Labiaplasty | Surgery for Oversized Labia Overview
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the labia minora, which are the skin folds that surround your urethra and vaginal opening.
Excess skin can be twisted and squeezed during exercise, physical activities, and intercourse, creating discomfort. Labiaplasty can also be used for cosmetic purposes or as part of a gender-affirming procedure.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical technique that can be used to trim or enlarge your labia. The procedure is performed to improve the appearance of your labia, alleviate physical discomfort, or as part of a gender-affirming procedure.
The folds of skin around your vaginal opening are known as labia. You have two skin folds. The labia majora, or large lips, refers to the outer folds, these are the bigger fleshy folds that are designed to protect your external genital organs after puberty and are covered with pubic hair.
And The labia minora, or little lips, refers to the inner folds. The openings of your urethra (where your pee exits your body) and vagina are protected by these skin folds.
Indications for Labiaplasty
Medical and physical reasons Excess tissue can make washing more difficult and can hide bacteria that can lead to urinary tract infections. Therefore, labiaplasty plays an important role to promote hygiene and health.
Cosmetic and emotional reasons After childbearing or age, to regain a more youthful appearance. When one side of the labia minora or labia majora is longer or formed differently than the other, asymmetry (uneven shape) is reduced.
Gender-affirming surgery Labia can be generated from existing genital tissue if surgery is part of a gender-affirming process. Labiaplasty can be done before or after other reconstructive procedures.
Why Have Labia Become Oversized?
- Changes in your weight.
- Pregnancy and childbirth.
- Age; The tissue of the labia majora might shrink with menopause or other hormonal changes, allowing the labia minora to protrude beyond the labia majora.
Type of Labiaplasty Procedures
There are two approaches to the reduction of the labia
- Trim procedure. Your surgeon will remove excess tissue from the outer edge of one or both sides of your labia minora, bringing it to level with or receding from the edges of your labia majora.
- Wedge procedure. Your surgeon will remove a wedge or pie-shaped piece of tissue from the inner portions of one or both sides of your labia minora. using this method, they leave the submucosa intact so that the wrinkled border of the labia is preserved when the labia are sewn (sutured). This gives the labia minora a more natural appearance, in the same way, if you’re having surgery to shrink your labia majora, an inner piece of each labium can be removed.
Depending on their surgical experience or the intended outcome, your surgeon may recommend a different strategy Together, you and your surgeon will decide which surgical method will best suit your goals and concerns.
- Enlarging Procedure
In a liposuction treatment, your surgeon removes a little amount of fat from another body part, such as your abdomen or thigh, and injects it into your labia majora Another approach is to inject hyaluronic acid into your labia majora.
- Gender-Affirming Surgery
Your labia might be made from the tissue of your penis. Labiaplasty is just one stage in the process of gender-affirming reconstructive surgery.
In the procedures described above, all incisions are closed with absorbable sutures that break down over time and do not require removal. A surgical dressing is applied to the surgical site.
Labiaplasty is considered outpatient surgery, So, Patient can go home a few hours after surgery. The surgery may last for one or two hours, it can be performed under general anesthesia, local or neuraxial anesthesia.
Care For Labiaplasty
It’s possible that you’ll need up to two weeks off work to recover, And the skin can take several months to completely heal
So, you must do the following within this time:
- maintain the region clean and infection-free
- To avoid friction, wear loose underwear and clothing
- Stop intercourse for 6 weeks
- Quit physical activity 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.
- For a few weeks, use sanitary towels instead of tampons.
When to Call Your Doctor?
- Swelling that is excessive or pain that is getting worse.
- Increased bleeding, with blood clots visible.
- Pus or discharge that is discolored.
- When peeing or pooping, there is a lot of pain.
- The surgical site is being opened.
Dr.Sharif Samir Alijla, is a general medical doctor and a well-rounded professional that cares and treats patients from Palestine. I participated in many medical studies and conferences, I've launched a range of community initiatives and taken part in a variety of leadership and change training programs. I worked as an author for many medical websites such as TebFact . I specialized in writing medical articles from authoritative and updated sources in a simple and smooth the way for the reader.