Is Labiaplasty For You? by Dr. Aker
Many body features are freely discussed amongst friends, and even in the entertainment industry. Most women, however feel very uncomfortable discussing concerns regarding the appearance of their genitals. Although there are no definitive aesthetic ideals, “labia minora hypertrophy” is the medical description for protuberant labial tissue that projects beyond the labia majora. The labia minora are the inner lips, the labia majora are the outer hair bearing lips. Thickening of the inner lips is the most common. This may affect one or both sides, and may be an appearance issue making it difficult to wear bathing suits or lingerie. Women may feel uncomfortable while exercising, and bicycle riding can be especially painful. Some are embarrassed and hesitant to undress in front of their partner, and sexual activity may be reduced or physically difficult. Enlarged labia may be congenital (present at birth) or worsened by repeated pregnancies or prolonged labor and delivery.
Various techniques are available for treating prominent labia minora. The specific procedure performed depends upon your anatomy and your concerns. The surgery is not designed to enhance sexual pleasure or satisfaction. The simplest approach is removal of leading edge of the labia, thereby shortening and reducing it. The edge is then repaired with dissolvable sutures. Another technique involves removal of a wedge or pie shaped piece from the center, reducing both the length and projection. The incidence of complications is low and manageable. You can resume light duty work shortly after surgery. Sexual intimacy is restricted for about 4-6 weeks.
The outer hair bearing lips (labia majora) of the genitalia can also be affected by redundant skin or bulky tissue. Women describe being embarrassed by a visible bulge in snug clothing or bathing suits. Labia majora hypertrophy may be due to a congenital condition, aggravated by pregnancy, or significant weight changes. Minor degrees of labia majora hypertrophy without skin laxity can be managed with liposuction if the primary problem is fatty or “puffy” labia. More significant enlargement can be treated by excising a football shaped section from the inner or hidden surface of each labia majora. The scar is then concealed in the valley between the labia minora and majora.
These procedures are typically performed under general anesthesia, however local anesthesia is possible in some cases. You may resume light duty work in 3 to 5 days, light aerobic exercise in 1 to 2 weeks and sexual activity in about 4 to 6 weeks.
We are very sensitive to the embarrassment experienced with these conditions, and will compassionately help you decide how to reach your goals.