Labiaplasty, which is more commonly referred to as labia reduction, is growing in popularity. Women turn to this procedure for a host of reasons. Some seek relief from genital pain, while others have cosmetic concerns about the look of the protective folds outside of the vagina. Still others are hoping to enhance their sexual satisfaction. The goal of this surgery is to provide a balanced, symmetrical appearance and to improve comfort.
Dr. Linda Camp performs this procedure in the Greensburg surgical center. Below she explains the labiaplasty procedure and the results it helps achieve by answering the following questions:
Labiaplasty is a procedure that re-shapes the labia. Often, the labia becomes elongated or asymmetrical as a result of hormones, childbirth, genetics or aging.
Who is a good candidate for labiaplasty?
The best candidates for labia surgery are women who are fully developed, physically healthy and have realistic expectations. Often, candidates experience chaffing during exercise, problems with hygiene, uncomfortable sexual experience, pain or discomfort when wearing tight pants (e.g., yoga pants, skinny jeans), or are just unhappy with the overall large appearance of the labia. This procedure is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore is not covered by insurance.
Are there any risks involved?
When labiaplasty surgery is performed by a trained Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Camp, complications are infrequent and usually minor. As with any surgery, there is always the risk of infection, but we take steps to minimize this potential risk. You can reduce risks by following the instructions you are given both before and after your surgery. Also, patients who smoke are at increased risk of poor healing. We advise that you stop smoking several weeks prior to and after surgery to allow proper healing.
How do I plan for labia surgery?
During your initial consultation, it is very important to discuss with Dr. Camp your expectations of the surgery. She will review your medical history; be sure to tell her about any medical conditions you may have. It is also very important to disclose the use of any medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements, as well as alcohol, tobacco and drug use. The surgical technique and anesthesia that will be used for your surgery is discussed at this consultation.
What happens during labia surgery?
Labiaplasty usually takes less than one hour, depending on the extent of your surgery. Typically, the procedure is performed under a sedation anesthesia. The appropriate incision location depends on many individual factors, including the configuration, texture and size of the labia.
What happens after the labiaplasty procedure?
Following labia surgery, you will experience mild swelling and bruising in the surgical area. You will return to our office about five days after labia surgery to see the nurse. You will be instructed to avoid any heavy exercise for approximately 2-3 weeks to help reduce any swelling or discomfort. Pain medication will be prescribed to help with any discomfort you may experience, which is usually minimal. Often, the doctor will also prescribe an antibiotic.
How long is the recovery after labiaplasty?
Due to the vascular nature of this area, the incisions will heal very quickly. You will be able to return to daily activities several days after your procedure. For the first several weeks activities should be limited and sexual intercourse should be avoided. Tampons should not be used in the 10 days after your surgery, but you may need to wear a pad for comfort and to accommodate any light drainage from the incision area.
*Elective cosmetic procedure results vary. Surgical outcomes are unique to each individual and providers offer no guarantees regarding results.