What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty (labial reduction) is a cosmetic surgery procedure related to vaginoplasty. Women with large or awkwardly shaped labia choose to undergo this procedure in order to reduce the size of their labia and make these folds of skin more aesthetically pleasing. Some women need this procedure because their existing labia give them pain and discomfort, especially during sex. Other women want to correct the damage caused by childbirth.
Labiaplasty has been around for about 30 years. In the beginning, mostly women with asymmetrical, “deformed” or exceptionally protruding labia would get the treatment done. Now, women who are unhappy with the appearance of their labia are choosing to get it done.
Labiaplasty does not directly increase sexual satisfaction but it helps by making sex easier and less emotionally fraught in some cases.
Labiaplasty can be carried out on both labia or just one, the inner folds (labia minora) or the outer folds (labia majora). The surgical procedure has been refined over the years and lasers or special tools are now used for a safer and more accurate result. The procedure takes 1-2 hours and during the surgery the vaginal lips are cut and shortened before being stitched up.
Labiaplasty is usually an outpatient procedure meaning that you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. In some cases a local anaesthetic will be used while in other cases a general anaesthetic will be used. If a general anaesthetic is used you may have to stay in the clinic for a few hours after the surgery so the doctors and nurses can monitor your recovery. As vaginoplasty is normally done under general anaesthetic, a combination of vaginoplasty and labiaplasty will also be done under general anaesthetic.
After your labiaplasty you will experience some pain and discomfort but this will subside over the next couple of weeks. You will be able to resume sexual intercourse 4-6 weeks after your surgery. The incisions usually heal well and will not be noticeable after a few months.
Women who have had labiaplasties are generally very pleased with their results, especially if they got it done for functional reasons. Women who underwent labiaplasty for cosmetic reasons are also satisfied with their new look, saying that they feel better about themselves and they are not embarrassed during sex anymore.
About one third of all labiaplasty patients choose the surgery for aesthetic reasons, one third for functional reasons and the remaining third for both aesthetic and functional reasons. As this is a relatively new type of cosmetic surgery, a large number of studies concerning the results of labiaplasty and patient satisfaction have not been carried out yet. In time, we will be seeing more of these but for the moment it is safe to say that women are happy with the results of their labiaplasties.


Talk to your plastic surgeon today to find out if you are a good candidate for labiaplasty.

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