What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of female genitals. It is a reconstruction procedure of labia and is done on the outer and the inner labia, the fold of the skin around the vulva.
There are numerous reasons why a female opts for the procedure, that include twisting and turning of the vagina while riding a bike or during intercourse, due to itching, irritation, and self-consciousness. The labia tissue protrudes and makes sitting uncomfortable.
Reasons For Going Ahead With Labiaplasty
Some females feel their inner labia extremely long, causing emotional and psychological distress during sex or wearing a swimsuit. A study done on 14 females undergoing labiaplasty found that the maximum underwent this procedure for physical comfort.(1)
There are certain medical conditions that can cause abnormalities in the labia that include:
- Vaginal atresia or no vaginal passage
- Trauma or injury to labia
- Mullerian agenesis that leads to malformation of fallopian tube and uterus
- Tearing of labia minora during childbirth
- Sex reassignment surgery
Labiaplasty Procedure: How is Labiaplasty Done?
The surgeon simply trims the extra tissue so that the lips of labia minora sit tucked in the labia majora i.e. the outer lip of vulva.
The techniques used to perform labiaplasty include:
Edge Resection Technique: This technique involves simply resection of the extra tissue of the labia minora. The area is sutured with dissolvable stitches.
Central Wedge Resection Technique: In this technique, the wedge of tissue is removed from the thickest part of the labia to reduce its size. This keeps its look more natural.
De-Epithelialization Technique: In this technique, the epithelium is cut using a scalpel. This removes the extra tissue and reserves the labia’s sensitive and erogenous nature. It maintains the natural corrugation of labial skin, making the labia look more natural.
Laser Labiaplasty: In this method laser is used to cut the labia minora. The laser lowers the risk of an epidermoid cyst.
The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia. Sometimes according to the patient’s preference or any medical condition general anesthesia can also be given. It is a swift and uncomplicated procedure.
After the procedure, the patient experiences some pain but is allowed to go back home the same day. They are instructed on how to clean the area and on the use of topical antibiotics. Pain medication is prescribed for a few days. The recovery is fast and uncomplicated.
The female undergone labiaplasty is advised to take a week off from work and to wear loose and comfortable pants.
The individual has to wear a mini pad to absorb the minor bleeding. The usage of tampons is restricted during the first period after the procedure. Also, sexual intercourse is restricted for a month.
The person can return to normal activities within a month.
Risks and Complication of Labiaplasty
The risks associated with labiaplasty are as follows:
- Permanent scarring
- Delayed wounds
- Under correction
- Outward turning of the inner lining of labia minora
- Irritation in the genital area
- Nerve damage which might lead to an increase or decrease in genital sensitivity
Labiaplasty or labia reconstruction surgery has a 95 percent satisfaction result and is highly effective in improving the appearance of labia and the problems associated. There are certain females who are not advised to go ahead with the procedure, such as:
- Females with existing or active gynecological diseases such as malignant tumors.
- Smokers, not willing to quit, as this habit makes it hard to heal after the procedure.
- In those who have unrealistic aesthetic goals.