyday underwear
For some women this is a consequence of childbirth, when the labia are stretched and do not revert back. Others are simply born with over-large labia or find that they become enlarged due to irritation.
A Labiaplasty is a relatively simple procedure performed under a general anaesthetic, and takes approximately one hour in theatre.
The procedure involves carefully reducing and/or reshaping the labia minora to give a neater appearance. The labia are not completely removed, as they are necessary in order to protect the delicate internal area. However, enlarged labia are taken back to a normal size and the cosmetic appearance is improved.
You will feel some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, however this usually subsides after 1-2 weeks. You will be given pain relief medication in hospital. The incisions made during the procedure are barely noticeable and usually heal very well within the natural skin folds.
The risks of surgery include infection, scarring, bleeding and deep venous thrombosis. It is also important to reduce the area of excision of the labia minora to not include the clitoral hood or go close to the clitoral hood, as this can affect clitoral sensitivity. It is also important not to take the scar too far down to the lower end of the vagina, known as the fourchette, as this can cause a band of scarring that can affect sexual function.
ARNICA tablets will reduce swelling. They may be bought from a CHEMIST. These should be started a few days before surgery and continued for several days afterwards. The sutures you have are dissolving and do not need removing. Occasionally a small piece of suture may remain and need removing.
Swelling and bruising may be severe. Immediately after surgery there will be occasionally dramatic swelling, which means you may be alarmed. Swelling will decrease.
You must wash the wound area with mild, unscented soap such as Johnstons Baby Soap, and pat the area dry, especially after visiting the lavatory. A small amount of Vaseline can be applied along the suture line for comfort
At your follow up appointment you will be given further advice regarding scar massage.