Labia minora reduction surgery - Labiaplasty

Samir Shureih, MD

Article by
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Labia minora reduction surgery (labiaplasty) is a surgical procedure to reduce excessively large labia. The labia reduction surgery takes about 2 hours and is performed with accurate approximation of the normal labial edges to preserve the normal appearance and sensation of the labia and vaginal opening. Whereas the other technique takes 15-30 minutes and results in a scar line of labial edge. That scar can cause chronic discomfort and disfigurement, and is very difficult to repair.

Therefore the choice of a well qualified experienced surgeon is paramount. The labiaplasty surgery is performed in a fully accredited surgical center. General anesthesia is usually used, but sedation with local anesthesia is possible. The complication rate from labiaplasty is extremely low. However meticulous adherence to post operative instruction is very important in achieving the desired result without complications. Healing occurs in 3-4 weeks, you can resume sexual relations in about 6 weeks.

Labiaplasty is a procedure performed on women who dislike the large size of their labia minora, which may cause embarrassment with a sexual partner or discomfort in tight pants, with sports, or during sexual intercourse. Some women are born with enlarged labia and therefore opt to have labiaplasty; whereas others develop the enlargement with age or from child-birth.

Traditionally, gynecologists and plastic surgeons perform labia minora reduction (labia reduction or labiaplasty) by excising the excess labia tissue without leaving a scar on the front edge of the labia, thus preserving the normal pigmentation and, contour of the labia. Direct excision leaves a straight line scar on the free edge of the labia causing unsightly appearance and possible deformity.

Labia Reduction
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the labia minora (inner lips) to achieve a more natural appearance.

Why has a Labial Reduction?
• Reduce the size of the abnormally enlarged labia minora.
• Relieve the discomfort caused by enlarged labia.
• Restore a more natural appearance of the labia and improve self-image and self-confidence.
• Rejuvenate, and restore youthful appearance.

Abnormally enlarged labia minora can be a source of physical discomfort and psychological trauma for many women. These women are commonly too embarrassed to seek help to restore a normal appearance to their genitalia. Enlargement of the labia minora can be caused by a variety of factors, including pregnancy and childbirth, and natural development

The operation to reduce the labia minora is normally carried out under general anesthetic, and involves removing the excess tissue in a Z-Plasty technique to preserve the natural appearance and reduce scaring.

A careful assessment will be required and the optimum treatment to achieve the best result will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery there are risks and the potential for complications. The most common risks are the same risks seen in most surgery and include bleeding, infection and scarring. Scarring can be painful. Patients are given antibiotics prior to the procedure, and after the procedure to reduce the chances of infection, if an infection occurs post-operatively, it is minimal in nature and taken care of with a short course of oral antibiotics. Bleeding is also a rare risk, however can occur with any surgery or could occur post-operatively if strenuous activity or intercourse is begun too early. Problems with healing such as incision separation, under or overcorrection, scarring and/or pain following the procedure can occur.

Risks can occur as with any surgery and may require further surgery or revision. The risk of any of these problems is minimal, however you should be aware of the possibility of risks and the need for revision surgery and the fact that YOU are responsible for All the cost of these surgeries.

A careful assessment will be required and the optimum treatment to achieve the best result will be discussed at the time of your Consultation.

Remember surgery will not change you or solve any life crises, but should boost your self-confidence and enjoyment of life.

Cosmetic Surgery of the Vaginal Area
Other procedures such as reduction of labia majora, clitoral hooding can also be performed to achieve an optimal cosmetic result. Cosmetic surgery on the pubic area can also be done in cases where the pubic region is droopy with age and multiple child births.