genital surgery

Labiaplasty: labia minora reduction

Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure aimed at reducing the size of labia minora, the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva. It corrects the appearance of the vulva by reducing excessively developed lips and helps reducing any discomfort in this area of the body.

Treatments of women's genital organ such as labiaplasty are part of what is referred to as intimate cosmetic surgery or medicine. Each situation will be discussed during the preoperative consultation to allow the surgeon to understand motivations to proceed with cosmetic surgery in the genital area. During this step of the process, the surgeon can recommend various options and explain the consequences of each intervention in details.

1. Discomfort caused by hypertrophy of the labia minora

Labia minora are usually "hidden" by labia majora. Labia minora visible outside of labia majora is referred to as an hypertrophy of the labia minora.

Three types of discomfort experience by the patient can motivate surgery in this area of the body:

  • Aesthetic: some patients want to change the appearance of their vulva as they consider their labia minora are too apparent and experience dissatisfaction.
  • Sexual discomfort: hypertrophy of the labia minora may cause embarrassment as well as pain during sexual intercourse, due to the friction of tissues during penetration that causes dyspareunia.
  • Functional discomfort: Some women may experience discomfort and irritation during exercise or the practice of certain sport activities, such as cycling, horseback riding, or hiking. Pain can also be felt while wearing tight clothing.

For patients who suffer a major functional discomfort due to hypertrophy of their labia minor, partial coverage of the procedure by Social security services is possible, as a result of reconstructive surgery.

2. Principles of a labiaplasty procedure

Labiaplasty is appropriate for women who report experiencing functional discomfort and difficulty in their sex life, related to hypertrophy of the labia minora.

The goal of a plastic surgery procedure in this area of the body is to reduce skin excess in the labia minora in order to give it the appearance desired.

Depending on the original anatomy of patients, these resections will be at different heights and take different shapes. During the preliminary consultation, the surgeon will introduce advantages and disadvantages of each technique and will recommend the most appropriate for the patient's morphology.

There are two types of labiaplasty procedures:

Linear labiaplasty (Curved Linear resection)

This technique involves removing mucocutaneous excess along labia minora following a crescent shape.

Scars are usually invisible thanks to the use of a buried suture technique.

Advantages of this technique include retaining the natural appearance of labia, and lower risks of the suture breaking during the aftermath. Disadvantages of using this technique include the placement the scar on a contact area with the undergarments in some cases.

Wedge labiaplasty (Central-V-Wedge resection)

This technique involves performing a central-V-Wedge (triangular shape) resection of mucocutaneous excess.

Advantages of this technique include a scar limited to the central region of the labia and hidden in the folds between the minor and major labia. Labia generally present a uniform thickness and color. In addition, the natural folds of the labia are preserved.

However, it is not always possible to rely on this technique to address very important hypertrophies of labia minora. Linear labiaplasty is then recommended.

3. Follow up after a labioplasty procedure

A labioplasty procedure usually lasts 45 minutes.

It is practiced under local or general anesthesia. Most often, the patient can leave the clinic the same day of the procedure (outpatient hospitalization). The threads used are resorbable and will be eliminated between 5 and 21 days.

The postoperative course of a labioplasty procedure is usually simple.

It is necessary to follow specific hygiene recommendations during the healing process. Disinfection of the area should be done several times a day, until elimination of the resorbable threads (10 to 15 days after the intervention). It is also necessary to clean the labia thoroughly after urinating. It is possible to take a shower as early as the evening of the procedure but baths must be avoided until complete healing and elimination of threads.

During the first days following the surgical operation, discomfort while walking may be experienced as well as mild bruning sensation, which can be relieved using simple pain relief medicine.

Sexual intercourse must be avoided during healing (usually after 3-4 weeks).

While results of the procedure are immediately visible, the stable result of a labiaplasty can only be observed after three to six months, when the edema induced by the procedure has completely disappeared and when labia have found their natural flexibility again.

Smoking increases the risks of surgical complications of any surgery. Quitting smoking 6-8 weeks before the procedure eliminates any additional risks. If you smoke, talk to your doctor or call Tabac-Info-Service at 3989 to help reduce risks of plastic surgery procedures.

🇬🇧About the translation: Parts of the English version of this website were translated using computer generated translation. If you notice a significant error or if you have any doubt regarding the medical information provided, please send us a message.

genital surgeryreconstructive surgery
Dr Cédric Kron - Plastic surgeon in Paris

Former resident, Gold Medal of Surgery and Head of Clinic of Paris Hospitals (APHP), Dr. C. Kron is qualified in Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. He practices as a plastic surgeon in Paris, with a comprehensive and tailor-made approach of aesthetic treatments.