What is labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a procedure whereby the excessive protruding part of the labia minora (inner lip of the vulva) is reduced. It should not be performed before 18 years of age because the labia continue to develop after puberty and into early adulthood.
Why do women have labiaplasty procedure?
Many women choose to have a labiaplasty procedure because they feel that their inner lips (Labia minora) are large and protrude excessively beyond their outer lips (Labia Majora). This can make them feel self-conscious and reduce their confidence, it can even make intimate relations difficult. In addition, there are often physical problems with excessively large labia causing pain, discomfort, or catching, in certain clothing, during exercise or during intercourse. This can profoundly affect everyday life from the way they dress, their activities and their relationships.
What should I do if I feel my labia are large?
Before you decide on having any surgery, it is important to understand that it is perfectly normal for there to be differences in the shape and appearance of labia between different women.
Also, the labia go through significant changes with age, puberty, pregnancy and childbirth. It differs in shape, size and how symmetrical both sides can be. So, there is significant variation in what is considered a normal or perfect labia minora. If you still feel that they are large, the first thing to do is get advice.
Who can I ask for advice?
If you are thinking about a labiaplasty procedure, it is best to get advice from your GP or a qualified Surgeon registered with General Medical Council and on the Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery. Also, check National Plastic Surgery Societies like The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPRAS) to see if the surgeon is fully registered.
What should I ask the surgeon during consultation?
During the consultation, the surgeon will listen to your exact concerns and explain how they can be addressed. Make sure you explain to the surgeon exactly how it affects you and what your expectations are. And then ask:
- What does the procedure involve?
- What are the pros and cons of the procedure?
- What are the specific risks involved with the procedure?
- What is the recovery period?
- What are their qualifications and experience of this specific procedure?
- How many of these have they performed?
- What happens if you get a complication?
What does the procedure involve at The Beauty Gurus?
This is a very common procedure at The Beauty Gurus and we have extensive experience of the management of this condition.
Labiaplasty procedures can be performed under a local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. In our practice most patients elect for a local anaesthetic, though both are available.
Depending on your exact concern and examination findings – you might be suitable for one of the two techniques of performing a labiaplasty.
The Trim Technique:
This is the most commonly performed procedure it involves trimming the excess labia that is protruding beyond the outer lips (Labia Majora). The advantage of this technique is it addresses any excess from below the clitoris to the whole extent of the labia.
The Wedge Technique:
This technique is useful if there is an excess of a specific part of the labia which can be excised as a wedge.
The operation (using either technique) usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes.
The surgeon marks the excess labia minora protruding beyond your outer lips and if you are having it done under local anaesthetic, will show you in a mirror exactly what is being removed to ensure you are happy. Local anaesthetic is then injected and the excess labia minora is removed.
At the end of the procedure – the edge of the labia is stitched with dissolvable stitches (which means, no stitches to come out), Vaseline is applied and we recommend you bring a sanitary towel with you to line your underwear with.
The surgery is performed as a day case procedure which means you are able to go home the same day and more or less straight away, if done under local anaesthetic.
Recovery after the procedure:
There is no significant restriction in terms of mobility after the operation. It is normal to notice bruising and swelling for a few days after the operation. It usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks for the swelling to get better.
We advise the following precautions to help with the healing and a speedy recovery
- Keep the area clean
- Take paracetamol regularly for the first 24 hours and as required after that.
- Wash after going to the toilet and re-apply the vaseline
- For 2 weeks, apply Vaseline four times a day and after passing urine.
- Wear a pad in your underwear for 2 weeks to avoid staining from the Vaseline.
- Avoid Sex for 6 weeks to aid with healing
- You can start gentle exercises after 3 weeks
Risks of the procedure:
Labiaplasty is a relatively straight forward procedure.
It is important to understand that although rare – complications can happen as with any operation. These include
General risks of –
- Chest infection including the risk of contracting COVID – 19
- Deep vein thrombosis (bloods clots happening in legs) – Extremely rare with this procedure.
- Pulmonary embolism (The clots migrating to your lungs) – Extremely rare with this procedure.
Specific risks related to the procedure are:
- Bleeding and infection
- Bruising and swelling
- A change in sensitivity of the area
- Obvious scars (rarely it is feasible for these scars to become raised)
- Possible wound breakdown
- Rare possibility of pain on intercourse.
What to do if you have problems
We at The Beauty Gurus work extremely hard to ensure complete patient satisfaction with all the treatments we offer. If you have any concerns at all – Please do get in touch with us and we will be there to help.
Prices will be discussed during our initial discussions.