Labiaplasty may help you feel more comfortable with yourself


Labioplasty or Labiaplasty- Reduction of labia minora (vaginal lips)

Many Women are troubled by excessive tissue or skin in the pubic area, specifically to the labia minora, or inner lips. This condition, whether inherited or the result of childbirth, may cause discomfort, irritation and a rash when riding a bike and performing other exercise. Drying of the skin can cause chafing and tenderness or pain when inserting tampons or having sexual intercourse. The prominence of the labia may cause women to feel self-conscious and unwilling to wear a bathing suit or snug shorts due to labia visibility through their clothing.

Labioplasty reduces the labia minora in size so that they are flush (even) with or hidden within the outer lips or labia majora. I use the same procedure designed by Dr. Gary Alter, as seen on Doctor 90210. This procedure, which takes an hour or two, is done using local or more often general anesthesia, depending on patient preference, right at our office facility. There is minimal discomfort after the procedure. Absorbable sutures are used to eliminate the need for suture removal.

Our labiaplasty patients have reported that pretreatment discomfort causing by labia size and skin chaffing is eliminated with the procedure. The discomfort they have experienced with sexual intercourse also disappears.  This technique of labiaplasty somewhat tightens the opening of the vagina or introitus, which some women also find desirable.  In addition to labia minora reduction, our procedure removes and tightens the anterior skin of the clitoral hood.

Who is a candidate?
You are bothered by large labia minora (the more delicate inner lips) that protrude beneath your labia majora (larger lips). Grossly enlarged labia can interfere with sexual intercourse, are frequently irritated by daily activities and can be a hygiene problem because of perpetual wetness or dryness. Some women are self-conscous that the prominent skin is obvious while wearing a bathing suit, ballerina tights, or other form-fitting clothing. Some women complain that their large long labia make intercourse uncomfortable or difficult. This is because the friction of intercourse causes the labia to be drawn into the vagina or to become irritated, swollen and tender for days thereafter. Unfortunately, many patients who have had this discomfort are too embarrassed to inquire about this personal surgery.

Intended results
Trimming the labia minora so that they are even with the outer larger labia majora eliminates the functional and aesthetic problems. The Alter technique does not cause numbness or loss of sensation to the area, and the scars are nearly invisible. The satisfaction rate in our postoperative patient surveys is over 90%. After treatment and recuperation women are able to resume their activities without further embarrassment or skin irritation.  What was a cause for concern and consternation becomes a non-issue.

Procedure Description
The procedure is done in our JCAHO accredited office surgery center for your convenience, comfort and privacy using local or general anesthesia, depending on your request. There is no need to go to the hospital. Using a technique developed by Dr. Alter, the long labia minora (inner lips) are carefully trimmed and contoured to be even with the outer labia. The lateral clitoral hood skin is trimmed and tightened. Uneven labia minora can be made more symmetrical. Absorbable sutures are placed and antibiotic ointment is applied. There is no need for suture removal, since they fall out on their own.

Recuperation and healing
You must take oral antibiotics and antiviral agent as prescribed and continue local wound care applying antibiotic ointment daily until healed. Most activities can be resumed within a week or two. Sexual intercourse or inserting tampons or other objects into the vagina must be avoided for about two weeks. Any discomfort is well controlled with oral medication.

Other options
Some women are also bothered by excessive fatty tissue in the larger labia majora, or pubic mound (lower abdomen). The excessive fat can be easily removed with liposuction to contour the groin area.

The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for you can be determined only at the time of your consultation with Dr. Yarinsky or another board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in doing labiaplasty. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual. Most women are very happy with the result of labioplasty, but no specific results can be guaranteed.

Article by
Albany Plastic Surgeon