Which Has a Better Recovery: Labiaplasty Wedge or the Trim Method?

Is healing quicker for the trim method?

Doctor Answers 11

Trim or wedge--which heals best, fastest, and with least problems?

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If you think about it, what you're really asking is if a sideways cut heals better than a lengthwise cut. Assuming both suture lines are of equal length, in the same tissue area, and subject to the same stresses and environmental issues (warm, wet, and bacteria-rich with a fair amount of motion), there should be no difference in healing. This is in fact what we see.

Your anatomy and the surgical skill and experience of your surgeon are much more important in helping you both decide what is best to achieve your optimal result. Please do not try to choose a surgeon on the basis of the technique s/he advocates, as experienced labiaplasty surgeons use a number of techniques tailored (pun intended) to the individual needs of our patients' anatomy and goals.

I'd say the best recovery occurs with the most compliant patient, regardless of technique! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Labiaplasty options

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Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years.  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.  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.  In my experience, the "Trim" method is more accurate and predictable in achieving these results.  Additionally the "Wedge" method leaves more of a noticeable scar vertically oriented up the middle of the labia.  Finally, 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 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.  Best of Luck...RAS

Ryan A. Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Healing after labiaplasty

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While both techniques have similar healing times, I recommend the modified wedge technique. The main thing after surgery is to keep the area clean and avoid any tension or friction along the incisions. I recommend avoiding intercourse for 6-8 weeks to allow the incisions to heal. I perform the modified wedge technique for reducing the labia minora, which gives a more natural appearance and better scar location. With this technique, the incisions are nearly imperceptible when healed, and the transition in color and texture from skin to mucosa remains natural-looking. In contrast, in the trim method, you have a more noticable scar, with a contrast in color and texture on either side of the incision. The trim techniqe is also more likely to result in a painful scar. If you don't have time to allow for healing, you are better off postponing the surgery, rather than taking a chance and having to deal with potential problems that would result in even longer healing times,  Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Better recovery: wedge or trim

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As the inventor and medical author of the wedge technique, I have extensive experience in this procedure spanning 18 years.  I am obviously prejudiced because I developed this technique to eliminate the disadvantages of the trim method.  The wedge technique has scars internally and on the outside of the labia whereas the trim has a incision along the length of the labium which is much more contact with bandages and clothes. The scars of the wedge are almost invisible with natural labia edges.  Symmetry is also easier to achieve with the wedge technique.  Most of the darkly pigmented labial tissue is removed with the wedge excision.  Most women return to sedate work with the wedge technique after 3-4 days, exercise in 3-4 weeks, and have intercourse in 6 weeks.   

Gary J. Alter, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Trim or wedge labiaplasty and healing

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When done well , healing can be comparable

Swelling after #Labiaplasty is usually present for several weeks. . It’s possible that swelling can persist for two or three months Firmness of tissue can remain for 4=6 months.
Postoperative care will usually consist of sitz baths or soaking the area in warm soapy water starting approximately 2 days after a surgery. The sutures will dissolve over the course of several weeks. This will in part depend upon the #Labiaplasty technique used, the amount of brusing and they way in which your body heals.
Ice can help reduce swelling. Arnica and Bromelain may help. Direct massage may be useful

Patients return to most normal activities immediately after surgery with the exception of activities that will create direct pressure on the #vaginalregion such as certain exercise equipment and #sexualactivity. It will be necessary to refrain from these forms of physical activity, including sex, for approximately 4-6 weeks.
Generally, patients are able to walk comfortably within a few days and can return to work within a week.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Most Doctors prefer the Wedge Approach

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I believe most physicians prefer the wedge approach for the labia minora. Both can heal quite well. It sometimes depends upon how bad the problem is. For the best results, choose your plastic surgeon well and rely upon their evaluation. 

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Recovery after Wedge vs. Trim Method

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No difference in recovery between trim and wedge labiaplasty techniques has been documented.  Generally, healing after labiaplasty is uncomplicated and minimally interferes with many daily activities.  Return to most types of work is within a day or two, with pads, hygenic measures, and analgesics.  Friction and trauma to the perineum must be avoided for several weeks, until activities can be resumed without discomfort.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Labia minora reduction results?

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I think both techniques of labia minora reduction surgery have similar recovery periods.

In general I ask that a responsible adult transport the patient home. Bed rest is requested for 2 days with ice on the area during that time. Patients may resume light activity and “desk job” after 3 days but should avoid strenuous activity / sports for at least 3 weeks. Sexual intercourse may be resumed carefully after 4 weeks. I will want to see the patient for a post-operative visit 4-7 days after surgery and then again in a month (if possible).

I hope this helps.

Which labiaplasty method leads to faster healing?

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In both labiaplasty techniques the surgical suture line has to heal. One does not heal faster than the other. I personally recommend that my patients (I do the wedge technique) should abstain from penile-vaginal intercourse for about 4-6 weeks. At this time the healing of the tisssues is strong enough to withstand sexual intercourse and the woman will not experience pain.

Labiaplasty: Wedge or Trim?

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I generally feel that the wedge method is superior from nearly every aspect.  It heals better and faster and is less noticeable postoperatively.  Either method is, of course, an acceptable technique and both are used widely.  My preference, though, is normally for the wedge.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

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.