There is a trend to have less prominent labia, but this is a matter of choice and there are no medical reasons to do so other than improving your appearance down there. Candidates for a Labiaplasty procedure are women who are concerned about the appearance of their labia or experience discomfort due to exceptionally large or long labia of either the inner our outer lips. Labia unevenness can result in discomfort with intimate contact, chronic rubbing, as well as psychological discomfort, which leads to the inability to wear certain types of tight clothing. Most women live with these symptoms, and actually are not even aware that a certain surgical procedure exists to help to correct this problem and restore their femininity.
What would be the best way for me to get rid of the size of my labia?
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Doctor Answers 14
What's the best way to reduce the size of my labia?
Thank you for writing in with your question. Depending on your anatomy and desires, there are several labia reduction options available. There are two main types of procedures: the edge-reducing or traditional trimming method and the different wedges which preserve the natural edge but shorten the length. There are a few different wedge procedures (central, inferior, posterior,) but any that cut the labia in a horizontal fashion should be avoided due to scarring and the impact on the sensitive labial tissue. The traditional edge-reducing procedures remove the thicker, darker, protruding labial edges and most women want them to not stick out beyond the outer hair-covered labia majora. The wedges remove a piece of the inner labia but keep the natural edge which reduces the size but does not change the color or texture of the edges. Often with larger labia, there are extra folds of skin around the clitoral hood and this may require a hood reduction in addition, to achieve the best aesthetic results. For more information on labiaplasty, please visit the link below.
Be sure to do your homework to find the best and most experienced cosmetic-plastic gynecologist, uro-gynecologist or plastic surgeon and ask to see lots of before and after pictures, discuss how they address post-op complications when they occur and find out about post-op care and follow-up. Ask if they have patients you can speak with about their surgical experience and results. Also ask if they know more than one technique. Remember that routine Ob/GYNs are not trained in labia reduction and most do not have the technical training to do the best cosmetic job.
In terms of the procedure itself, in experienced hands risks and complications are very low, but they do exist. Scarring, hematoma, chronic pain, altered sensation, adhesions and unsatisfactory aesthetic results can and do occur. Edge separation and hole formation can occur with the wedges. Infection and bleeding risks are very small with these procedures, and healing is quick, by 4-6 weeks.
I hope this information is helpful and best of luck in achieving your desires.
Troy R. Hailparn, MD, FACOG
Cosmetic Gynecology Center of San Antonio
Do a labiaplasty
Most women want the most aesthetically beautiful genital area they can have, thus I created my technique of doing labiaplasty called the True Labiaplasty. I recently presented my technique at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.
There are many types of labiaplasty procedures. I personally prefer my method of doing labiaplasty procedures using a modified posterior wedge technique. It can give you very good symmetry of the labia and it excises excess tissue around the clitoris (i.e. prepuce and clitoral hood) when needed.
It looks the best aesthetically, and postoperatively patients experience less pain, in my experience. In addition, many patients have more satisfying sex since the sensitive thin delicate labial edges are left intact. You can learn more on the link below. Details are on my website on the link below. Your concerns are exactly the reason why I developed my technique. Good luck.
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Options for labia reduction
Without a photograph it is impossible to comment on your situation. However, the most common way to reduce the size of the labia minora is a labiaplasty. The clitoral hood can also be reduced if there is extra tissue there. There are non-invasive methods such as ThermiVA but that would be for a mild excess of tissue. Please visit a board certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you and give you your options. Best wishes!
A labiaplasty must be performed by a surgeon with experience. One of the two most common techniques is the central wedge technique, which I invented in 1995 and published in the plastic surgery textbooks. It is also known as the "V" or wedge technique. Gynecologists and most plastic surgeons perform a labioplasty very differently. They essentially trim the labia minora (inner vaginal lips) and leave a long suture line instead of the normal labial edge. Their technique is the same whether a scalpel or a laser is used. In contrast, the central wedge removes triangles of tissue and bring the normal edges together. Thus, the normal labial edges, normal color, and normal anatomy are preserved, but the darkest labial tissue is usually removed. If you have extra tissue on your clitoral hood, it can be reduced it at the same time. No matter the technique, an inexperienced or unskilled surgeon can lead to a high rate of complications, chronic scar discomfort, labial deformities, and further surgery.
Gary J. Alter, M.D.
Beverly Hills, CA - Manhattan, NY
A labiaplasty procedure is the most effective way to reduce the size of the labia. You did not specify labia majora or minora, however there are procedures for both, with the labia minora reduction being the most common. You did not include a photo so it is difficult to give you specific advice. My recommendation is to seek a consultation from a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced with labiaplasty procedures. Best wishes!
Labia reduction options
Keep in mind that a physical exam is first always necessary before recommending any surgery. Although photos would be very helpful, your concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction and experiences a major boost in (sexual) self-confidence and pleasure thereafter. In a multi-center peer reviewed study I was involved in back in 2009, 98% of labiaplasty patients were satisfied with their results and had an improved sexual experience post-operatively.
Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips) but not infrequently trimming or tucking of the labia majora (outer/thicker lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years. Most commonly it is done under light sedation (aka twighlight sleep) with local anesthesia, in which case the patient should feel no pain during the operation. Whether the surgery is done using a laser, scalpel, or scissors does not really matter but what does matter is "symmetry". Symmetry is the most important aspect to the final aesthetic result. Most women, just like yourself, prefer to have as much of the darker pigmented edges removed as possible. Also, it's not how much tissue is removed but how much is left remaining because a certain amount is necessary to maintain proper form and function - typically ~10 mm or so of the dry part of the labia. To achieve these three most important elements, I have found that the "Trim Method" satisfies best. It is extremely important to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in this operation (does at least 1 - 2 per week). It may cost you a bit more but it is this type of result you will want to live with for the rest of your life. Typical (all inclusive) fee at my office/surgery center is $4500.
Although there is no guarantee, women frequently do seek clitoral hood reduction (Hoodectomy) to improve exposure of the clitoris and hence better stimulation during sexual activity. By removing some of the excess &/or redundant skin concealing the clitoris, it becomes more readily exposed to sexual stimulation and hence a heightened sexual experience/orgasm is possible. Sometimes I recommend adding hoodectomy to labiaplasty to better harmonize the aesthetic outcome. Again, the key is seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or gynecologist who performs this procedure regularly (>2-3 x/month) so that just the right amount of tissue is removed and just the right amount remains such that the clitoris is not constantly exposed and rubbing on clothing, etc... Typical fee for a hoodectomy is ~$3000 but reduced to about half that price if done along with a labiaplasty.
Now for recovery, because the labia tissue is so robust with blood supply it has an amazing ability to heal relatively quickly. Most patients are sore for 4-5 days before things start to get a lot better from there. Some patients can resume work before this time depending upon their occupation. No exercise for two weeks, no baths/jacuzzi or swimming for 3 weeks, and no sexual activity for typically 4 weeks. My patients are given an oral pain medication such as Vicodin or Percocet but icing the area for the first 48 hours and applying some custom made take-home topical local anesthetic cream seems to work the best. Glad to help.
How to choose the surgeon to do your labiaplasty
If the size doesn't BOTHER you, don't do anything. If they truly BOTHER you, then very carefully & thoroughly DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE and research all the surgeons in areas that you can drive of fly to and find the best & most experienced to do your reduction. Look for at least 25 before & after photos on their site. Don't do it under NHS. Absorb carefully all the "botch jobs" you see on this site from women who just let their "general gyno" do the work. This is a very sensitive and sexual and important area of your body!! Your first surgery is the ONLY time you have to get it "...just right." Experience & specialization wins the day! The "Basic Information" article attached in the Weblink will help you get started in your search.
Michael P Goodman, MD
Davis, CA, USA
cosmetic labiaplasty is surgery performed to make the labia smaller. To best determine the surgery for you an in person consultation is necessary. Make sure to seek a consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic gynecologist.
there areninner and outer labia: labia minora and majora respectively. Each can be reduced with the appropriate procedure, a labiaplasty and/or majoraplasty respectively.
The most important plan is to find a doctor you trust to have an evaluation done. Schedule a consultation either skype or in person depending on your research. Looking on Realself is the perfect first step.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.