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All About Labiaplasty

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 11 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
Labiaplasty Labia Minora Inner Lips

Many people opt for plastic surgery to change and hopefully improve the appearance of an obvious feature, such as their nose or their breasts. But some people seek to change body parts that are a little less obvious – and a lot more intimate.

Labiaplasty is one of those operations. It seeks to reshape, and usually make smaller, the labia minora, or the inner lips of the vulva. And while it may sound a bit far-fetched, it is actually becoming an increasingly common cosmetic procedure for women.

Occasionally, women opt for labiaplasty to reduce the size of the labia majora, or outer lips of the vulva. That, however, is rare and it may be hard to find a plastic surgeon competent in this area.

Why Have Labiaplasty?

Lots of women are unhappy about the shape and size of their inner vaginal lips, especially if they believe they are unduly large or asymmetrical. While asymmetry is very common and completely normal, some women believe it makes them abnormal, making them stand apart from other women.

A large labia minora is normal as well, but occasionally one that is too large may feel uncomfortable. When it is overly-protruberant, it may cause undue embarrassment with a sexual partner, and can also be an irritation when wearing tight-fitting clothing. Some women also find it can interfere with certain sports, such as horse-riding.

Many women are born with large labias, while some women's labias tend to increase in size as they get older, following injury or trauma during childbirth,or because of disease. Whatever the reason, if it makes you feel uncomfortable – either psychologically or physiologically – then labiaplasty may be the right procedure for you.

What it Entails

Also referred to as labial reduction or labia minor reduction, a labiaplasty operation is a relatively quick procedure that usually but not always produces excellent results.

There are four main types of labiaplasty performed today. They are:

  • Traditional labiaplasty: Your plastic surgeon will cut, or trim the inner lips, with a scalpel, either making them smaller, more symmetrical or both. After the unnecessary bits are, in effect, amputated, the edges will be sutured together.
  • New labiaplasty: Also called labial contouring, the large labia are excised in a "V" shape and then the upper and lower edges are sutured together. In theory, this helps preserve the normal contours, colours and shape of the labial edges.
  • Iris scissors labiaplasty: This is performed using the same surgical instrument used to carry out a facelift or blepharoplasty, or eye surgery. Surgeons who use this technique say it leaves a more natural edge when the procedure is over.
  • Laser labiaplasty: Carried out using a laser scalpel instead of a more traditional one.
Occasionally women request that a hoodectomy be performed at the same time as labiaplasty. A hoodectomy is an operation that removes the hood of the clitoris, therefore making it more receptive to sexual stimulation. Women who have problems achieving orgasm sometimes see this is as possible solution to their problem.

A Word of Caution

If you are considering labiaplasty, or any type of plastic surgery, make sure you use only a licensed, board-accredited plastic surgeon. Ask how many times they have performed the operation before, and to see before and after photos. Also ask for references to talk with other women who have had the procedure carried out with the same surgeon.

Labiaplasty is a big step, and if you go down this route there is no going back. Ensuring you have the right surgeon and that you follow all the correct after-care procedures will ensure the best result. Don't leave things up to chance – your health is in your hands!

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