Labial Reduction (Labiaplasty)

Labial Reduction

What is Labial Reduction (Labiaplasty) A labiaplasty or Labial reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the inner lips of the vagina, known as the labia minora. Labial reduction includes some operations designed to decrease the size and degree of protuberance or projection of the labia minora. This operation is often requested on cosmetic grounds, but also for functional reasons.

The most common reason for women to seek this operation is that the labia are perceived to be too large and aesthetically unpleasing. A small number of women state that the large size of their labia make them noticeable in tight clothing, or make sports such as cycling uncomfortable. Some women find that oversized or elongated labia can prolapse into the vagina during sexual intercourse causing discomfort and issues with penetration.

Why have a Labia Reduction Plastic Surgery?

  • Reduce the size of an abnormally enlarged labia minora and majora.
  • Labia Reduction can relieve the discomfort caused by enlarged labia.
  • Labia reduction can restore a more natural aesthetic appearance of the labia and improve self-image and self-confidence.

The Labiaplasty Consultation

The consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to communicate your feelings about what you want to achieve. It is paramount to highlight to your surgeon exactly what you find most objectionable about the appearance and to try to define what you would like to see as a result. During the consultation, you will be asked some questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcomes
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status; ask about any previous surgery, and any pre-existing health conditions or risks factors
  • Take photographs for your medical records
  • Discuss your goals and explain what results you can reasonably expect.
  • Discuss any risks or potential complications and what to expect during your recovery.
  • Discuss the use of anaesthesia during your surgery

Although the most commonly requested procedure for the vaginal area is a labial reduction, there are other procedures to address conditions you may be experiencing. Other procedures include Vaginal tightening (‘vaginoplasty’); liposuction to the mons pubis; fat injections to the labia majora or mons in order to give a more youthful appearance to these areas; removal or reduction of skin around the clitoris (‘hoodectomy’) to improve clitoral sensitivity; and reconstruction of the hymen for cultural reasons.

As with many aspects of human anatomy, there are a wide variety of shapes, sizes and appearances of the female genitalia, all of which are within the limits of normal. Before undergoing any surgery, it is important to have the appropriate consultation with your GP and determine whether surgery to correct your concern with your genitalia is the right course of action. The sutures are dissolvable, and you will have to refrain from intercourse for four to six weeks following surgery.

How is Labia Reduction Performed?

During the operation, your surgeon will trim the labia, so its sides no longer protrude, and asymmetry can help to be restored. She will do this by a straight line reduction of the redundant tissue or by a v-shape or w-shape cut to reduce the overall length of the labia. Your surgeon will discuss thoroughly the surgical method as well as the benefits, precautions, risks, and other relevant information at consultation.

Further Reading:

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

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