The labia are four externally visible folds of the vulva. The labia majora, or outer labia, are closer to the thigh, and the labia minora, or inner labia, are the inner folds at the opening of the vagina.
The labia, especially the inner labia, differ vastly in shape, size, and color between women. As women grow and mature into puberty, the labia develop and change in appearance. Variations are normal, and different sizes don’t have any major health risks attached to them.
However, with women wearing tighter and more revealing clothing, larger and longer inner labia tend to pose a problem. Longer labia can cause a lot of discomfort and even pain in some cases, especially when it comes to tight clothing. Some women find that enlarged inner labia can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse as well.
To remedy such problems, the labia can be reduced in size through a procedure called labiaplasty. This procedure includes cosmetic plastic surgery of the labia, mostly the inner but sometimes also the outer, to reduce size and to reshape.
Labiaplasty, in addition to being a way to alleviate physical discomfort, can be done to improve confidence in one’s appearance if they are not happy with the way their labia look.
What Can a Labiaplasty Do?
Labiaplasty can remove excess tissue and darkened folds, giving the labia a better and more symmetrical appearance as well as giving a woman freedom from discomfort. Women who do not like the shape of their labia and are self-conscious will find that a labiaplasty can greatly boost their self-esteem and confidence. Any functional and aesthetic problems cause by large or long labia are eliminated.
Labiaplasty Procedure and Recovery
During the surgery, the unwanted tissue is carefully and precisely removed with a scalpel and the edges are stitched up with dissolvable sutures. The procedure typically lasts a couple of hours.
After the surgery, there will some swelling and discomfort, including bruising and pain. Your surgeon will prescribe appropriate pain medicate and ointments to help with the healing. Using ice packs can help reduce swelling and provide some relief from discomfort. You’ll need to visit a few times after the surgery for follow-up appointments in order to make sure that everything is healing properly.
Wearing loose cotton underwear is advisable, and keeping the genital area clean is very important. A diet may also be prescribed so that you don’t experience any bouts of constipation or indigestion during recovery time, which may hamper the healing process. If you’re expecting your period, using sanitary towels rather than tampons is advised until you have fully recovered from the surgery.
You will need to stay away from intense physical activity for at least a week in order to let your labia heal properly. Normal activities can usually be resumed within a few weeks and sexual intercourse about a month after surgery.
Schedule Your Labiaplasty Consultation
Dr. Lawrence Glassman, an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, has performed labiaplasty surgery for numerous satisfied patients. Contact our office today to set up an appointment for a labiaplasty consultation.