1. What is it?
Every woman’s body is different in shape and size, and what worries one woman will not necessarily concern another, but it is not uncommon for a woman to feel unhappy with the appearance of the inner lips of her vagina (labia minora) especially if they are asymmetrical, long, or bulky. This may be inherited or just follows childbirth.
As with other problem areas, any feelings of discomfort can have adverse effects on self-confidence and personal relationships. Enlarged labia can lead to discomfort wearing certain clothing, exercising or having sex. The protuberant and abnormal appearance can be bothersome and distressing. Labia reduction reduces the labia to a level that the patient finds acceptable.
2. What does the procedure involve?
The surgeon will carefully trim and reshape the labia to create a natural look, avoiding any damage to surrounding nerves and tissue.
The procedure can be performed either under local anaesthetic or “twilight” sedation. In most cases this avoids the need for an overnight stay in hospital.
3. What are the risks and likely after-effects?
Cosmetic Surgery, like any other surgery, involves a “trauma” to the human body and there are risks associated with any procedure. Each person’s body is different, and your general health, level of fitness, age and genetic profile will all have an effect on the speed of healing and also on the risk of side-effects.
If you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight and/or take drugs for medical or other reasons, the risk of complication during and after surgery can be greatly increased. Smoking, in particular, is discouraged because it increases the risk both of infection, wound breakdown and thrombosis (blood clots).
After any surgery it is normal for all patients to experience swelling, bruising and numbness. This decreases gradually in the days and weeks afterwards.
4. What will happen after the operation?
Your surgeon will see you when you have come round from the anaesthetic to check that all is well, and will discharge you providing you are fit to return home. You will be given medication and full post-operative instructions along with appropriate telephone numbers in case you need to contact us at any time.
On returning home you will need to use ice packs or cold compresses to help reduce the swelling.
You will see the nurse after 7-10 days so that she can check your progress.
Penetrative sex is best avoided for at least 2-3 weeks after the procedure, and tampons should also not be used.
You will see your surgeon once more at between 8 and 10 weeks after your operation for a full post-operative consultation.