What are the benefits of Labiaplasty surgery?
For many patients, having large, irregular or asymmetrical labia minora (inner lips) can cause embarrassment, discomfort and impact self-confidence, particularly in relationships.
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that can reduce the size of the labia, improve their shape and produce a more attractive and neater look. It can also correct asymmetry when present and is a commonly performed and relatively straightforward procedure.
How is a Labiaplasty performed?
The procedure is performed under a short general anaesthetic as a day case and takes under an hour. Initially we mark out the area of the labia that need adjusting to produce the desired result. The unwanted tissue is removed and the edges of the remaining labia tissue are sutured with absorbable sutures. Long-acting local anaesthetic is added to minimise discomfort during recovery, and antibiotic ointment and a light dressing applied.
Post-op, the area is dressed with surgical pads which are changed with toileting. Antibiotic ointment is applied twice daily and oral antibiotics taken for a week.
There is a mild amount of swelling and bruising post-op but this settles quickly over the first two weeks. The stitches are dissolvable and drop out after two weeks approximately. Exercise and sexual activity should be avoided for four to six weeks.
Scars are well hidden and sensation is usually preserved.
What is discussed at the consultation?
In clinic we have a full discussion of the patient’s concerns regarding their labia shape and size and to determine what adjustments they would like to create the desired labia shape. We also discuss the nature of the surgery and recovery process.
Smoking and nicotine must be avoided for at least a month before and after surgery to maintain adequate blood supply to the labial tissues for safe healing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should also be avoided for two weeks before and after surgery. Arnica can be used for a week before and two weeks after surgery to minimise swelling.
What is a Clitoral Hood Reduction?
A small number of patients may feel they have an excess of or redundant skin on the front aspect of the vulval area that overlies the clitoris. In this small group of patients a clitoral hood reduction may also be performed additionally to improve the appearance of this area.
When is a Labia Majora Reduction performed?
A small group of patients may feel that the labia majora (outer lips), which are outside the labia minora, are overly large in size. Some of this group of patients may choose to have a Labia Majora Reduction, either alone or in addition to Labiaplasty, to improve the contours of this area. The incisions are hidden in the skin creases between the labia minora and labia majora and are not visible. The recovery process is similar to Labiaplasty.
Anaesthetic: Short General Anaesthetic
Duration: Up to 1 hour
Stay: Day case
Time off work and social activities: 5-7 days
Post-op: Sutures drop out after 14 days
Topical and oral antibiotics, regular changes of surgical pads until healed at 2
Exercise and sexual activity avoided for 4-6 weeks
Examples of pre- and post-operative results can be viewed at consultation.