All cosmetic surgery is personal, but there may be nothing more personal than a labiaplasty. Instinctively, people tend to wonder why any woman would voluntarily elect to have surgery on her labia. But for a woman with an abnormally long labia who has suffered physical or emotional distress, it makes complete sense.
A 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.
Some women may feel self-conscious, viewing their inner labia as abnormally long, which causes emotional or psychological distress during intimacy. These women undergo a labiaplasty to reduce the size of the labia. In other cases, women may choose to undergo a labiaplasty to alleviate symptoms that can arise from increased labia size. These symptoms can include pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, painful interference with exercise, and the difficulty of finding clothing that doesn’t showcase the embarrassing “camel toe”. This procedure also increases hygiene and symmetry.
Since the labium varies in size and texture, each doctor must determine the ideal amount of labia reduction. This procedure can be conducted in five different ways depending on the area that requires fine tuning. The consultation is your time to get to know your potential surgeon & fully express your goals for a labiaplasty, as well as any fears or concerns you may have. Your mia Aesthetics surgeon will examine you, evaluate your health & readiness for surgery, and determine which technique of labiaplasty is best for you. We recommend doing your research before coming in for your consultation and being ready with questions. We believe an educated patient is the best kind of patient.
Besides have the aforementioned symptoms of discomfort, pain, irritation and embarrassment, the ideal labiaplasty candidate must not have any STDs. Women who experience changes after child birth or major weight loss sometimes seek out a labiaplasty. The patient must be in good health and be a nonsmoker. If they smoke, they must stop for at least three weeks before the operation. Patients of any age can get this surgery done, but teenagers need their parents’ consent for this type of operation. The patient must not be menstruating on the day of surgery. For this operation, a patient needs a clean bill of health. They must carefully wash the area that will be treated. Before undergoing surgery, the patient must stop taking aspirin or any other medication that may cause bleeding.
On surgery day, the patient will get a mild sedative, followed by local or general anesthesia. Which kind of anesthesia gets used is a question that can be discussed as early as the first consultation.
Usually, the operation lasts one hour, and the doctor makes an incision in the labia major or minor and cuts away the excess tissue, suturing the wound afterwards. The surgeon then applies an anesthetic solution over the labia. After an hour or two of rest, you can go home, but should arrange to have someone drive you.
A patient can return to work in as quickly as four days. 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. On the first day post-op, the patient should not get out of bed and must have someone to take care of her. During the recovery period, the surgeon must check up periodically to see how the wound recovers. Your doctor also may determine if you’ll need further revision. If the patient has her period during her recovery time, she must not wear tampons. Restrictive clothing or thong underwear is also off-limits. Swelling usually lasts for 1 to 4 months.
How long does Labia Reduction last?
Labiaplasty usually lasts for a lifetime. Childbirth does not undo the surgery. As a matter of fact, labiaplasty tends to make it easier to give birth.
How do I find out if I even need a labiaplasty?
Some women seek a labiaplasty because they feel self-conscious about the size of their outer lips. They may also not like how their inner lips stick out of underwear or feel discomfort during intercourse or doing common physical activities like bike riding. Others simply hate the way it looks or suffer embarrassment during intimacy. If you fall within any of these scenarios, you may be a candidate for a labiaplasty. In the end, it all depends on you and your preferences.
Can labiaplasty be performed along with vaginoplasty?
Many women prefer to perform both procedures together. Surgeons can both reduce the labia sizes and perform a vaginal tightening procedure. However, it’s up to the patient to decide whether she wants these procedures performed together or separately.
After childbirth, my doctor sewed my labia tissues together. Can a labiaplasty help me?
That’s actually not a medical mistake. Sometimes during childbirth, the labia tissues get damaged and end up fusing together during healing. It is rare, and the good news is a plastic surgeon can easily correct the problem by creating an incision between both labias. The result is a smaller, more separated labia. You won’t need general anesthesia for this procedure and may feel mild discomfort for a few days afterwards.
What happens if I have intercourse before the six week recovery period is over?
Depending on the technique your surgeon uses, you may have intercourse after three weeks. If your surgeon forbids having intercourse for six weeks, follow the mandate. At worst, the sutures may open, causing a lot of bleeding. Intercourse may feel particularly painful during the initial recovery period.
Can you tell me the pros and cons of different methods?
Of course. This is why we especially encourage labiaplasty candidates to read about the different techniques surgeons use. Every technique has its pros and cons, and not every technique is ideal for every woman. That’s why we encourage you to do your research and collaborate with your surgeon – who is your expert at hand – to know what will work best for your body.
What are the different labiaplasty techniques?
In this procedure, the doctor surgically removes excess skin from the edges of the labia minora. Sometimes, the surgeon uses a clamp across the area that needs to be treated. The clamp stops blood flow to the area and allows the surgeon to then suture the wound. This technique allows for complete control of the labia edges.
The linear wound may also be used to mold the contours of the tissues around the clitoral hood. This technique causes loss of wrinkles of the labia minora’s free edges. Without the wrinkles, the labia minora looks unnaturally perfect. It also may break a few labia nerves and expose the hidden pink, labia tissues.
Central Wedge Resection:
This method involves the cutting and removing of the thickest wedged tissue from the thickest segment of the labia minus. This technique preserves the natural wrinkles of the labia minora. When used with a Z pasty technique, it produces a more refined surgical scar. This technique may numb the labia nerves. It also has a greater margin of error. The surgeon may either remove too much or not enough labia wedges.
This technique requires the cutting of the surface tissue of the labia minus. The surgeon cuts around the middle and back part of the labia tissues. This cut can be done with either a scalpel or a laser beam. This technique maintains the wrinkles and sensations. However, the width of the labium might increase. Should it occur, the patient may require a second operation in order to achieve full reduction.
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. The uncovering of the hood also tightens the labia tissues.
This technique combines de-epithelialization with lasers. Instead of using a scalpel, this technique uses laser beams. The only disadvantage comes about when the laser removes far too much labium epidermis. This is why surgical experience counts.