What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, also known as labia reduction or vaginal rejuvenation, reshapes the external appearance of the genitalia for both cosmetic reasons and to treat any functional impairment. The procedure often increases hygiene and symmetry of the labia, leading to increased comfort and confidence for patients.
The Labiaplasty / Vaginal rejuvenation procedure
On surgery day, labiaplasty patients will receive a mild sedative followed by general anesthesia.
The surgeon will make an incision on the labia major or minor and cut away the excess tissue, suturing the wound afterward. The surgeon then applies an anesthetic solution over the labia. The operation typically lasts one hour, and after about an hour or two of rest, patients are permitted to go home. Patients should arrange for someone to drive them home.
There are five different ways to conduct labiaplasty surgery.
- Edge Resection: In this procedure, the doctor surgically removes excess skin from the edges of the labia minora.
- Central Wedge Resection: This method involves the cutting and removing of wedged tissue from the thickest segment of the labia minus. This technique preserves the natural wrinkles of the labia minora but has a greater margin of error than some other labiaplasty techniques.
- De-epithelialization: This technique involves cutting the surface tissue of the labia minus. The surgeon cuts around the middle and back part of the labia tissues with either a scalpel or a laser beam. This technique maintains the wrinkles and sensations of the labia but may increase the width of the labium.
- Labiaplasty with Clitoral Unhooding: In this technique, the clitoral hood gets resected. The doctor sutures the hood in a V pattern and shapes the skin to form a Y shape, uncovering the clitoral hood also tightening the labia tissues.
- Laser Labiaplasty: This technique combines de-epithelialization and the use of laser beams instead of a scalpel. The only disadvantage to this technique is that the laser may remove too much skin in the process.
A patient can return to work in as quickly as four days after labiaplasty – the simpler the procedure, the shorter the recovery time. Strenuous work should be avoided for at least a month, and intercourse should be avoided for six weeks following surgery.
On the first day post-op, the patient should stay in bed and arrange for a caretaker to look after them. During the recovery period, the surgeon must check up periodically to see how the wound recovers and if any further revision is required. If the patient menstruates during her recovery time, she must not wear tampons. Restrictive clothing or thong underwear should also be avoided during recovery. Post-op swelling usually lasts between one and four months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ideal candidates for labiaplasty feel discomfort, pain, irritation or embarrassment from their genitalia and must not have any STDs. Women who experience changes after child birth or major weight loss sometimes seek out a labiaplasty for reconstructive purposes. The patient must be in good health and be a nonsmoker or willing to stop for at least three weeks before the operation. Patients of any age can get this surgery done, but teenagers will require their parents’ consent. The patient must not be menstruating on the day of surgery.