Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that decreases the labia minora’s length.
Labiaplasty can help to alleviate the discomfort associated with a long labia minora that is tugging and twisting as a patient moves. This procedure is considered to be a type of vaginal rejuvenation.
Purpose of Labiaplasty
When the labia minora is too long, women can experience irritation and discomfort during intercourse and exercise. This issue can also result in self-consciousness. This procedure will reduce the length of the labia minora and ensure that both sides are as symmetrical as possible.
The goal is to reduce the length so that the minora do not fall below the labia majora. This may provide a more aesthetic look and greater comfort.
The preparation for the procedure will be discussed with the patient before having the surgery. It is imperative that all instructions are adhered to so that the patient is ready for the procedure. Patients who take blood thinning medications may need to stop using them temporarily before the surgery. Stopping fluid intake and eating the night before surgery might also be required.
What to Expect
Once the patient arrives at the surgical center, they will change into a gown and a nurse will get them prepared for surgery. The next step is administering the anesthesia. The doctor may use one of several anesthesia types, such as oral sedation, local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The best option typically depends on the expected extent of the surgery.
Once the patient is anesthetized, the extra labia minora tissue is trimmed and removed. The surgeon then sews up the area. This is called the trim procedure. Another common choice is the wedge procedure. With this type, the surgeon removes a pie-shaped section of tissue from the labia minora. If necessary, excess clitoral hood tissue can also be removed to provide a more symmetrical and aesthetic look.
In most cases, absorbable stitches are used for this procedure.
Risks and Recovery
Most patients can go home the same day. It is generally recommended that women take about a week off of work so that they can take it easy. Applying ice to the area and taking any pain medications that the surgeon recommends helps to keep women comfortable during the acute recovery phase.
Within four to six weeks, women can usually start using tampons again for their menstrual period. Ultimately, swelling may persist for up to six months. The trim procedure typically takes less time to heal than the wedge procedure.
There are possible risks that women should know about before having this surgery. These may include:
- Over-resection of labia tissue
- Chronic vaginal opening dryness
- Scarring near the opening of the vagina
Before having a labiaplasty, it is also important for patients to have realistic expectations regarding this surgery.