A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure designed to alter the shape and/or size of the labia. This usually means reduction of the labia minora (inner lips), but can also include alterations to the labia majora (outer lips). Labiaplasty procedures are usually performed to alleviate some of the symptoms and concerns from having large labia, such as:
- Pain on sitting, or during sexual intercourse
- Difficulty wearing certain clothes as the labia protrude
- Improve the shape due to significant asymmetry
Many women live with significant discomfort due to large labia, and adopt strategies to alleviate this issue. Through mainstream media in recent times, women now becoming aware of the possibility of having this chronic discomfort alleviated through surgery.
Some women have naturally large labia, while normal labial elongation occurs with age, pregnancy, and subsequent childbirth.
The goal of reducing and reshaping the labia starts with being in good health and fitness before the procedure. Being in shape before the procedure ensures best results and a quicker recovery.
Labiaplasty surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic, and usually takes about an hour. Patients are comfortable enough to go home after the procedure. Local anaesthetic is used during the procedure to ensure comfort when you wake up. The dressings placed will need to remain in place until you are seen post-operatively. You will have a garment that will need to be worn for several weeks after your procedure.
Recovery from a labiaplasty can take a few weeks. Some pain is common, but subsides with a few days. It usually takes a week before returning to work, and another week before considering low impact gym exercises.
There is always swelling that takes place, and this can take several days to subside before it’s comfortable. Some bruising can also occur, but this also subsides after a few days. Returning to sexual activity should be refrained for several weeks until your wounds have healed, swelling reduced, and pain is no longer present.
Specific post-operative instructions will be provided to assist with your healing during the recovery phase.
As with any operative procedure, there are risks involved. The most common complications are minor bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain. The specific risks with breast reduction include the following:
- Change in sensation
- Loss of tissue
- Raised or lumpy scars
Not everyone is a good candidate for a labiaplasty. Dr Perron can discuss your specific circumstances and expectations, and help decide what is best for you.