A labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora, the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening. Some women prefer having a labiaplasty because they don’t like the appearance of their labia, or because the labia cause discomfort to them. It’s normal for a woman to have noticeable skin folds around her vaginal opening and, in most cases, this shouldn’t cause any problems.
The surgical procedure takes about one to two hours. A labiaplasty can be carried out under general anesthetic or a local anesthetic with sedation. The procedure involves reduction or reshaping the vaginal lips. The not needed tissue is cut away with a scalpel or possibly with a laser, and the slack edge may be stitched up with fine, dissolvable stitches. Some patients are able to go home the same day.
You may have to to take some time off work for recovery. It may take a couple of months for the skin to heal properly.
After Surgery Care
- Keep the area clean to avoid any infection
- Wear loose cotton underwear and clothes and avoid rubbing
- Avoid sex for a few weeks
- Don’t use tampons for a few weeks
It’s usually after a labiaplasty to get soreness, bruising and swelling for up to two weeks. Peeing and sitting throughout this period would probably be uncomfortable, although you’d be given painkillers to help with this.
A labiaplasty may occasionally result in:
- Scarring of tissue
- Reduced sensitivity of the genitals
Any surgical procedure also carries a small risk of:
- Getting a blood clot in a vein
- An allergic reaction to the anesthetic
Your surgeon should explain the possibility of these risks and complications, and how they would be treated if they occur. Sometimes, patients don’t get the desired effect and they go for another operation.