Do you feel self conscious about the appearance of your labia and your external genitalia (vulva)?
You may experience sexual dysfunction with chafing and pain (dyspareunia). Riding a bicycle may even be uncomfortable.
Female genital cosmetic surgery, labioplasty, has become quite common in the past ten years and surgery can be remarkably simple with rapid, near painless recovery.
Introduction to Labiaplasty
Labioplasty is a short and simple procedure that can make a huge difference in your self-confidence.
- General or local anaesthesia (I prefer general)
- Incisions made with high magnification for accuracy and control of bleeding
- Careful repair with absorbable stitches
- Rapid return to work and daily activities
- Most healing takes place over 3-4 weeks
A woman’s vulva is a subtle blend of several anatomical structures. The Labia Majora are the thicker external half moon shaped mounds from the pubic mound to the perineum. Within them, and forming the entrance to the vagina, are the labia minora, which join together below the pubis at their front/top apex to join the hood over the clitoris.
Usually the labia minora are slightly exposed beyond the edge of the labia majora, or are just within the boundaries of the labia majora.
Occasionally the labia majora extend well beyond the margins of the labia majora. This redundancy that can cause functional issues and embarrassment.
The excess can be along the entire labial length or may involve localized fullness of a portion of the labia. It may be on both sides or only on one.
The labia are marked for removal of excess with a surgical marking pen. Local anaesthetic is used even though you are asleep. This helps minimize pain post-operatively.
There are several patterns which are used, but I use a simple excision with incisions running along the length of the labia.
Incisions are created with the electro-surgery unit using a micro-dissection needle for precision and I wear magnifying loupes. Precise bleeding control is obtained and the incisions are repaired with fine, absorbable stitches.
After care and recovery
After care is simple. Discharge from the surgery unit is within 1-2 hours.
Ice packs may be helpful for 20 minutes per hour till bedtime.
Sitz baths 3-4x/day are recommended. Epsom salts in warm water is recommended for 15-20 minutes each time. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment (Polysporin, etc.) afterwards.
Incisions will be largely healed within one week.
Return to work may be within a few days.
Light exercise may be resumed in 7 -10 days.
Bicycling and sexual activity should be delayed until one month.
The following are potential risks. In practice problems with this procedure are exceedingly rare:
- Post op bleeding requiring treatment
- Wound breakdown (opening) requiring repair (small open areas will heal spontaneously)
- Functional issues relating to urination, exercise or sex
Labioplasty may have significant functional and psychological benefits. With current technique complications are rare and results very gratifying to both patients and surgeon.