Labiaplasty or Labioplasty is a plastic surgery procedure of the female external genitalia folds – the Labia Minora and/or the Labia Majora. Labiaplasty reduces the size and reshapes the inner lips of the outside of the vagina or the Labia Minora, or the outer lips, called Labia Majora.
Dr. J. Kyle Mathews, a board-certified gynecologist and reconstructive pelvic surgeon, specializing in cosmetic labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, and vaginal surgery in Plano, Texas a suburb of Dallas.
Many women are born with too large, irregular, or asymmetrical Labia Minora. Others develop stretching and elongation of the labia as a result of childbirth or with aging. This presents not only an aesthetic predicament but more importantly a functional hindrance. Women with large and irregular labia are often embarrassed during sexual interactions, and feel uncomfortable with wearing bathing suits, tight clothes, or jogging shorts. Others experience pain or irritation during intercourse or feel that they cannot reach optimal sexual pleasure because of the hindrance of their bulky Labia Minora.
Meanwhile, there are some women that develop very full and large Labia Majora (outer lips). This may becomes a noticeable nuisance when wearing tight pants, shorts, or bathing suits. It also traps moisture and causes skin irritation, rash, or even promotes yeast infection.
No, Labiaplasty does not hinder natural childbirth, but in fact makes it easier.
Traditionally, the direct excision and reduction method of Labiaplasty is done. With this method a long strip of the Labia Minora is excised, leaving a surgical incision at the edge of the Labia. This procedure is often performed with a laser or electrocautery. Dr. Mathews performs a highly refined technique requiring equipment used in neurosurgery (surgery on the brain and nerves) which results in dramatically less tissue damage. The result is a superior cosmetic appearance.
Many Plastic surgeons do a wedge technique. This technique removes a V shaped wedge from the labia in an attempt to reduce the size of the labia while maintaining the natural edges of the labia. This technique is known to have higher complication rate regarding healing and may result in a second corrective surgery being needed.
The Brazilian Labiaplasty Technique leave the edges of the Labia Minor intact and attempts to hid the incison in the skin creases. This technique has not proven to be cosmetically accepatble in most patients and is limited in the amout of reduction possible.
Reduction of the Labia Majora, the larger outer lips of the vagina, involves removing the excessive skin and tissue to reduce the unwanted protuberance of the Labia Majora. Dr. Mathews uses a special technique to hid the incision so that is is not visible and gives a superior cosmetic outcome.
Labioplasty is performed in the office under local anesthesia with some sedation in order to reduce anxiety. This procedure is rather short, and can take about one hour. Labiaplasty is offten performed in conjunction with Vaginoplasty (Vaginal Rejuvenation). Labiaplasty & Vaginoplasty my be done when surgery for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (fallen bladder, uterus, rectum) is to be performed. In these instances, general or spinal anesthsia is necessary and the procedure is performed in an operating room.
Most patients experience mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising after Labioplasty which lasts two to seven days. During this time, women can experience some spotting, and/or urinary hesitance. They should wear pads, and apply Neosporin ointment to the surgical sites for comfort. They can take a shower or wash within six hours of surgery, and as frequently as they wish, there after. Although you can return to sedate activities and work within two days, you should refrain from jogging, biking, horseback riding, running, heavy lifting, and sexual intercourse for about 6 to 8 weeks.
Labiaplasty is considered a minor surgical procedure, and thus is relatively safe. The most common potential complications are bleeding, minor infection, incision breakdown, scarring, and/or irritation and pain. As with all surgical procedures, risk are present and should be discussed with your surgeon.
J. Kyle Mathews, MD
The Institute for Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery
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