Several very practical cosmetic and health concerns lead women to consider labiaplasty to reduce the size and improve the symmetry of their labial tissue. Labiaplasty, also known as labia reduction or labia surgery, reduces the protrusion of the labia and corrects asymmetry caused by aging or genetic factors, or more commonly, vaginal childbirth.
Since labia size and shape are as individual as eye color, there is a considerable variety to what is considered normal. However, when a woman’s labia, especially the labia minora (inner tissues of the female genitalia), are significantly elongated, the excess tissue can cause discomfort. Not only can they get in the way of everyday functions such as physical activities or the wearing of tight clothing, but they can also be subject to recurring hygiene issues and infections.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty surgery reduces the size of the labia minora (inner tissues of the female genitalia), making it flush with the labia majora (outer part of the female genitalia). During the labiaplasty procedure, your surgeon trims off the excess tissue. With this process, the lips of the labia minora can be tucked neatly within the labia majora. Depending on the patient’s surgical needs, the procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
The first step in planning for the possibility of labiaplasty is to schedule an in-person consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in Virginia. Now is the time to ask any questions you might have and to share your expectations and goals. Your surgeon will review your medical history and discuss any potential complications based on your health. You’ll also get to decide on any surgical techniques and preferences you might have for your results.
Your Candidacy for Labiaplasty
Any woman who is suffering from an enlarged or elongated labia minora is considered a good candidate for labiaplasty. Most women undergo labia reduction because they wish to eliminate physical discomfort. However, this surgery can also correct aesthetic concerns. Therefore, if you don’t like the appearance of your labia, you should feel free to consider the option of surgical correction.
Labiaplasty candidates must be:
- In good overall health: Because post-surgical infection is a particular concern following labiaplasty, it’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle before and after your surgery.
- Nonsmokers: Smoking interferes with the body’s ability to heal and increases a patient’s risk of complications, so if you smoke, you should quit for two weeks before and after your surgery.
During labiaplasty, small incisions are made in the labia minora, and then the excess tissue is carefully removed either by trimming the labia or removing a small wedge. Next, the labia minora are carefully positioned to rest entirely within the labia majora before sutures are placed to facilitate healing. While this procedure is challenging due to the fragile nature of the tissues involved, it’s not a lengthy surgery. Most labiaplasty procedures take about one hour to complete.
After surgery, a friend or family member will be able to drive you home and help you with your recovery steps for the first few days. You will have been provided with instructions to follow and should make sure you’re prepared ahead of time with tasks like filling prescriptions, setting up a recovery area, and arranging childcare and your work schedule.
It’s normal to experience some discomfort after your surgery. You will be given prescription pain medication and antibiotics to ensure that your recovery is both safe and comfortable. During recovery, you are advised to abstain from exercise for two weeks and sexual activity for six weeks. You should be able to return to work after two or three days but keep in mind that full recovery takes longer.
The pain is usually worst during the first few days but should gradually subside. Some swelling is to be expected during this time, and ice packs may be used to manage any swelling. Urinating may be a little uncomfortable, but using warm water on the area can lessen irritation and ease discomfort. It’s important to avoid sex during the recovery period.
To reduce your recovery time and help yourself get back on your feet faster, try the following tips:
- Take your prescribed medication as needed and follow up with over counter pain medications
- Use cold compresses to get some relief
- Eat healthy and hydrate
- Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Lubricate to keep the sutures moist
- Skip bathing, which could lead to infection or disturb your sutures
- Walk around to reduce swelling and the chance of blood clots
- Change your dressings and keep an eye out for signs of infection
- Wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid chafing and pressure
- Avoid constipation with a laxative to prevent straining
Take the Next Step with the Best of Burg 2021 Plastic Surgeons in Fredericksburg, Virginia
In May 2021, Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg was honored to be chosen as the Best Plastic Surgery Practice in the Best of Burg 2021 contest in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Drs. Heppe, Bautista, and Aflaki would like to thank everyone that voted!
Interested in learning more about your labiaplasty? Discover your best surgery options with a consultation at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Your doctor will perform a complete evaluation during your in-person consultation and customize a treatment plan based on your goals. Our team is committed to providing each patient with an optimal outcome with natural-looking results. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.