What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty (labioplasty, labia minor reduction, and labial reduction) is a procedure for reducing or symmetrising the labia minora (the inner lips of the vagina). The labia naturally come in all shapes and sizes, as all women are different. However many women are unhappy with the appearance of their labia or have functional problems which leaves them uncomfortable or self-conscious. If you have discomfort or feel uncomfortable with the size or shape of your labia, labial reduction surgery could possibly help.
How does Labiaplasty work?
The procedure is commonly undertaken by a Consultant gynaecologist or plastic surgeon. The incisions are made at the base of the labia to hide the scar without leaving obvious or tender scarring along the rim of the labia. They are closed with dissolving stitches.
The operation usually takes between one and two hours, and can be performed under local anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake, but the area will be completely numb. Some women prefer to have labial reduction under general anaesthetic, which means you are asleep during the procedure.
Labial reduction is usually carried out as a day-case, with generally no need to stay overnight in hospital. You can expect soreness and swelling for a few days after the operation and you will probably need to take a few days off work to rest and recover.
What are the benefits?
According to cosmetic surgeon, Miss Anne Dancey, women who undergo labiaplasty report increased self-confidence and self-esteem. She also adds that Labiaplasty can also eliminate the discomfort may women with elongated labia experience upon certain kinds of physical activity and intercourse.
How safe is the treatment?
As with most surgery, there are still surgical risks that prospective patients should consider before finalising a decision in favour of this surgery. Your treating consultant will discuss all risks in full with you prior to the surgery. It is important to balance the risks and benefits of any procedure before deciding whether this treatment is right for you. The labia can easily become irritated due to tight clothing and may lead to recurrent infections, such as vaginal yeast infections.
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