Everybody is unique in its own way. Humans vary in shape, size, and symmetry, and it’s all beautiful. That said, there are certain physical characteristics that can make a person feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. As the field of medicine has evolved, an increasing number of people have begun to embrace plastic surgery as a way to address their personal cosmetic concerns and goals. One way in which we do this for our female patients is through labiaplasty.
Labiaplasty is a minor surgical procedure through which the plastic surgeon alters the shape and size of the inner or outer labia, the pieces of tissue outside of the vaginal opening. This procedure may correct the congenital shape of the labia or may address changes that have occurred due to pregnancy and childbirth, weight changes, or menopause. Here, we discuss three things that every patient should know if they are troubled by the emotional or physical complications of enlarged or elongated labia.
There are many reasons why a woman may be a perfect candidate for a labiaplasty.
Women’s reasons for considering labiaplasty are diverse and varied. Some want to feel more comfortable in their workout clothes and bathing suits. Some want to eliminate the tugging and discomfort that they experience during sexual intercourse. Sometimes, the size and shape of the labia present hygiene concerns. Sometimes, the concern is purely emotional and relates to the way in which a woman feels in or out of her clothes. In any case, body perception has an immense impact on well-being. The physical and aesthetic effects of labiaplasty can free a woman of the distress she has lived with for too long.
Though complex, the labiaplasty procedure doesn’t take long to perform.
Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure that is performed in the office using local anesthetic. Understanding the sensitivity of the treatment area, the doctor may apply a topical numbing medication to the tissue first and let that sit for a while. Then, injections are administered to completely numb the labia. The doctor may choose between one of two surgical techniques, the wedge excision or the edge trim, to achieve the desired outcome. The edge trim removes excess skin along the outer edge of the labia using a linear approach. The wedge excision follows a V-shape pattern at the labia’s widest point. While the doctor takes great care in selecting and performing the appropriate incision, the procedure is usually done in an hour or less.
The recovery process after labiaplasty is important.
The postoperative period is critical after any surgical procedure. Labiaplasty patients receive clear communication about their expected recovery time and detailed instructions to promote optimal healing. The recovery period is quick for labiaplasty patients. Most can return to work in two to three days. It takes a bit longer, two to three weeks, to be ready to resume normal exercise. Patients should avoid sexual intercourse and tampon use for a full six weeks after labiaplasty.
The labia reside in a woman’s most private area. Still, their shape and size can be detrimental to her well-being. To learn more about labiaplasty, contact our Bloomington, IL office at (309) 664-1007.