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Labiaplasty is performed on women who feel that their labia minora are uneven or too large. Enlarged labia minora is a medical condition known as labial hypertrophy, and can cause discomfort while performing certain activities or wearing tight clothing as well as embarrassment with a sexual partner. This can be caused by childbirth, age, and hormonal changes, or it may simply be present from birth. Labiaplasty surgery does not mean that the enlarged labia is removed altogether. Instead, the labia minora are contoured, reshaped, and reduced in size with as little cutting as possible.
Labiplasty surgery is performed by plastic surgeons or gynaecologists who excise the protuberant labia minora using specialized scissors, scalpels, or lasers and over sewing the raw edge. It is relatively minor surgery that can be completed in about two hours with relatively little discomfort. Usually the patient is put under using general anesthetic, but local anesthetic can also be used. Complications are minor but can include infection, bleeding, temporary numbness, changes in pigmentation, pain, excessive scar tissue build-up, hematoma, and sexual dysfunction.
Patients can expect to be able to return to work in about five days after undergoing labiaplasty surgery, although they will be asked to stop any heavy exercise for the first ten days of recovery. The genitals will be swollen and sore for several weeks after the procedure is performed. Patients are advised to wear a pad for one week or less due to the bleeding that occurs. Normal sexual activity can resume about six weeks after the procedure is performed.
Most women who undergo labia minora reduction are very satisfied with the results, thinner and sleeker labia minora that are generally more comfortable when it comes to wearing tight clothing and engaging in certain activities. If performed correctly it leaves no obvious scar on the outer rim, and the labia are left with their natural pigmentation and a youthful look. It is not likely that a sexual partner will be able to notice that there was any surgery performed at all, and there is usually no loss of sensation in the patient.
The labia majora can be reduced for functional or aesthetic reasons. Prior to the procedure, you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs with the surgeon. There are several reasons why a woman may wish to reduce the size of her labia majora. This may be due to a large amount of weight loss or discomfort which may occur during certain activities such as horseback riding or bicycle riding.
The procedure by which the labia majora is reduced consists of an incision being made within the labia minora. This allows the surgeon to gain access to the labia majora’s fat beneath. Liposuction can then be used to remove any excess fat. The most important part of the procedure is to ensure that the lips of the labia majora are symmetrical.
After the labiaplasty surgery, recovery is usually quite swift. The procedure uses absorbable sutures so no additional appointment is needed to remove the stitches. The labiaplasty surgeon may recommend the use of a sanitary towel directly following the surgery. During the first week, it is recommended that the patient remain horizontal in bed so as to minimise bleeding, bruising, and swelling around the area of the wound. Additionally, you should use cold packs on the area in order to minimise discomfort. Also, there are some patients who experience stinging during urination. Therefore, until the area is healed, it is recommended to urinate in the shower or while using warm water around the area. You should clean the area frequently as well in order to reduce the chance of infection. Loose underwear should also be worn and tampons and vaginal intercourse should be avoided for 6 weeks after the procedure. It is not common for patients to experience severe side effects from the labiaplasty procedure. The surgeon will always discuss the possible complications during the consultation. The patient should make sure to ask all questions before undergoing the procedure. Regular physical examinations will be scheduled with the surgeon so that it is ensured that the recovery process goes smoothly. Some potential serious complications, although rare, may include prolonged bleeding, infection, blood clots, and haematomas which may require labiaplasty revision surgery.
Although the vast majority of patients are quite satisfied with the labiaplasty procedure, labiaplasty surgery does not automatically improve your self image or increase sexual satisfaction. Although the labiaplasty surgery has the potential to increase confidence, don’t expect it to do so right away. Before undergoing the labiaplasty procedure, it is essential to have realistic expectations.