Labiaplasty refers to the surgical excision of excess or enlarged labia minora. The labia can be enlarged either congenitally, ie as part of natural growth and development, or occasionally women develop enlarged or stretched labia after child birth.
In some cases enlarged labia give rise to discomfort and itching, with some women reporting problems with intercourse. In most cases however, the problem is cosmetic. Women often report embarrassment or self consciousness in certain types of clothing such as swimwear and tight trousers. Others simply dislike the appearance. This can effect self esteem and interpersonal relationships.
Treatment consists of surgical excision. There are various techniques which your surgeon will discuss with you, he will choose the one most suited to you. The surgery can be carried out either under a local anaesthetic or under a general anaesthetic and consists of removal of the excess labial tissue, leaving enough behind not to cause problems with over removal. Once removed, the wounds are sutured closed with dissolving stitches.
It is normally carried out as a day case procedure with discharge home later in the day once a full recovery has been made from the anaesthetic.
Recovery from surgery
Recovery from surgery is generally fairly rapid. The wounds are stitched with dissolving stitches that normally start to come away after about a week, when the wounds have healed. Showering and bathing during this period should be as normal, and mild painkillers should be sufficient for the discomfort. It is advised that you should refrain from intercourse for about 3 weeks whilst the wounds are healing and regaining their strength.
Complications of surgery
Labiaplasty is an increasingly common and safe procedure. As with all surgical procedures it is important that you are made aware of any complications by your surgeon and that you understand the benefits as well as the risks prior to embarking upon surgery.