Labiaplasty is the cosmetic reshaping of the inner folds on either side of the vaginal opening. These folds are called the labia minora. Some women do not like the look or size of their labia, or their labia may cause them physical discomfort. These women come in for labiaplasty to reduce the size of their labia.

Choosing to undergo labiaplasty is a major decision and one that is extremely personal. Labiaplasty is performed for women 18 years of age and older. The labia continue to develop and grow well beyond puberty and into early adulthood. Any surgery before that will not have the desired effects.

The Labiaplasty Procedure

We perform surgery of the labia minora (the inner walls of the vulva), which is a more common procedure than surgery of the labia majora (the outer walls of the vulva). The surgery takes about an hour or two.

First, the edges of the labia to be trimmed are marked on both sides. Patients are given either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation before the surgery in order to ensure a comfortable procedure for the patient.

Careful incisions are made on the inside of the labia. A scalpel or a laser is then used to trim the excess tissue of the protruding area. The incisions are stitched up using fine dissolvable stitches.

The Healing Process

You will be able to go home the same day as your labiaplasty procedure. Anesthesia and sedation can take time to recover from, so it will be necessary for you to arrange a ride home from the facility in advance.

During your healing period, you will have to wear loose underwear, as tighter underwear has the potential to damage the healing tissues and extend the length of your recovery period.

Clean the area regularly. Every effort should be made to keep the area clean in order to protect from infection. An infection could create post-surgical complications. You will be given antibiotics and told to apply a significant amount of lubricant at the surgical site for a couple of weeks.

Sex would be difficult during this period, and so it should be avoided for a couple of weeks. When you get your periods, you will have to use sanitary napkins instead of tampons.

You will have to take some time off work. It may take a couple of months for the vaginal skin to heal completely. A degree of swelling is common following the procedure, and this swelling should ameliorate over the course of the next three weeks.

Because dissolvable stitches are used during the procedure, you will not need to come in to get them removed. Instead, they will disappear at the appropriate time in the healing process.

Set Up a Labiaplasty Consultation

After the labiaplasty procedure, patients typically feel a lot more confident about themselves. They can start wearing bathing suits, leggings, or yoga pants without discomfort.

To find out more about what labiaplasty can do for you, contact the office of Dr. JoAnne Lopes, a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Virginia Beach area. We will help you arrange a consultation, where you can ask any questions you may have.