What is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a procedure to reshape the labia minora, or the inner folds of skin around the vaginal opening. More colloquially, the labia minora is called the inner or smaller “lips,” while the labia majora is considered the outer “lips” of the vagina. The goal of labiaplasty is to reduce the size of the labia minora so it does not protrude beyond the labia majora. The procedure can address both physical and cosmetic concerns associated with enlarged labia.
Reasons for labiaplasty?
Reasons for enlarged labia minora include childbirth, aging, and genetics. Excess labial skin can twist and turn, causing pain and irritation. This can become especially bothersome during certain activities that increase pressure or friction such as exercise, running, bicycle riding, and sexual activity.
Functional reasons for labiaplasty:
- Discomfort with exercise
- Difficulty with hygiene
- Frequent urinary tract infections due to trouble cleaning the area
- Pain with sexual intercourse
Aesthetic reasons for labiaplasty:
- Inability to wear tight-fitting clothes such as yoga pants and bikini bottoms without revealing a “camel toe”
- Embarrassment with intimate contact or sexual intercourse
- Correction of asymmetry (labial lips of different shapes or sizes)
- Restoration of a more youthful look due to childbirth or aging
How is labiaplasty performed?
Labiaplasty can be performed under general anesthesia (asleep in an operating room) or under local anesthesia (awake in the office), depending on your comfort level. The procedure generally takes an hour, and patients go home the same day. The process involves cleaning the area, numbing it with local anesthetic, trimming away the excess tissue, and suturing it together. Awake patients are quite comfortable after the initial numbing and can spend the time listening to music or relaxing.
What is the recovery process?
Most patients have minimal pain after surgery. Rather, women commonly describe soreness and swelling. It is recommended to take at least one week off of work for a comfortable recovery. Patients are also asked to refrain from strenuous physical activity and sexual intercourse for at least 4 weeks to ensure optimal healing.
Want to know more?
Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Cassie Nghiem by calling (202) 742-3999 or filling out the form on the right.