Also known as a labiaplasty, a labial reduction procedure is aimed at reshaping and resizing the labia; usually this is the labia minora (or inner labia), but it is also possible to deal with the outer labia. A woman may desire this purely from aesthetic reasons (aka a designer vagina), but an overly large labia minor can also cause irritation and discomfort.
Am I suitable?
Some women are born with overly large labia whereas others may develop this condition post-childbirth or with age. They may appear asymmetrical, too long or too bulky.
Your consultation with your surgeon will determine whether the op will give you the results you are expecting. Also a full medical history will be taken to check whether you’re physically able to undergo the procedure.
What do I have to do to prepare?
This is a very important decision and a thorough consultation with an experienced and qualified surgeon will help you make that decision. The surgeon will also be able to determine whether your expectations can be realistically achieved.
Your surgeon will give you instructions to help you prepare for surgery and these may include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. While making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days, if needed.
What’s the treatment like?
This procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic as a day case. The surgeon will trim the inner folds either by removing a wedge of tissue or by reducing the edge of the labia.
The surgeon uses a scalpel, a laser or specialised scissors; this depends on the individual surgeon’s preference. Some prefer using a laser as it cauterises the blood vessels as it cuts whereas other prefer a scalpel or scissors as they feel a laser is better at making long, straight incisions rather than the precision demanded by a labial reduction. Whatever the method, there should be little difference in recovery.
The incision is then closed up with dissolvable stitches.
What about after?
There may be some mild discomfort and swelling which should disappear completely after one to two weeks. Labial incisions heal well and are rarely noticeable. You should be able to return to work within one week and resume vigorous activities including sexual activity after four weeks.
Are there any risks or side effects?
As well as the usual complications associated with any surgical procedure, a labial reduction can also result in a urinary tract infection, nerve damage or asymmetry.
What will it cost me?
A labial reduction costs from £2,000 to £4,000.