The skin of the labia minora is very stretchy. In some women this skin stretches so much that the labia minora protrude excessively. This may be uncomfortable when wearing skimpy underwear, g-strings or tight trousers, or even when doing sports. Some women may have normal sized labia that may be visible because of fashionable pubic hairstyles, or from total hair removal. Some women experience discomfort during or after sexual intercourse. Some women may suffer repeated thrush infections, or herpes outbreaks exacerbating their discomfort.
Some women find the appearance of their labia embarrassing.
These problems are not new, but women are now aware that something can be done, and they don’t have to suffer in silence any longer.
Choosing to have an operation to reduce the size of the labia minora is not only becoming more common, but also quite acceptable. The operation can be performed as a day procedure usually under general anaesthesia or sedation. Very occasionally it is done under local anaesthesia at the patient’s request, but this is not pleasant.
The operation takes about one hour. Rest after the operation is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the recovery. One to two weeks off work is necessary. During the first week, rest in the horizontal position is important to prevent the wounds swelling, throbbing and bursting open. No stitches need to be removed as they all dissolve in the first 7-10 days.
By three months, everything is back to normal. The labia usually heal without any tell-tale scars and give a good long term result. It is theoretically possible for the skin to stretch again, but this is not common.
This operation can be done once a woman has reached physical maturity. It can be done before or after childbearing. I use a special surgical technique using interdigitating flaps which avoids tightness in the scars is used making future childbirth uncomplicated.
Some women unfortunately experience tearing of their labia minora when giving birth, resulting in an irregular or asymmetric appearance, and it may be uncomfortable during sexual intercourse. A labiaplasty can repair any tears and reduce the size of the labia at the same time.
A special surgical technique (interdigitating flaps which avoids tightness in the scars) is used making future childbirth uncomplicated.