VAGINAL REJUVENATION – LABIAPLASTY
Labia come in all shapes and sizes. Many women are born with large or darkly pigmented labia and some find that they experience unwanted changes in the appearance of their labia after childbirth. Labiaplasty is both a functional and a cosmetic procedure that reduces the size of the labia. While some patients want labiaplasty purely for cosmetic reasons, others seek to alleviate symptoms of discomfort. Common complaints are irritation or pain during intercourse or exercise, inability to wear certain clothing and bathing suits, multidirectional urine stream, odor, hygiene issues, and embarrassment that inhibits sexual activity. After labiaplasty, patients can feel more confident and comfortable in intimate settings. Skinny jeans and other clothes fit better without pinching the labia.
Labiaplasty involves removal of excess tissue of the labia minora, clitoral hood, and/or labia majora and may also include fat grafting of the labia majora. There are two common techniques called “wedge resection” and “edge trim”. When possible, I prefer to use the wedge resection technique to hide the scar and prevent “scalloping” of the labia, which is a firm wavy scar along the edge. The best technique, however, depends on the patient’s individual anatomy. Removing this extra tissue makes the labia appear neat and tidy without labia minora tissue hanging down below the labia majora. It can also reduce darkly pigmented tissue or improve asymmetrical labia. Many older women have atrophic deflated labia majora that have a saggy appearance and can sometimes make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Fat grafting of the labia majora restores volume and turns back the clock, making the labia majora appear more plump and youthful.
I perform most labiaplasty procedures under local anesthetic in our outpatient facility. Most patients are eager to return to driving and other daily activities immediately after surgery, although some prefer sedation for their procedure and require a driver afterwards. The procedure takes about an hour. I use dissolvable stitches, so no uncomfortable suture removal is necessary. Most patients are very comfortable after surgery and only take Tylenol for pain control. I ask patients to limit exercise and physical activity during the initial phases of healing, but most patients are able to return to their normal routine quickly. Sexual intercourse can resume after 6 weeks.