Labia Minora Contouring and Surgical Reduction
A labiaplasty is a surgical operation used to reduce the size of the tissue surrounding the vagina, known as the labia minora. This operation may be performed for cosmetic reasons or may be helpful to women who find that their labia can protrude into the vagina during sexual intercourse, which may be uncomfortable. A labiaplasty is typically not available on the NHS, but may be offered if the labia are congenitally abnormal, if the tissues are damaged after childbirth, or if the tissue needs to be removed due to cancer.
The operation may be performed under general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. The procedure involves the cutting away of unwanted tissue with a scalpel, and the subsequent wounds being stitched with fine sutures. The operation is usually quite straightforward and takes 1-2 hours. Often, you will be able to return home on the same day of the operation. You may need up to 2 weeks off work to allow the tissue to heal, and patients find complete healing has occurred by 6 weeks. You should avoid sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks following the procedure, to help the healing process.
As with any operation, there are risks to the surgery. It is common to experience some pain following the procedure. You may also experience bruising and swelling in the region for up to 2 weeks. There is a also a small risk of being left with reduced sensitivity in the genital region. General risks include bleeding, infection and formation of blood clots after surgery.
Mr Anton Fries, Consultant in reconstructive plastic surgery, would be delighted to discuss options for labiaplasty with you during a private consultation.