What Is Labiaplasty?
The technical term for labiaplasty is labia reduction and cosmetic enhancement. It refers to a cosmetic genital procedure which reduces the size or in some cases, changes the shape of the lips on the exterior of the woman’s vagina (also known as the labia minora).
When a woman mentions that she’s considering labiaplasty, the first question many people ask is “why?” Here’s the “why” for most. Many females are born with either an irregular-shaped labia or an unusually large one. Others who weren’t born with one of these conditions develop it following childbirth or as the result of aging. For many women, this is a source of embarrassment, especially during sexual intercourse. This can bring on a loss of self-esteem.
But it’s not just the embarrassment. Chronic irritation of the labia can sometimes develop, which results in genuine discomfort during sex, athletics and other physical activity. This is exasperated when the woman wears tight-fitting clothing. So while some people consider those who get a labiaplasty as vain, in most cases, these patients who do not opt for the procedure will experience very real discomfort–both physical and emotional.
Labiaplasty is performed usually in an outpatient surgical facility. It is a short procedure, and it usually takes only one hour. Following the procedure, the patient spends about an hour in the recovery room, she is supervised by a registered nurse.
The procedure is usually done with sedation anesthesia (twilight) or if the patient requests general anesthesia can be used. If it is done under sedation a local injection into the operative site is also done. Discuss ahead of time which approach your doctor advises and also choose the one you prefer.
In recent years some docotors advocate using lasers during the surgery to trim the labia size. However, it is much safer to use conventional surgical methods. Following the surgery, there will be minor discomfort and swelling of the surgery site for a few days, which gradually decreases. It takes about six weeks to be completely healed. In the postsurgery period the patient is treated with pain medication as necessary and antibiotics. Application of ointments and ice is also recommended.
Altho few, as with any surgery, there are some risks associated with labiaplasty surgery. Most commonly, one is concerned with the possibility of developing scarring, bleeding, or infection. These are rare, when performed by top surgeons in approved and liscensed facilities. According to one study, four years after the procedure more than 95 percent of patients were happy with the outcome of this procedure.
What results can be expected? The labia should appear smaller and hidden within the labia majora. The color of the skin should be pink as most dark pigment should be removed at surgery. After a few months, any discomfort associated with wearing tight clothing or sports which was due to enlarged labia is gone.
Some women worry that a labiaplasty may decrease their sexual pleasure. This is not true, since the clitoris which is the female structure most associated with sensory pleasure is not involved or changed in this procedure.