At a Glance
Labiaplasty, which is also known as a labial reduction, is a suitable surgery for women who consider their labia minora to be too big or uneven. A labia minora that is too large can cause discomfort during certain activities or while wearing certain clothing. There is a range of causes for a large labia minora. This includes hormonal changes, childbirth, ageing or simply the shape when you were born.
Labiaplasty focuses on reducing, reshaping and contouring the labia minora so you will no longer feel any physical discomfort. A clitoral hood reduction can also be performed if symptoms are experienced from too much tissue in this area.
At your consultation, your surgeon will be able to show you a selection of before and after photographs of previous patients to show what can be achieved with labiaplasty surgery.
Women who are experiencing any pain and discomfort from their labia are suitable candidates for a labiaplasty. In some instances, the labia may be enlarged, or one may be larger than the other.
Centre for Surgery does not offer this procedure to women who are below 18 years old, as your labia will still be growing and developing. It is rare for anyone under the age of 21 to be accepted for a labiaplasty.
Labiaplasty is specialised surgery that will take around two hours to complete. Before the surgery begins, a local anaesthetic will be injected using tiny needles to fully numb the areas to be treated, although you also have the option of being asleep for the procedure with our innovative ClearSleep™ anaesthesia technique. With both techniques, you will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
The labiaplasty procedure involves reshaping the labia minora using precise dissection techniques. Any unwanted tissue is accurately removed. There are a number of surgical methods available for labiaplasty surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you the most appropriate technique applicable to you.
Direct excision is performed most frequently. It involves removal of the labial tissue protruding through the labia majora and re-approximation of the edges. The technique creates a straight scar along the labial edge and removes the labial border. The wedge excision technique can preserve the labial border although there may be colour changes once the trimmed edges are sutured together.
For mild to moderate labial tissue resection, the depithelialisation technique is an appropriate option. The technique reduces the length of the labia whilst also preserving the labial border. This can create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance in addition to correction of the functional symptoms which many women experience.
Clitoroplasty surgery is also an option for those who desire a clitoral hood reduction and this is performed at the same time as the labia minora are excised.
For a more comprehensive treatment, you may wish to combine a labiaplasty with RenovaLase Votiva vaginal rejuvenation. This is a non-surgical procedure which uses FormaV and FractoaV handpieces. These handpieces emit RF energy and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which works to improve the tone and texture of the skin as well as the appearance of the labia.
After the procedure, you may experience some pain and discomfort in the genital area. Bruising and swelling are common side effects. This may last for several weeks. You can use ice packs to reduce any swelling or take pain medication to help alleviate discomfort.
You will be advised that you should wear a pad – not tampons – for one week or until any bleeding stops. It is also recommended to wear loose cotton underwear during this time. You may find that during recovery after surgery, passing water may be slightly uncomfortable although this is temporary in nature.
You will need to take about five days off work, and you will have to avoid any heavy exercise for 10 days. You will be able to resume your normal sexual activity about six weeks later. It is important to keep the genital area clean during the recovery period in order to reduce the risk of infection occurring. An antibiotic ointment should be applied to the area twice daily after your procedure.
Some potential complications, although rare and treatable, may include:
- Tissue scarring
- Reduced sensitivity of genitals
Should I get a labiaplasty?There are several candidates who are appropriate for a labiaplasty. Some women have an enlarged labia minora, which can cause painful inflammation, chaffing, pain during intercourse or while inserting tampons. Women may often have one labia that is larger than the other, with surgery being a good option in this instance.
Having your labiaplasty in London gives you access to specialist surgeons who perform this surgery on a regular basis and are therefore experienced to manage all aspects of your care.
Who shouldn’t get a labiaplasty?At Centre for Surgery, no surgery is offered to anyone below the age of 18. At this age, your labia will still be growing and developing, and will continue to do so until early adulthood. In practice, it is uncommon for anyone under the age of 21 to be accepted for this procedure.
Our surgeons will perform surgery on those with associated functional symptoms such as pain, or excessive chaffing in addition to aesthetic considerations.
Surgery purely for aesthetic enhancement is not recommended.
Can I have a labiaplasty if I haven't had children yet?It is possible to have a labiaplasty before having children. You may have a large labia which you dislike the aesthetic appearance of. The large labia may also cause physical or psychological pain.
If you have not had children and are below 18 years old you will be unsuitable for surgery.
What type of anaesthetic will be used?This will vary depending on what you feel comfortable with.
A labiaplasty can be performed with either a local anaesthetic, where you are awake but cannot feel where incisions will be made or under a general anaesthetic. At Centre for Surgery, our general anaesthetic is known as ClearSleep™.
What are the risks involved?As labiaplasty is a surgical procedure, possible risks include bleeding, infection, scarring and reduced sensitivity. It is important patients understand the procedure and the outcomes they will receive prior to the surgery. Some patients desire an aggressive reduction, which can have side effects such as chronic dryness, discomfort and pain during intercourse. You can discuss with your surgeon the best ways to avoid any complications occurring after the procedure has been completed.
How long does a labiaplasty take?While a labiaplasty is a fairly complex surgery, it usually takes 1-2 hours depending on the amount of tissue to be removed. Actual time frames vary from each patient and depending on what needs to be done, but the procedure is a day surgery, with a few hours required afterwards for recovery. Patients will be able to return home the same day.
Can I combine a labiaplasty with other procedures?It is common for a labiaplasty to be combined with other surgical procedures. You may wish to have a labiaplasty as part of a mummy makeover, or have it with a vaginoplasty, liposuction or a tummy tuck.
During your consultation, your surgeon will be able to assess your body and consider whether or not you can combine surgeries and if you are an eligible candidate for the other procedures.
Will I have a scar after a labiaplasty?Every procedure which involves an incision will result in a scar. However, our surgeons will take care to ensure that scarring is as minimally noticeable as possible.
How long will I need to take off work?You will need to take at least five days off work in order to recover.
When can I start exercising again?You should avoid any strenuous physical activities for at least 10 days.
This includes lifting heavy objects, dancing, swimming, yoga and other gym activities.
When can I start sexual activities again?You will need to avoid any sexual activities for at least six weeks.
What To Expect
Find the right time
Our friendly and knowledgeable patient coordinators will speak with you to learn about your requirements, it’s all confidential and your information will be used to assess whether labiaplasty is right for you. If the procedure is right for you, we’ll organise a convenient date and time for you to visit to come and visit Marianne, our patient relationship manager at our bespoke central London clinic at 106 Crawford Street.
Crisalix 3D imaging
Marianne will take time to listen to your needs and requirements and you you will receive a complementary 3D Crisalix scan to enhance your experience. Marianne will give you a rough idea of guide prices at this stage. You can then be booked in to to see a surgeon of your choice based on their individual field of expertise.
At the surgical consultation, you will meet directly with the plastic surgeon. The surgeon will thoroughly assess you to determine your suitability and advise of the best options for you. Your surgeon will then explain how the procedure will work including our innovative ClearSleep™ anaesthesia technique for those who chose to be asleep for their procedure. You will receive your personalised quote the next working day from your patient coordinator.