An enlarged inner labia, also called the labia minora, can be an embarrassing, frustrating, and physically uncomfortable issue for women. Though it may cause them irritation, discomfort during normal daily activities and exercise, hygiene issues, and reduced self-esteem, many women believe there is nothing that can be done and suffer in silence. Others believe that the pain and recovery process of surgery is just not worth it. If you are one of these women, you should know that there is help out there. Dr. Diehl can perform a surgery called labiaplasty which corrects enlarged labia. Not only is this an effective way to improve your appearance and comfort, but it also involves much less recovery than you might think.

What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed most often under local anesthesia (VERY well tolerated, especially with Pro-Nox) but can also be done under general anesthesia depending on your preference. The procedure usually takes around one hour and can be performed in two different ways: the trim technique or the wedge technique. With the trim technique, extra tissue is removed along with the whole length of the inner labia and is usually recommended for those who have excess tissue and hyperpigmentation on the edges of this tissue. This is an effective method that produces natural-looking results and normally has a shorter recovery period than the wedge technique. After patients heal from this surgery, they generally have a scar that is virtually undetectable.

The wedge technique involves a V-shaped wedge being removed from the inner labia, then stitching together the tissues of the surrounding areas. This produces a natural-looking result but does not address any hyperpigmentation issues. The scar resulting from this technique is also easily hidden and does not trouble most patients. Both techniques use dissolving sutures, so there is no need for patients to return to the office to have stitches removed. The best method will depend on your unique anatomy and desired results.

What Can You Expect from Your Recovery?

The benefits of labiaplasty are many, especially if you’ve been dealing with discomfort or embarrassment for many years. They can include a reduction of pinching and chafing with daily activities and exercise, increased sexual enjoyment, freedom to wear swimsuits/underclothes/yoga pants without embarassement, less moisture retention, and increased self-esteem. But is the process worth it? The answer is definitely yes, especially when you see that the recovery from labiaplasty is easier than you might expect.

During the procedure, you should feel little to no pain. After the surgery is complete, you will likely feel some mild discomfort and will be given pain medication to deal with this symptom. We encourage frequent icing of the area for several days after.  Over the next few days or weeks, you may see some bruising or swelling and may experience some discomfort while urinating.

There may be discomfort in your labia region while you heal. Try to avoid wearing any tight underwear or other clothing and avoid using tampons until your recovery is complete. You will also have to abstain from sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks after your surgery to prevent infections or  unnecessary trauma to the region while it heals. Most patients can return to work in a few days and will experience a full recovery in about six weeks. After the first few days, the discomfort and other symptoms should start to fade, and most women find they do not even need pain medication after the first few days. Many only take Tylenol. Because sutures dissolve, there is no need to return to the doctor’s office for removal of stitches (just for the usual follow-up visits) and patients can relax and recover in the comfort of their own homes.

How Can You Find Out More?

Having labiaplasty surgery is a very personal decision. It’s important that you are fully informed about the procedure before you make any decisions. The best way to move forward is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl. She can answer all your questions and provide you with a professional opinion on the type of technique that would be best for you.

You no longer have to live with the discomfort or embarrassment of an enlarged labia. With labiaplasty, you can recover your self-esteem and live a life free of discomfort. For more information, schedule your consultation with Dr. Diehl today.