Labiaplasty, all referred to as labioplasty or labial reshaping, is a procedure to address both the functional and aesthetic concerns you may have about the labia – the vaginal lips. These may have developed naturally to be overly large, or might have changed during pregnancy, for example. Furthermore, whilst a degree of asymmetry between right and left sides is normal, in some circumstances, the amount of asymmetry can be significant which can also be corrected with labiaplasty surgery. The procedure of labial reduction is one that usually reduces the size of the labia and addresses any asymmetry to give a more aesthetic appearance.
What does it involve?
Labiaplasty surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic as an “office-based” procedure. Sometimes it is combined with other surgical procedures, which take place under a general anaesthetic in hospital. The labia are reshaped and reduced, and dissolvable stitches are used to close the wounds.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of labial reduction surgery are both functional (women frequently report better comfort after surgery) and aesthetic, resulting in a “neater” looking appearance. Many women also experience an improvement in their sex life following surgery.
How long does the surgery take?
Labiaplasty surgery takes around 45-minutes to perform.
What is the recovery period?
Some discomfort after surgery is to be expected, and some spotting will inevitably occur. It is important to take things gently for the first 2-weeks after surgery and keep the area clean with daily showers to minimise the risk of post-operative bleeding and infection respectively. Pads are likely to be needed for around a month after surgery. Sexual intercourse should be avoided for 6-weeks after surgery.
How long before daily activities may be resumed?
After 10-14 days most women are able to return to work, as long as heavy physical activity is not required (in which case around 4-weeks may be needed to fully recover). Sports and strenuous activity should be delayed until 4-weeks after surgery.
What are the success rates?
The success rates of labiaplasty are high and patients report a high satisfaction rate with the procedure.
What are the possible complications?
As for all surgical procedures, complications can occur with labiaplasty surgery. Wound infection and delayed wound healing are complications that may happen as a result of both the area of the body the surgery is taking place on, as well as movement happening near the area of surgery.
Soemtimes women may complain of clitoral sensitivity due to exposure; occasionally tight scarring can occur; and bleeding may occur after surgery – this is usually just onto the pad, but occasionally a collection of blood requiring surgical drainage can develop.