What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is gaining popularity among a wide span of the female population. The treatment consists of a reduction in the size of the labia minora, or the inner lips of the vulva. Labia enlargement and asymmetry are common conditions among women, particularly of childbearing or post-childbearing age, and can be a source of embarrassment for these women from their late teenage years well into adulthood. There are several causes of labia enlargement and asymmetry, including but not limited to: Pregnancy and childbirth; aging, (similar to the breakdown of collagen that causes wrinkles); hereditary conditions; and other congenital anomalies.

Physical and Psychological Effects

Protruding, or overhanging labia can often be seen through clothing, such as tight jeans or shorts, and may become very noticeable in intimate situations. In both of these contexts, there is a certain stigma attached to women based on their labia size.

Physically, labia enlargement can carry another set of ramifications. Enlarged labia may interfere with the function of the vulva during intercourse or urination, can make personal hygiene difficult to maintain, and can cause physical discomfort due to clothing positioning and the ensuing chafing or pinching when walking or sitting, respectively.

The Solution

Labiaplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure, which means it does not require a hospital stay. There is little discomfort from the surgical incisions, but the area may be tender to the touch while healing. Dissolvable sutures will be used, eliminating the need for suture removal later. The procedure itself, from start to finish, often lasts 1-2 hours and the patient can be on her way. Enlargement recurrence is very rare, which means that one labia rejuvenation procedure will last a lifetime for most patients.

Post-operative restrictions are much the same as any other surgical procedure, including a course of medications to prevent infection. Exercise and other strenuous physical activity is discouraged within the first month to reduce the risk of complications and to decrease healing time. In the case of labiaplasty, an additional restriction on sexual activity, usually to avoid sexual encounters for approximately 6 weeks, also applies.

To find out more about labiaplasty or to make an appointment, click here to contact Dr. Theunissen.