LABIOPLASTY SURGERY (labia reduction surgery)

Labial reduction surgery also known as labioplasty is a cosmetic procedure that involves reducing the length or overall size of the labia minora of the vagina.  Although it is normal for women to have varying sizes of labia minora, also referred to as the "inner lips," the labia are so long on some women that it leads to embarrassment or sexual dissatisfaction.  Some women find it difficult to wear bathing suits without experiencing discomfort or they experience embarrassment when their labia protrude so far that they become easily noticeable to the onlooker.

Labioplasty reduces the labia minora so that the inner "lips" don't protrude from the outer "lips" to produce a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Understanding Labial Reduction surgery

The primary goal of labial reduction is to reduce the size of the labia by removing excess skin.  In order to accomplish this goal, the surgeon may trim the edges of the labia or he or she may cut out a "V" shaped wedge of the labia so it can be sewn into a natural looking shape and position.

Labioplasty may be carried out using a laser, scalpel, or Iris scissors. The specific method used will depend on the surgeon.

Either way, the entire procedure takes about one to two hours to complete and some patients must stay overnight in the hospital afterwards.  Some patients, however, may be able to go home on the same day as the surgery. The surgery is often carried out under local anaesthetic and / or sedation.

After the procedure is complete, most women have to wear a panty liner and loose undergarments for about two weeks in order to reduce discomfort and to capture any blood that is lost.  In addition, it is necessary to avoid sexual activity for at least six weeks following the surgery.

Risks Associated with Labial Reduction Surgery

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with labial reduction surgery.  Some of the risks that are associated with any type of surgery include:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Swelling

Although scarring is a possible side effect of labial reduction surgery, most patients find the scarring to be virtually undetectable after healing has occurred.  In addition, there are potential side effects that are specifically associated with labial reduction surgery.  Some of these include:

  • Feeling unsatisfied with the results, which may occur due to unrealistic expectations or because too much or too little of the labial minora is removed
  • Pain during urination, which should subside after the incisions have healed
  • Loss of sensation in the labia
  • Separation of the incision

Since there are potential complications associated with labial reduction surgery, it is essential to understand all of the risks before undergoing the procedure.  For those women who are uncomfortable or embarrassed by the size of their labia, however, the surgery can be highly effective at boosting their confidence and level of comfort.

When combined with vaginoplasty (vagina tightening), this surgery is often referred to in the media as the "designer vagina".

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