Everything You Need to Know About Labiaplasty

Mr Shailesh Vadodaria
By Mr Shailesh Vadodaria

Mr. Vadodaria is a British trained Consultant Plastic Surgeon. He is on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council.

It is not uncommon for a woman to feel dissatisfied with her labia minora (inner lips of the vagina), especially if they are particularly long or asymmetrical. In many cases, women are just not happy with parts of their genitalia.

This can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, painful and can even lead to sexual dissatisfaction or difficulty.

Women presenting with exceptionally long or unequal lengths of the labia minora are the two most common reasons for seeking professional advice for a labiaplasty procedure.

The procedure is performed either under local or general anaesthetic. The edge of the labia minora is carefully trimmed so that they no longer protrude.

This could be also achieved by snipping out a ‘V’ shape wedge of tissue from labia minora. The remaining edges are carefully sewn back together taking care to obtain as natural a result as possible.

The aim of this procedure is to improve the asymmetry of the labia minora without any undue protrusion through the vaginal vault.

Anatomy of the vagina

Labiaplasty FAQs

How long does labiaplasty procedure take?
Typically it takes between 45 to 60 minutes.

How much does labiaplasty cost?
The cost of the procedure starts from around £2,000 under local anaesthetic.

What symptoms are typical among women who elect to have labiaplasty?
Common complaints include labial pain and irritation from rubbing against clothing (especially jeans and workout clothes), as well as interference with activities including intercourse, tampon placement, urination, cycling or horse riding and the appearance of a bulge when wearing certain clothes. For some women, elongated or asymmetrical labia may cause embarrassment or interfere with a sexual relationship. A significant percentage of our patients simply do not like the appearance of their labia and request subtle sculpting.

What are surgical risks of labiaplasty?
Risks of surgery are extremely rare and seen in less than 1% of cases. Complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring, under correction, overcorrection, asymmetry etc. Complications should be discussed in detail during your consultation with a surgeon.

What types of anaesthesia are available?
The labiaplasty can be performed under local as well as under general anaesthetics.

What is recovery like after labiaplasty?
Most patients are up and about the afternoon of their surgery day. During the first 24 -48 hours after surgery, patients should place ice packs on outer genitalia to minimize swelling and bruising. Routine tasks are encouraged as long as there is no irritation or pressure on the operated area. Loose clothing and cotton underwear are mandatory. By 72 hours you may resume regular activities, making sure there is minimal friction to the labia. Patients may drive the next day, as long as they are not taking prescription pain medications or muscle relaxers. Patients may return to work within 2-3 days as long as rigorous physical activity is avoided. The stitches will usually dissolve in a few weeks. During the 6-week recovery, patients are on pelvic rest (no intercourse or tampons) and should avoid bathtubs/hot tubs or swimming in the lake or ocean. Rigorous exercise, cycling, horse riding, jet skis, motorcycles and four-wheelers should be avoided during the recovery period.

How long will it take for me to see my final results?
Final optimal results are typically appreciated 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.

What does post-operative care involve?
You will be advised to take antibiotics and pain control medication for 5 days, to take a shower on a daily basis from the next day onwards and to smear the suture line with antibiotic ointment on a daily basis. You will also be advised to see your surgeon at the end of one and two weeks’ time to monitor your healing process.

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together some genital surgery and labiaplasty FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the genital surgery and labiaplasty questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited genital surgery and labiaplasty clinics in your area.

Thanks to the author of this blog Mr. Vadodaria, who has had extensive training in plastic surgery in the United Kingdom.

He completed his higher surgical training in plastic surgery and was awarded FRCS (Plastic Surgery). He has been on the specialist register of the General Medical Council since 2004 (Registration Number 4386421). 

Mr Vadodaria has presented more than 90 papers at national and international plastic surgical congresses. He has innovated new instruments, simulators and plastic surgical techniques, which are published in peer-reviewed plastic surgery journals. 

Thanks to the author

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