Labial Reduction (Labiaplasty)

  • What is a Labiaplasty?
  • How is a Labiaplasty performed?
  • When is it the right time to consider a Labiaplasty?
  • What are some of the long term effects of a Labiaplasty?
  • What can I expect after a Labiaplasty?
  • Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to treat enlarged or asymmetrical labia minora (external folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening).
  • It is also called labia minor reduction or labial reduction.
  • It may be performed on one or both sides of the labia minora.
  • The procedure reduces and reshapes the labia minora by removing the excess and often discolored tissue in order to provide a more symmetrical refined appearance.
  • Significant enlargement of the labia minora may be due to genetic or hormonal reasons. It may also develop after injury, sexual intercourse, childbirth and aging.
  • Women seek this procedure for functional or aesthetic reasons, or a combination of the two.
  • Labiaplasty may be of benefit for women who experience discomfort and chaffing during sexual or sports activities if due to an enlarged labia minora.
  • The excessive tissue is removed and the remaining tissue is repositioned to create a natural smaller and more aesthetic labia minora.
  • Care must be taken to ensure that the exact proper amount if tissue is removed. Excessive tissue removal may result in tissue distortion, tissue dryness, unacceptable appearance or excessive pulling.
  • It is important to ensure that the labia are completely developed prior to considering surgery.
  • Performing a labiaplasty prior to complete sexual development may only create the need for additional surgery in the future.
  • In general, the changes achieved with labial reduction surgery are expected to be permanent.
  • However, subsequent alterations in the labia tissues may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or other circumstances not related to labiaplasty surgery.
  • For the first week after surgery, patients may experience slight pink drainage and minimal bleeding along the incisions. A feminine hygiene pad should be worn for comfort.
  • Patients may shower the day after surgery.
  • During the first week after surgery, it is important to clean the incisions by soaking in a bath tub 2 to 3 times daily.
  • The suture line should be covered with an ointment like Aquaphor at all times as this helps with the discomfort and with wound healing.
  • When lying in bed, it is helpful to keep the legs bent with a pillow under the knees as this alleviates some of the discomfort. When lying on one side, it is helpful to keep a small pillow between the knees to serve the same purpose.
  • Ice compresses may be used for comfort. Ice should not be applied directly to the area; instead, it should be applied through a thin cloth to ensure comfort.
  • Sexual intercourse may be resumed 4 to 6 weeks after surgery when it becomes comfortable to do so.
  • Jogging, bicycling, swimming, contact sports or any aerobic/non-aerobic activity that places pressure on the surgical area should be avoided for the first 4 to 6 weeks.