Labia Reduction Surgery (Labiaplasty)

By editor
March 13, 2009

Excessive or uneven development of a woman's labia minora (the "inner lips" of the female genitalia) can be a great source of embarrassment, functional hygiene problems and even discomfort in some women.

Enlarged or hypertrophic labia can result in local irritation, problems of personal hygiene during menses or after bowel movements, interference with sexual intercourse, and discomfort during cycling, walking, or sitting. In addition, excessively large labia minora or an uneven development between the two sides can cause significant embarrassment.

As our plastic surgical techniques to correct these problems have improved over time, aesthetic surgery of the female genitalia has become an increasingly common procedure performed by plastic surgeons, plastic surgeons such as Dr. Wanzel.

Labium minora reduction (or "labiaplasty") has been most commonly performed by simple and straight amputation of the protuberant segment and oversewing the edge. This technique may still benefit some patients, especially those with very large labia or those with a pronounced asymmetry between the two sides.

The other possible option for small to moderate labia reductions or those with a discrete "tongue" of tissue excess involves removing a central wedge of protuberant tissue (like a "piece of pie"). This results in a barely visible and short horizontal scar and does not interfere with the delicate transition from inner vaginal mucosa to outer labial skin.

This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis (i.e., day surgery) and is most commonly performed under a local anaesthetic (although the option for a general anaesthetic is available). It commonly takes less than an hour and the recovery from this surgery to regular activities is within a few days (but one must refrain from sexual intercourse for at least six weeks).

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Body Surgery, Labia Reduction (Labiaplasty)