A Common Place Surgery to Enhance Labia
Learn More About Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty is also termed labial reduction or labial rejuvenation and is a simple cosmetic procedure to reduce or enhance the size of the inner labia or to improve the overall appearance of the labia. Although it is normal to have asymmetrical labia and most women do have one labia that is larger than the other, some women have over sized labia that interfere with or impede their daily activities. Other women may consider labiaplasty to enhance the overall appearance of the labia, including adding volume to the labia.
Recent advancement in plastic surgery and societal recognition of labial irregularities has made labial surgical interventions on of the fastest growing plastic surgeries in the United States. 2016 data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) demonstrates a 30% increase in labiaplasty 2006.
The techniques that are currently used to perform labiaplasty are much less invasive and provide superior appearance post-surgery than in previous years. Many women who choose to have a labiaplasty will combine the surgery with other additional plastic surgery procedures.
Women who are considering a labiaplasty to correct oversized labia or to enhance the overall appearance of their labia may experience the following challenges:
- Decrease in labia volume, thin labia or wrinkled labia. Due to age or weight loss, some women experience desiccated labia.
- Pain or discomfort when exercising. Women with oversized labia often report pain or discomfort when exercising. This is primarily due to the chafing, rubbing or pinching of the labia during exercise or physical activity including riding a bicycle, riding a horse, and swimming.
- Pinching or pulling of the labia during sex may cause pain or discomfort.
- An inability to wear certain clothing including dresses, skirts and some pants (jeans).
- Interfere with sexual relationships. Some women report the size or appearance of their labia are unsightly and negatively affect the intimacy and relationships with their sexual partner.
- Hygiene. Women with oversized labia struggle with maintaining labial and vaginal hygiene and cleanliness.
Is Labiaplasty Right For You?
A common place surgery
The ideal candidate for labiaplasty, labial reduction, or labial rejuvenation:
- Women who feel their labia is too large, too long, too thin or asymmetric in shape.
- Women who have discomfort during sexual relations with their partner and anxiety about their labia appearance
- Women who have irritation, or pain during exercise and physical activities.
- Individuals without co-morbidities or other factors that may impede healing post- surgery.
- Individuals who do not smoke.
Labiaplasty usually takes about thirty minutes to one hour and is performed while you are under local anesthetic. An overnight stay is not required and you are able to leave after the procedure. There are generally two types of techniques used for labiaplasty:
Fat Transfer: This procedure is generally for women who have thin or wrinkled labia. Fat is transferred from other areas of your body to the labia adding volume and plump.
The Wedge: This procedure is generally used for women with oversized labia. Many women who choose a labiaplasty have an area of the labia that is much larger than the other. Using an incision, a small wedge or triangle of tissue can be cut from the larger labia and attached using sutures to the smaller labia.
The Trim: This is generally used for women who have two oversized labia, discolored labia or for women who choose labiaplasty for cosmetic reasons. This method uses incisions along the entire edge of the labia to trim excess labia and enhance the overall shape and appearance as well as even asymmetrical labia.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each method comes with advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Craft will present and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two methods of labiaplasty with you and together you will choose the method most beneficial.
Fat Transfer: The main advantage of the fat transfer is the procedure only takes about two hours and women are able to return to normal activities within two days. Only very small incisions from the transfer site requiring healing.
The Wedge: The main advantages of the wedge are a lack of visible scar. Given that it does retain the original edges, it is the more natural in appearance of the two methods. This method also has a quicker and less painful recovery period. This method does not remove any discolored labia, and this method can be more susceptible to post-surgical healing disruptions.
The Trim: The trim is advantageous for women with more extensive enhancement or restoration needed. The trim also removes discoloured labia tissue. The trim can be used to modify length and symmetricity. The main disadvantage is there is a visible scar post-procedure.
Advantages & Disadvantages
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The sutures used in the procedure are dissolvable. Healing can take up to 6 weeks. During this time you must maintain hygienic routines as instructed by your surgeon. Your surgeon may instruct you to avoid tight fitting clothing on your lower body for a few weeks. Your surgeon may also prescribe an antibiotic cream to be applied on the incision. You will also need to abstain from sex for two months. Your surgeon will give you a physical activity schedule for your recovery.
Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to relieve any pain caused by the procedure. Your surgeon will give you instructions for follow- up appointments as necessary.
- Enhanced overall appearance of the labia and vagina.
- Improved self-confidence and body image.
- Relief from pain and discomfort during sex and exercise.
- Able to wear clothing as desired.
- Heightened intimacy and relationships.
How do I know if my labia are too big or too small?
Answer: There is no correct or “normal” presentation of labia. Just like other body parts – your nose, your breasts, your fingers – the size and shape differs depending on the women. Some women compare themselves and the size of their labia to other women. This is not an appropriate or accurate representation of “normal” sized labia. Long or thick labia may be considered normal or acceptable by one woman while another may prefer to trim the excess tissue. The important factor in considering the regularity of labia size is to identify if the size interferes with daily life or routine and causes any pain during sex or exercise. If your labia interferes with your daily life or you experience labia pain, you may want to consider labiaplasty to improve and enhance your quality of life.
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