Labiaplasty, or labia minora reduction, is a surgical procedure designed to reshape enlarged, elongated, or asymmetrical labial tissue. While female genitals naturally have a diverse range of appearances that are anatomically correct and there is no singular “look,” labiaplasty can help women alleviate the physical discomfort and/or self-consciousness that may result when the inner folds of the labia (labia minora) appear enlarged. This condition is commonly known as labial hypertrophy and can cause significant physical discomfort, especially if the labia minora extends further than the outer labial folds. Individuals with excess tissue in the vulva frequently experience concerns such as pain from friction or induced pressure, as well as embarrassment when wearing form-fitting clothing. Dr. Geoffrey E. Leber, our experienced plastic surgeon, offers the labiaplasty procedure at his Boston-area practice to treat any existing symptoms of labial hypertrophy and recontour the labia according to your cosmetic desires.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is considered a form of vaginal rejuvenation that can be performed for functional or cosmetic purposes. It is often utilized to correct asymmetry between the inner or outer labial folds, or to reduce the overall size of the labia minora. It is not uncommon for women to experience enlarged or asymmetrical labia as a congenital (since birth) condition, or undergo changes in the labial appearance over time as a result of aging, childbirth, or menopause. While this does not usually affect your health— nor does labial hypertrophy typically require medical treatment—the sensitive nature of the inner labial folds can create substantial discomfort when redundant tissue is present. Activities like riding a bike, exercising, and physical intimacy can become both painful and uncomfortable. Depending on your unique concerns, labiaplasty is commonly utilized to:
- Alleviate the pain or discomfort that may result from the twisting and tugging of excess labial tissue
- Decrease the incidence of urinary tract or yeast infections
- Minimize the visibility of enlarged labia through form-fitting clothing
- Ameliorate concerns over the shape and size of the labia
How is Labiaplasty Performed?
The labiaplasty procedure generally takes one to two hours to complete, depending on the details of your treatment plan. It is performed as an outpatient procedure utilizing local anesthesia and sedation. Incisions are usually placed along the natural edge of the inner labial folds to maintain discretion and ensure a natural-looking outcome. Based on your aesthetic or functional concerns, Dr. Leber will meticulously recontour the labia minora to address asymmetry or reduce size if necessary. Absorbable sutures are commonly used to close incisions, so there is typically no need for removal. Dr. Leber will walk you through the details of your unique operation prior to the start of surgery.
Who is a Candidate for Labiaplasty?
While enlarged or disproportionate labia do not usually present a health concern, consideration of surgical labiaplasty may be beneficial if redundant tissue starts to diminish your quality of life or inhibits you from fully engaging in certain activities. This procedure can generally help women who experience:
- Irritation from friction or pressure
- Pain during physical activity or sexual intimacy
- Visible bulges when wearing exercise apparel or form-fitting clothing
- Difficulty with personal hygiene as a result of sensitive tissue
- Self-consciousness about the shape or size of the labia
- Skin chafing
Furthermore, individuals considering a labiaplasty procedure should be relatively healthy enough to withstand the healing process and maintain realistic expectations for the outcome. During a consultation, Dr. Leber will perform a physical examination as well as a review of your medical history. After assessing your unique needs and goals for surgery, he can help you determine whether you are an ideal candidate for labiaplasty.
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What is Recovery Like for Labiaplasty?
Following surgical labiaplasty, you will likely experience temporary bruising, swelling, or tenderness in the treated area. While this should subside as your healing period progresses, any discomfort can usually be managed with oral pain medication. Most patients can return to work and normal daily activities within one to two weeks, although physical activity and sexual intercourse should be avoided for four to six weeks. Dr. Leber will provide extensive post-operative instructions on what you can expect during recovery at the time of your visit.
For more information on labiaplasty, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact our practice today.