Who is labiaplasty suitable for and what is the procedure?

Written by: Top Doctors®
Published: | Updated: 08/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Labiaplasty or labia minora reduction is intimate surgery designed to rejuvenate the external female genitalia, there are different types:

• A reduction of the labia minora can be carried out when they are excessively large (hypertrophied) or if they have an anomalous shape (asymmetrical or including ‘pendants’), as these conditions can cause difficulties in sexual relations.

• Fat fillings can also be made on the labia majora and the pubis, in order to increase the volume of this area. The loss of smoothness and shape in this area can lead to feelings of embarrassment in some women when going to the beach, and even problems in being naked in front of their partner.

• The opposite technique can also be applied, that is to say, to extract surplus fat in cases of labia or pubis that have too much volume, a problem that can draw attention to the area when tight clothes are worn.

• Other candidates for genital labia surgery are patients who seek an aesthetic or morphological improvement in their genital area. Due to the passage of time, some sports or multiple births, these women have experienced stretching in the external vaginal area.

The different techniques

The surgical technique depends on the case. For example, when reducing the labia minora, a particular technique is used to remove excess skin and suture the edges. However, not all labia considered "big" are the same, which is why the most appropriate method should be selected for each patient. If the aim is to reduce the labia majora or bulging of the pubis, excess fat is eliminated by liposuction, or for a smaller area, through mini liposuction (a technique that is slightly simpler than liposuction and is performed with fine cannulas that melt the fat of the patient). To increase the labia majora or the volume of the pubis, hyaluronic acid or the patient’s own fat tissue (lipostructure) is introduced. There are also procedures to reduce the excess skin around the clitoris, through circular incisions and small sutures in the so-called "clitoral cap", thus leaving this delicate erogenous zone more exposed to sexual relations.

Preoperative care

Following their decision to undergo genital surgery, many women begin to feel nervous, this is normal. Stay calm and continue your daily routine, including your sex life. We recommend that patients stop smoking. Tobacco is very harmful and tissues will need extra oxygen to regenerate as quickly as possible. The speed of the recovery process depends on the health of the patient. As with any surgical procedure, a blood test, a chest x-ray, and an electrocardiogram should be carried out. A few days before the date set for the operation, the results of the tests are assessed to verify it is sufficiently safe to continue the process. If you are a healthy person, there should be no risk in having the operation.

The day of surgery and postoperative care

Before the day of the operation, it is normal to feel a little more nervous than usual, but you should try to sleep as much as possible the night before. In the morning, have a full body wash with a neutral soap, avoid moisturising creams, and remove any nail polish from your fingers and toes. Once in the hospital, the area to be treated will be carefully cleaned to disinfect it. Labiaplasty is performed under local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis. The first few days after the surgery, it is normal to notice some bruising and discomfort due to inflammation. There is no need to worry about stitches because labiaplasty is performed with a suture in the vaginal mucosa with absorbable thread. It is recommended that you rest for a day or two after the operation, but you do not need to be admitted to the hospital for more than a few hours.

Returning to your routine

A few days after the operation you will feel stronger and more able to return to your daily routine. At first you may find the area swollen, and you may feel numbness or pain caused by your underwear or when sitting, although such discomfort will subside with the medication you are prescribed. In all likelihood, you will be able to resume your normal activities in about four or five days. During recovery, you should avoid very tight underwear. It should also be noted that each person has a different healing pace, so there is no general rule that applies to all women who have had a labioplasty. Until healing is complete, which will take around four to five weeks, avoid actions that could damage the treated area, such as sexual intercourse, or other activities such as riding a bicycle or riding a horse. In addition, the genital area must be kept clean with proper hygiene, without products that alter the natural flora of your vagina.

 Topdoctors

By Topdoctors
Plastic surgery


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