Although women rarely talk about it, it is not uncommon for women to feel insecure or embarrassed about their labia. Women may occasionally have an enlargement of the inner lips of the vagina, otherwise known as the labia minora. This can occasionally cause them discomfort or be the source of embarrassment.
Labiaplasty, also known as labial reduction, is a cosmetic procedure that is performed to reduce the size of the labia minora. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Lee’s labiaplasty procedure is a simple and quick method that can be easily performed under a local anaesthetic (freezing alone). From cosmetic to functional concerns, it can significantly help women improve their self-esteem and feel more comfortable with their partners.
You may be a candidate for labiaplasty if you:
Are bothered by the appearance of your labia: size, protrusion, discoloration, or length.
Have difficulty with intercourse/physical activity: pain, pulling, irritation, discomfort
Have injury or stretching out of the labia caused by vaginal birth
Have discomfort wearing tight clothes
Have discomfort with sexual intercourse due to a large labia
Before the Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will determine if you are a good candidate for a labiaplasty and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. Any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.
Many women opt for a labia reduction that results in the inner labia being smaller than the outer labia. This is frequently called the “normal” size.
The Excess labia is marked out and frozen with local anaesthetic. The excess is next trimmed so that it no longer sticks out beyond the outer labia, creating a smooth and youthful contour.
Dissolvable stitches are used and Dr. Lee will do everything possible to ensure that scarring is minimal and hidden. Most labiaplasty scars heal well, fade with time, and are eventually barely perceptible.
The procedure lasts about 45 minutes and most patients are able to return home soon afterwards.
After the Surgery
Most patients experience some pain, swelling, and sensitivity in the groin area for the first week after surgery. Swelling and bruising is worse in the first week and usually settles significantly over the first 3 weeks. Any residual swelling can take three months or more to resolve. Stitches all dissolve.
Sexual intercourse should be avoided for the first 6 weeks after the surgery
Dr. Lee will typically see you within one week after the surgery. At this time he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year.
Risks and Complications of Labia Reduction
Generally, all types of surgical procedures, either minor or major, have some risks associated with them. For the labia reduction surgery, the risks include bleeding, infection, the opening of the wounds, unfavorable scarring, and asymmetry. However, such risks can be avoided when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Lee.