Labial reduction and correction
AB Hons (Harvard), FRCS(Ed & Eng), FRCS(Plast), MSc(LSE)
GASPAR ANASTASI Award, Aesthetic Society (USA) 2000
Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Appointments available at:
SPIRE Hospital, Hill House Consulting Rooms, Old Watton Road,
Norwich, NR4 7TD
Secretary: Sally Gilks Tel: 07985 184476
Please address all correspondence to Sally Gilks at Spire Hospital.
Labial reduction is an operation to reduce a woman’s inner labial lips, otherwise known as labia minora. This is a successful operation carried out as a day case.
Who is a good candidate for this surgery?
Some women find that the inner labial lips either side of the the vagina are excessively long, thick or uneven. This can be uncomfortable and even cause chaffing, as the excess skin rubs against the other side during sport, cycling or even just normal walking; it may also be problematic during intercourse. The problem may have started at puberty, or sometimes after childbirth. Large labia can also be embarrassing, such as if they won’t stay within panties..
What can labiaplasty do for me?
Without the excess skin, the discomfort and embarrassment can be removed.
How is the surgery done?
Labial reduction involves carefully marking and then trimming the excess skin to give a smaller labial fold. Care is taken to avoid over resection of the labia and to avoid interference with the clitoris or urethral opening Dissolving stitches are used to close the wounds, so do not need to be removed.
What kind of anaesthetic do I need?
I work closely with an experienced anaesthetist who will give sedation so that you will not remember anything and will be fit to go home the same day. I will also give you a nerve block which will last for up to 48 hours. My aim is to make this as comfortable as possible .
How long am I in hospital?
Labial reduction is carried out as a day-case i.e. does not require an overnight stay in hospital.
How quickly will I recover from my surgery?
I hope you will have minimal discomfort after the surgery. However you will need to really rest for the first week. I will give you careful postoperative instructions: because treatment of the labiaplasty (labial reduction) wound during the first days is important; take a shower twice a day and then pat dry the area.
Most patients experience some swelling for the first week but this quickly settles. Occasionally sensitivity can remain in this area for some weeks after surgery.
I advise to have one week off work with a restful period at home. By 2 to 3 weeks most patients have resumed normal activities but it will take 4 to 5 weeks to return back to strenuous exercise such as gym or cycling and the same for sexual intercourse.
What are the potential problems with labiaplasty?
Occasionally patients can develop very dramatic swelling, particularly if they have been too active; this usually settles in the first 1 to 2 weeks. There is a small risk of infection because of the moist area and there is a small risk of bleeding requiring a second operation to remove any blood clot.