Labiaplasty (or ‘labial reduction’) is a surgical procedure that reduces the size the inner vaginal skin flaps, the labia minora.
Labiaplasty is becoming an increasingly popular procedure. There are many reasons why you may want to have labial reduction surgery:
1. Feeling self-conscious when intimate with your partner or when doing activities such as swimming or going to the gym where you may feel your labia are showing through tight clothing.
2. The large labia can feel uncomfortable when wearing tight clothing or doing activities such as horse riding.
3. There may be asymmetry of the labia minora skin flaps and you would prefer to have them more symmetrical.
Labiaplasty surgery can be done under either local or general anaesthetic but either way, you will be able to go home the same day. It is up to you to decide what you are more comfortable with. Some prefer a general anaesthetic so they are not aware of what is happening during the operation. If you decide to stay awake during the surgery, then you will require a local anaesthetic injection directly into the labia to numb the area.
The excess labia minora is removed either as a wedge or vertical linear excision. The wedge excision aims to avoid a large linear scar on the leading edge of the labia which may be sensitive in some patients. Miss Tadiparthi uses the vertical edge excision technique as it can resect the excess labia minora more accurately. Once the excess is removed, the wound is closed with absorbable sutures.
Every surgical procedure has potential risks and you should be aware of these before proceeding. Firstly, there will be a permanent scar on the front of both labia. The scars are often heal well and are hardly visible after surgery. Other potential complications, although uncommon include bleeding, wound infection, delayed wound healing, over or under removal of the labial flaps and minor asymmetry of the labia. If you are a smoker, it is important that you stop smoking a few weeks ahead of the surgery to minimise any wound healing problems and promote good healing.
Following surgery, you will need to wear a clean sanitary pad for a few days to catch any oozing of tissue fluid and blood. Gentle cleansing of the area during daily shower time is recommended. An antibiotic-based ointment will need to be applied to the wound twice daily for 2 to 3 weeks till fully healed. Then moisturise the wound. Some patients find it easier to sit on a donut or semi-circular cushion to relieve any pressure on the labia for the first 2-3 weeks. Tight underwear and tight clothing as well as sexual intercourse should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks.
You may need 7 to 10 days off work until the discomfort settles, although you should be able to work from home the day after surgery. Driving should be possible 2 weeks after surgery.
The cost of labiaplasty surgery (which includes all your aftercare) under local anaesthetic starts from £3750.00 and from £3995.00 under general anaesthetic. The cost of surgery varies depending on the amount of excess tissue (skin +/- fat) to be removed, if you have had previous surgery, if you prefer to have a general anaesthetic and the hospital where you choose to have surgery.