For most women, the labia do not pose a problem. However, if the labia are enlarged or odd looking, they may cause significant discomfort or embarrassment. If either of these scenarios applies to you, you may be among the women who are candidates for labiaplasty, a procedure to shorten the labia minora. Contact a skilled labiaplasty surgeon to learn more about this procedure.
Labiaplasty is a procedure performed on an outpatient basis to reduce the size of the labia minora. Often, the labia majora is reduced as well, if both are causing issues with discomfort or tugging. There are two primary methods by which this surgery is typically conducted. With the trim procedure, the extraneous tissue is removed and the area is immediately sewn up. With the wedge procedure, the surgeon removes a pie-shaped piece of tissue, which leaves a more natural looking border. Women who opt for the trim procedure generally have a faster recovery.
The surgery is performed either under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia, with oral sedation. Some women may decide to undergo another type of vaginal rejuvenation procedure at the same time as their labiaplasty. Labiaplasty has a very high satisfaction rate, with more than 90 percent of women saying they were very happy with the results in follow-up surveys.
Women who are self-conscious about the size and appearance of their labia are likely good candidates for labiaplasty. If the labia interfere with an active lifestyle—for instance, by causing discomfort when while riding a bicycle or a horse or during exercise—such women are typically good candidates for labiaplasty as well. The same holds true if a woman’s labia make it difficult for them to insert a tampon.
Furthermore, women for whom enlarged labia interfere with sexual pleasure or make intercourse uncomfortable may be good candidates for labiaplasty. In some cases, overlong labia make walking or sitting uncomfortable due to chafing. While many women choose labiaplasty for cosmetic purposes, for others it is truly a quality of life issue.
Women who are pregnant or nursing are not candidates for labiaplasty, and women who want to have more children should probably wait until after their childbearing is done before undergoing the surgery. Furthermore, women who smoke should not undergo the procedure unless they quit the habit, since smoking can undermine the healing process.
Labiaplasty does take some recovery time, so if a woman cannot take at least a week off from work and another week off from performing strenuous activities, she should postpone a labiaplasty until she does have the time available. It takes about six weeks to fully recover, and during that time a woman must refrain from vaginal intercourse. It can take a few months for all of the swelling from the surgery to dissipate.
A woman who has an active gynecological infection or disease cannot undergo a labiaplasty until she has recovered. If a woman discovers she is menstruating prior to her labiaplasty appointment, she should reschedule the procedure.
If you are a good candidate for labiaplasty and would like to know more about the procedure, call our office today and arrange a consultation. Dr. Edward Jacobson is available to meet in person or remotely from his Greenwich, Connecticut home office.