The inner lips of the vagina are called labia minora, while the outer lips are known as labia majora. They can be different in size and, in some cases, the inner lips may be more protruding or larger. Such conditions mar the aesthetic appearance of the genital area. They can also cause problems such as pain and irritation during intercourse. Besides, due to friction, it can cause discomfort to the individual when doing sports and wearing tight-fitting clothing or swimwear. Such problems with labium can be avoided with the help of a procedure called labiaplasty. Oversized labia leads to more secretion, causing individuals to use sanitary pads even outside the menstrual period. It also causes an unpleasant smell in the area and can make the individual feel self-conscious.
Types of Operations
These procedures are performed to eliminate malformations in the labia minora. The inner lips are called labia minora, and the procedure addressing this area is known as labiaplasty. Labiaplasty is an operation that can be performed on any woman. It does not cause any damage to the hymen. Patients can get pregnant or give birth without a problem after the procedure. Labiaplasty improves the sexual life of the patients by increasing their sexual sensitivity.
There are 4 different labiaplasty techniques.
* Trim labiaplasty: this operation is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. The inner lips are trimmed with surgical scissors and the size of the area is reduced, and then the procedure is completed with suturing.
* Wedge labiaplasty: in this method, a V-shaped wedge is removed from the middle part of the inner lip. The remaining tissues are sutured together. It is usually applied to patients with large and fleshy labium. This surgery varies depending on the state of the patient’s vagina. Typically, it takes 1 to 2 hours. After the surgery, the patient is discharged depending on her condition and is asked to keep follow-up appointments for 2 months.
* Laser reduction labiaplasty: this procedure is similar to the trim labiaplasty method. In this process, trimming is done with laser instead of scissors. This procedure can be performed under general or spinal anesthesia. Depending on the condition of the vagina, the operation may take 1 to 2 hours. If the surgery is performed in the morning, the patient can be discharged on the same day after the routine check-up. They should keep follow-up appointments for 1 to 2 months.
* Radiofrequency treatment of labiaplasty: this technique is similar to the laser treatment. The only difference is the use of radio frequencies instead of laser. It is usually the most preferred method. It has more efficacy compared to other methods. In the laser reduction labiaplasty, the tissue is removed by burning, while in the radiofrequency method, it is vaporized at a cool temperature. No damage is done to the tissues during the procedure.
After the necessary medical screening, the patient is admitted to the clinic. The surgery is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. The operative time of the labiaplasty varies by the individual patient. It takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the case. Photographs of the area are taken before and after surgery. In labiaplasty, the operated area is reshaped and then sutured with very fine sutures which are absorbable and do not need to be removed after the procedure. After surgery, the patient may be asked to stay overnight in the hospital depending on their medical condition. They are asked to get blood tests, allergy tests, and urine tests before the surgery. The area to be operated should be well-cleaned to create comfortable working conditions for the surgeon. It will make it easy for the surgeon to work on the target area, increasing the success of the operation. Patients usually inquire about the eligible age for labiaplasty before surgery. Younger age allows patients to respond more quickly to the treatment. There may be some complications that will affect the patient after the labiaplasty. However, it will be possible to eliminate these complications by following the doctor’s instructions. Skin sensitivity, bleeding, skin bruising, allergic reaction, risk of anesthesia, risk of infection, inflammation, risk of fat necrosis and skin damage may be observed. Such complications vary by the individual patient. If necessary precautions are taken, no permanent problems will occur.
There are many reasons for the labial hypertrophy (enlargement of inner lips).
* Hormonal change
* Painful sexual intercourse
* Giving birth
* Age-related changes
* Genetic changes
* Patients should keep follow-up appointments, as at each session, the doctor will take a photograph of the area to monitor the changes.
* Patients are restricted from sexual intercourse for 2 months after labiaplasty.
* They can take a shower on the day of surgery so long as they make sure the shower water is not too hot or cold.
* They should rest for 1 week, after which they can return to everyday life or work.
* They should not wear tight-fitting clothing for 1 week after surgery.
* Alcohol, smoking and products containing caffeine should be avoided for a long time after surgery.
* The doctor should be informed of the medications taken previously.
* The medications prescribed by the doctor should be taken regularly.
* Patients should be careful about the hygiene of the area after surgery. If the operated area becomes infected, the recovery time will be longer.
* Wound caring should not be neglected.
* Patients engaging in sports and physical activities should refrain from exercises that will put a strain on the area.
* Usually no scar is left in the operated area. But depending on the patient’s condition, the surgical wound may be excessive. In this case, ointment is applied to heal the wound.
Labiaplasty is a surgery that should be performed with utmost care. Therefore, it should be performed by qualified surgeons specializing in this field. To avoid negative results, patients should do a detailed search about their doctor choice before taking the procedure.
The prices of labiaplasty vary by the region where the clinic is located as well as by the hospital and the doctor. Finally, although bleeding occurs in the genital area, it has the fastest recovery time and responds quickly to the treatment. Patients can have a labiaplasty without hesitation so long as it is performed by specialists in the field.