Labioplasty is one of the fastest growing procedures requested by women of all ages and walks of life. This procedure is also referred to as labia minora reduction, inner lip reduction or labia reduction. It may be a delicate topic for some women; however the reality is that more and more women are interested and are not ashamed of asking for this procedure.
Many women are bothered by the excess tissue and appearance of their labia minora. Women may feel very self-conscious about this issue during sexual activity, and may suffer from loss of self-esteem. It is not unusual for this situation to cause pain and discomfort during certain activities, such as cycling or even walking/running.
The bottom line is that aesthetic surgical labial reduction & beautification can greatly improve the aesthetic appearance of abnormally enlarged labia, and improve a woman’s self confidence.
Labiaplasty is the plastic surgical procedure to reduce the size of large or asymmetrical labia minora, which are the flattened folds of skin or “lips” surrounding the entrance to the vagina. Because there is a significant variation in the size or amount of visible tissue in this area, it cannot be said that there is a “normal” amount or size of the labia minora for any woman. This condition may arise through normal developmental processes, or it can appear later in life with aging or due to stretching during childbirth. Age, childbirth, hormones, and sexual intercourse can cause enlarged labia, or it can occur naturally.
Cosmetic surgery can be used to enhance appearance and self-esteem. But it can also be used to enhance function. For some women, having enlarged inner genital lips (labia minora) can be functionally or emotionally bothersome. Local irritation and problems with personal hygiene can interfere with sexual intercourse and cause discomfort during other activities like cycling, walking or sitting. A common complaint is that labia are protruded, which can be very uncomfortable. It is not uncommon for labia to rub on underwear, which can be painful particularly after some time wearing pants. Women in this situation often lack self-confidence in relationships, because their labia “hang down” when they are naked. Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that offers women a solution to these issues.
There are various reasons why women would choose to undergo labiaplasty. The more common include:
- Reducing pain during intercourse.
- Gaining a boost in self-esteem.
- Feeling more confident.
- Reducing emotional and physical discomfort from having enlarged labia.
- Enhancing sexual pleasure.
After labioplasty, the patients often feel as if their lives have been changed. They have the confidence to do little things they hated doing before, such as wearing swim suits in public. A labioplasty procedure is not worth being embarrassed about. The corrective procedure can be performed privately in our office under local anesthesia, and recovery time usually takes less than two weeks.
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape and reduce the external appearance of the labia. It is also designed to reduce the size and exposure of the labia minora so that they are at about the same level as the labia majora fullness on either side. Thus, it can reduce the exposure to irritation. Labiaplasty is not vaginal rejuvenation surgery.
Candidates for Labiaplasty
Candidates for labiaplasty include:
- Women who experience irritation from clothing.
- Women who experience difficulty with the proper fit of clothes.
- Women who have discomfort, such as rubbing of the labia minora, when engaging in sports or physical activities.
- Women who have physical discomfort of these tissues during sexual intercourse.
- Women who find that visible, enlarged labia are a source of embarrassment.
Commonly Asked Questions
How is the procedure performed?
Labioplasty can be performed privately in our office under local anesthesia, usually under sedation. The procedure takes about an hour. The surgery removes a wedge of excess tissue and then brings the remaining tissue back together. The incisions are very well concealed and are repaired with sutures that are absorbable, so that they do not need to be removed. Care is taken to conservatively remove just enough tissue to remove the excess and to retain adequate laxity of stretchable, soft tissue. Dr Concannon and his staff take special consideration to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during surgery. Pain during surgery is typically very well managed, with a combination of topical anesthesia and IV sedation. Understanding that some patients may experience pre-surgery anxiety, Dr. Concannon is agreeable to prescribing an anti-anxiety medication, if necessary, for patients to take about an hour prior to the procedure. Once the surgery is completed, you will relax in our recovery area until you are ready to go home.
How long does recovery take?
Following the procedure one can expect swelling and bruising. Ice bags are helpful, as are loose clothing and adsorbent pads. Unscented baby wipes and a gentle wash bottle rinse are also recommended. Showers, but not tub baths, begin the day after surgery. Prescription pain medicine is always prescribed. Sitting for long periods of time and moving around may be uncomfortable for some during the following week. You can get resume your regular exercise program about two weeks after the surgery, and sexual activity anytime after that.
What are the risks?
Labioplasty is a safe procedure but like all operations, has some risks. Bruising and tenderness will persist for about a week, that and swelling will gradually decrease over about six weeks. Asymmetry is possible and scars may also detract from the result. Nevertheless, labioplasty is a procedure with very high patient satisfaction rate.
Many factors can contribute to your confidence, sexuality, femininity, and overall sense of good health and hygiene. None of these is more personal and private than your genitalia. If labial hypertrophy has become a problem for you; then, after careful consideration, a thorough consultation with Dr. Concannon can help you decide whether labiaplasty may be an appropriate solution for you. Although the majority of patients elect to have the surgery to reduce discomfort, it is almost always considered a “cosmetic” procedure by insurance companies, which do not cover any of the costs of the surgery. The results are permanent; and, as with any surgery, there are risks of unsatisfactory results or complications.
A consultation with Dr. Concannon takes about 30 minutes or more so that he can thoroughly evaluate each patient, determine her needs and desired outcome, explain the procedure, and answer questions. He will also discuss the recovery process and plan for follow-up visits. He is glad to discuss this with your gynecologist, if requested.