What is labial reduction?
Labial reduction surgery, also known as labiaplasty and labial revision, is a surgical procedure, where the labia minora are reduced or re-shaped. Many women seek this procedure for many different reasons. Commonly, the patients complain of embarrassment and self-consciousness due to the size of their labia, especially during sexual intercourse. Other women complain of discomfort during physical activity such as biking and horseback riding or when wearing those ever popular tight pants.
The majority of enlarged labia are congenital, but many occur following childbirth or due to other hormonal changes. These changes often rob women of their confidence and self-esteem and surgical correction may be the answer for them.
What is involved in labial reduction?
This procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting and can often be accomplished with local anesthesia. In fact, the majority of our patients have the procedure done in the office under local anesthesia. The procedure is well tolerated by our clientele and they have achieved more than satisfactory results.
The patient is carefully marked with a surgical marking pen and asked to review the markings in a hand held mirror to be certain that she is happy with the amount and location of the tissue to be removed. She then receives injections of local anesthesia and the appropriate tissue is removed and absorbable sutures are placed at the surgical site.
Who is a candidate for labial reduction?
Any patient who is considered a favorable surgical candidate as determined by a thorough consultation and pre-operative evaluation that has enlarged or thickened labia minora, may be considered for treatment. We also consider it necessary to address the psychological component involved in these cases. We want to be confident that the patient will be happy with her decision in the future and that she is not getting pressure from outside sources such as boyfriends.
When can I return to full activity?
Every case is different; therefore, pre-op and post-op instructions may vary but, in general, patients can return to normal daily activity in a matter of days. We ask patients to avoid exercise, strenuous activity, and intercourse for at least 4 weeks, but additional healing time may be required for some patients.
Are there complications to labial reduction?
As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk for adverse outcomes. Most complications are minor but major complications may occur. The more common issues are bruising, redness, swelling, and pain. These tend to be temporary and are generally resolved very quickly. Other complications include hematoma, incisional separation and infection. Full recovery can be expected with all of these issues.
More long-term consequences may be pain at the incision line, scarring, and skin edge irregularity but these tend to be uncommon.
Will labial reduction or revision affect my sexuality?
Possibly. It may improve when your sexual self-esteem has been restored. The labia tissue is not involved in the sexual response so the ability to achieve sexual satisfaction or orgasm should not be affected.