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What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty, also known as Labia Reduction or Labial Reduction, is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the labia and improve the appearance of the external genitalia. The labia are the folds of skin surrounding the vulva.
Labiaplasty is carried out to reduce pain and discomfort, in cases after childbirth, or as a cosmetic surgery choice.
How is Labiaplasty carried out?
The most common Labiaplasty procedures are:
- Amputation: The original method of carrying out a labiaplasty is direct amputation of the required sections followed by suturing. Disadvantages to this procedure include the risk of disfiguration by losing the natural shape of the genitalia, nerve damage, and changes in color.
- Central Wedge Resection: This more modern procedure is carried out by removing a wedge of tissue from the center of the labia with a laser. This type of labiaplasty carries less risk than an amputation procedure but may still cause nerve damage.
- De-epithelialization: De-epithelialisation removes the outer-most layers of tissue with a scalpel or laser. This labiaplasty technique causes less bleeding.
Duration of procedure/surgery : The labiaplasty procedure generally takes around 1 hour.
Days admitted : None. Patients return home on the same day as surgery.
Anesthesia : Labiaplasty is carried out under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the surgeon’s preference and whether any other procedures are being carried out at the same time.
Recovery : - Patients generally return to work and normal activity after three to four days of rest.
- Swelling from the labiaplasty will disappear in around 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the patient.
Risks : Labiaplasty is a straightforward procedure but, as with all surgery, it carries some risks.
- Scar tissue created after the labiaplasty may cause pain or complications in childbirth.
- Asymmetrical results and the need for further surgery.
- Nerve damage.
- Disfigurement of the labial border (more common with the amputation technique).
After care : - Avoid using tampons and wearing tight clothing until the labiaplasty has healed.
- Refrain from sexual activity for around 4 weeks.
- Use pain medication to relieve discomfort during the initial recovery.
- Clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and apply antibiotic cream.
Learn more about Labiaplasty